Backpage roundup: Afellay available, Wenger wants ‘special’ players only, Wilshere won’t be rushed and more

Wenger to Be Patient with Wilshere

Arsene Wenger has said that when injured midfielder Jack Wilshere regains full fitness, it will be like a fresh new signing for the club, but has insisted that the England international will not be forced back into action ahead of schedule.

Wilshere has been on the sidelines due to a series of ankle injuries for more than a year but is expected to overcome his problems by the end of the year. While the fans are desperate for his return, Wenger has made it clear that he will take the patient approach with the playmaker and won’t rush him at all.

Wenger said: “October will be an important month for Jack. I will promise you that I will be careful, but Jack works very hard. Every day he is in early, late going home, is focused and has built up a good basis for his body. After how quick he will be sharp again for competition, I don’t know. We will have to wait for at least a month to see that.”

 

Wenger Wants Gunners to Impose Attacking Style On Stoke

Arsene Wenger has said that his players must impose their attacking style of play on their Sunday’s game against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium.

The Potters are known for their robust and defensive-minded approach, something which is totally opposite to how Arsenal play their football, and it is why the Gunners have sometimes struggled in this particular fixture in the past.

However, Wenger says that if his men can dictate the tempo of the game, then victory will be theirs no matter how Stoke City play.

It is a bit of a fight for who dictates his style. If we manage to do that I enjoy it, if we do not manage to do that I don’t enjoy it at all because then you really suffer at Stoke. It a question of being strong enough to dictate your style,” the Frenchman said.

You know you need some qualities when you go to Stoke which are different. You need to be good in the air, of course. However, Stoke changed their style last year when they played more on the ground because of being in Europe. I think it will go on like that,” he added.

 

Mertesacker Talks about Facing Stoke City

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Stoke City at Britannia, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed that his team’s defensive approach changes quite significantly against Tony Pulis’ men due to their size and strength.

I hope to adapt quickly to Stoke and the situation and the way they play. We have to switch on quickly and do the right thing. We have done a lot of things [in training] concerning set pieces, throw-ins and crosses. We have to cover each other even more than the other games because they are very dangerous players, especially up front, and very tall players. Maybe we have to behave differently, but we always want to show our own qualities,” the giant German centre-half told Arsenal Player.

About the prospect of facing Stoke’s equally gangly Peter Crouch, Mertesacker added: “I played against him [Crouch] at Wembley so it is not a new situation. When you look at Sunderland and [Stephane] Sessegnon and then one week later you play against Peter Crouch, it is weird, but you have to deal with this.”

Liverpool Agree Sahin Loan Deal

Liverpool have announced that they have agreed a deal with Real Madrid to bring midfielder Nuri Sahin to Anfield on a season-long loan.

Sahin was close to joining Arsenal until a few days ago but will now join Liverpool, provided that he passes a routine medical test.

 

Wenger Only Interested In ‘Special’ Players Now

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal will remain inactive during the remainder of the summer transfer window unless any ‘special’ players become available.

The Gunners recently lost the services of Robin van Persie and Alex Song but Wenger is adamant that instead of buying just for the sake of buying, he is interested in only top quality players.

We will only take players who have something special. We are still in the market in some positions, but overall we believe we have a very strong squad. We have a good mixture because we have experienced players in midfield like [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla, like [Tomas] Rosicky, and some young very promising players like [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Francis] Coquelin, [Jack] Wilshere and one or two in between age wise like [Abou] Diaby, who is coming back. We believe we have a good mixture,” Wenger said.

Barca Tell Afellay He Can Leave

Former Arsenal transfer target Ibrahim Afellay has been told by his current club Barcelona that his services are no longer required and he is free to find himself a new club. (Metro)

The Netherlands international joined the Blaugrana last year but failed to establish himself at his new club due to a serious knee injury. He is not in new Barca coach Tito Vilanova’s long-term plans and so a transfer to a new club before the August 31 deadline could be on the cards.

Arsene Wenger wanted to recruit Afellay last year and having lost out to Liverpool in the race to sign Nuri Sahin, he could reignite his interest in the Barcelona outcast.