Backpage roundup: Arsenal linked With Real’s Benzema, Wilshere stars for U-21s, Wenger targets instant recovery, Santos going nowhere and more

Karim Benzema en équipe de France

Karim Benzema en équipe de France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arsenal to Get Benzema If Real Land Falcao

Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for French striker Karim Benzema, who could be available at a knockdown price if Los Merengues decide to sign Atletico Madrid goal machine Radamel Falcao. (Metro)

It is no secret that the Gunners are struggling in the striking department and despite a slight improvement from newcomer Olivier Giroud, coach Arsene Wenger is reportedly keen to recruit another forward.

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If Real end up getting Falcao, then one of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Benzema would have to leave. The latter of the three has scored just one league goal so far this season, and so Metro’s assumption of him leaving the Spanish capital could be based on that meagre return.

 

Wilshere Stars for Arsenal Under-21

Jack Wilshere took another massive step in the direction of making his first-team return by starring for Arsenal’s under-21 side in a 2-1 win over Everton on Monday.

The fit-again midfielder, who was an unused substitute in the Gunners’ shock 1-0 defeat to Norwich City on Saturday, looked in great touch for the young Arsenal side and created two goals for his teammates.

After Arsenal went down early to a Apostolos Vellios goal, Wilshere initiated a move that ended up with Thomas Eisfeld scoring from a Jernade Meade assist. The 20-year-old playmaker then set up another one for Eisfeld and completed his team’s comeback.

Wilshere didn’t get a chance to mark his first-team return over the weekend against the Canaries, but his performance against the Toffees could tempt coach Arsene Wenger into giving him some playing time in their next league encounter with QPR.

 

Wenger Disappointed With ‘Unpleasant’ Gap

Arsene Wenger has admitted that seeing Arsenal trail league leaders Chelsea by a double-digit margin is annoying for him.

After Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Norwich City, the Gunners are a massive 10 points adrift of the Blues and Wenger says that such a big gap between the two sides so early in the season is disappointing.

The Arsenal boss said: “The gap is very unpleasant. We had an opportunity that Tottenham could win and we could win, and we both lost. That of course makes the gap a lot bigger. You cannot say you do not worry about that, but what is more disappointing is that we could not score. After we went 1-0 down we had the ball for 70 minutes and could not score a goal.”

 

Mertesacker Reveals Arsenal’s ‘Wilshere-Inspired’ Excitement

Per Mertesacker has revealed that everyone at Arsenal is excited with the anticipated return of Jack Wilshere to first-team football.

The German centre-half signed for the Gunners over a year ago but has never played a game with Wilshere due to the midfielder’s injury problems. But the youngster is now finally on the verge of making his comeback and Mertesacker claims that everyone at the clubs is buzzing.

The Express have quoted Mertesacker as saying: “It would be good to have Jack Wilshere back soon. I haven’t played with him yet, but I can feel the sense of excitement around the club that he may be close to returning. You can sense it everywhere in the place. And I think it would be very good for the English national team.”

 

Wenger Hoping For Instant Recover After Norwich Shock

Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal side to mount an instant recovery from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Norwich City by defeating Schalke in their upcoming Champions League tie.

The Gunners allowed Grant Holt to score the game’s only goal in the 20th minute and failed to find an equaliser despite bossing the possession for long periods. Even more surprising was the fact that they didn’t even create too many chances against a side that was spanked 4-1 by Chelsea just a few weeks ago.

Wenger lauded the Canaries’ effort and then urged his own men to return stronger from this setback. He said: “I hope it will have a positive impact. It was a shock to the system, but you have to give credit to Norwich because they played well, were completely committed and they deserved the win.

“Maybe we underrated the difficulty we would face, but the Premier League is the Premier League – if you are not ready for the fight then you will always have bad surprises. There is a big difference between the amount of possession we had and the amount of chances we created, that is down to the fact that Norwich defended well and we did not create a lot.”

Santos Not Looking to Leave Arsenal

Andre Santos has denied that he is looking to move back to Turkey and assured Arsenal fans that he wants to remain a Gunner for many more years.

The 29-year-old defender, who was signed from Fenerbahce last year, has been linked with a move to his former club’s arch-rivals Galatasaray, whose CEO recently confirmed their interest in him. However, Santos says that he is happy with life in London and has no desire to leave Arsenal for any other club.

Speaking in an interview with Arsenal Player, Santos said: “There were some rumours that my name was involved in this possible comeback [to Turkey]. I had people asking me on Twitter and even players from Fenerbahce asking if it was true, but I am very happy here at Arsenal and I hope to stay here at Arsenal for a long time.

“I have a contract and I am very happy here, not only at Arsenal but in London too, it is a great city. The Arsenal fans are amazing, this is a great club, and I hope to stay here for a good while.”