Backpage roundup: Henry on RVP and Wilshere, Barca to bid for Song, Szczesny’s confidence and more

Henry: Gunners Will Survive Without van Persie

Thierry Henry wants current Arsenal captain Robin van Persie to extend his contract with the club but says that the Gunners will be fine even if the Dutchman is sold this summer.

Van Persie shocked the Arsenal faithful at the beginning of July by announcing that he intends to leave Emirates Stadium once his existing contract with the club expires next summer.

The two Manchester clubs and Juventus are interested in acquiring his services but so far none of them have made Arsenal a tempting offer for their talisman.

Henry, who left Arsenal for Barcelona in the summer of 2007, would like van Persie to remain a Gunner but he is confident that the club will cope without him if he leaves.

In an interview with Sky Sports, the Frenchman said: “We hope he stays, and that’s the way it is. I don’t know exactly what is happening but as an Arsenal fan I want him to stay. He is still an Arsenal player and the boss has to deal with it.”

About van Persie’s contractual situation, Henry added: “I’ve got nothing to say about that, you will not get me to be one of the guys talking about the club and the player. I just want Arsenal to do well. Robin will do what he will do and we’ll see. When I left, everybody cried, but then the year after they went on a run of being eight points ahead. Everyone comes and goes.”

 

Henry Highlights the Importance of Wilshere

Former Gunner Thierry Henry has said that Arsenal must get their star midfielder Jack Wilshere back to full fitness.

The 20-year-old playmaker is currently nursing an ankle injury that made him miss the entire 2011/12 season and he is expected to regain full fitness by October this year.

Henry believes that Wilshere is the future of Arsenal and therefore it is very important that he returns back to action as soon as possible.

About the England international, Henry told Sky Sports:You want Jack Wilshere around. He reminds me of when I first arrived when the old guard was there. He’s an Arsenal fan in the first place and you need this type of player around in the dressing room.

“It’s not only that he’s an Arsenal fan, and not only an Englishman, but he’s a good player, it’s as simple as that. What a shame that he stopped a bit because he was on his way. I just wish him all the best that he can come back quick and wear the shirt he loves so much.”

 

Szczesny Confident Arsenal Will Contend for Titles Next Season

Wojciech Szczesny believes that Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud’s arrival at Emirates Stadium have put Arsenal in a better position to end their seven-year-long trophy drought. (ESPN)

The Gunners once again failed to win anything last season and their hopes of landing some silverware in the 2012/13 season were dealt a huge blow last month when captain Robin van Persie announced his decision of not extending his contract with the club.

While many think that the potential exit of the Dutch ace would reduce Arsenal’s chances of winning a trophy, Szczesny is confident that last campaign’s experiences and the newcomers will help them find success next season.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, the Polish goalkeeper said: “This club always has the same aims and that’s winning trophies. We obviously haven’t done it in the last few years and that’s disappointing for the players and the fans, but I believe we will be that little bit stronger than we were last year.

“We have a couple of quality signings already. And we’re confident we can fight for the trophies more than we did last year. I think the players who were lacking experience last year now have that experience.

“We have a couple of signings, more players who can score goals. Podolski’s goal record speaks for itself. We’re strong offensively and [assistant manager] Steve Bould has been doing some fantastic work with the defence. That seems to be working very well. It all makes me believe we’ll be that little bit stronger.”

 

Almunia Signs for Watford

Arsenal have announced that their former goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has signed for Championship club Watford.

The Hornets’ new boss Gianfranco Zola recruited seven players recently and Almunia is one of them.

A statement was published on Arsenal.com that read: “Former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has signed for Watford. The 35-year-old was released by the club this summer but will be training next door to his former team-mates in London Colney after agreeing a one-year deal with the Championship side.”

 

Boateng Seeking Loan Exit

Arsenal youngster Daniel Boateng wants to be loaned out once again so that he could continue his footballing development and prepare himself for the Gunners first team.

The young defender was loaned to Swindon Town last season and although he played only in two matches for the League Two champions, he says that he learned a lot under the guidance of the Robins’ manager Paulo Di Canio.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, Boateng said: “It was important for me to be around a team that was winning most weeks. The environment at the club was positive and I was impressed with the training.

“The manager [Paolo Di Canio] is the most enthusiastic man I’ve ever met. He’s a very good manager. I would like to have played more though, because then I would have learnt even more than I did.”

About his immediate future, he added: “I’ve spoken to the manager and I think that at this point in my career, it’s important that I play as much competitive first team football as I can. Going on loan is going to make me stronger as a person, and hopefully push me closer to becoming a member of the first team.”

 

Barca to Bid for Song – Report

Arsenal are set to face a fresh onslaught on their star players, as according to a report published by the Daily Mail, Barcelona are about to make them an offer for their midfielder Alex Song.

The 24-year-old Cameroonian enjoyed a fine 2011/12 season on a personal level and displayed his significantly improved passing range by providing assists for the forward line on several occasions.

Song still has two more years left on his current Arsenal deal and although he is not interested in leaving Emirates Stadium, interest from Barca and the chance of an improved contract is usually enough to turn any player’s head.