Backpage Roundup: Sagna Could Feature As Left-back against Bayern, Frimpong Wants to Replicate Wilshere, Santos on Verge of Arsenal Exit and More

Sagna to Start on Left against Bayern If Vermaelen Fails to Recover

Arsene Wenger could be forced to deploy Bacary Sagna on the left side of Arsenal’s backline in the first leg of the upcoming Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, according to a report published by Goal.com.

Already without the services of injured left-back Kieran Gibbs for the next six weeks, coach Arsene Wenger recently sanctioned the loan move of Andre Santos to Gremio. While the Gunners did sign Nacho Monreal on the transfer deadline day, the former Malaga man is cup-tied and won’t play any part in his new club’s European campaign this term.

It leaves Thomas Vermaelen as the only Arsenal defender capable of playing in the left-back position but the Belgian suffered an injury setback in training last week and is now a major doubt for the crucial UCL tie with the German giants.

If the Arsenal captain fails to recover before next Tuesday, then Wenger will start with Sagna on the left, Goal.com has claimed. It means that the 29-year-old Frenchman, who is a natural right-back and has struggled for form for much of the season, will be given the unenviable task of dealing with either Arjen Robben or Thomas Muller in what will be their most important game of the season.

 

Frimpong Wants to Replicate Wilshere’s Rise

Emmanuel Frimpong says that he takes inspiration from Jack Wilshere’s successful comeback from injury and is hoping to replicate the England international’s feat himself by becoming an important member of Arsenal’s first-team squad in future.

Frimpong, 21, who like Wilshere, has missed a lot of football in the past few years due to serious injuries, is currently on loan at Fulham for the remainder for the 2012/13 season. Those injury-related setbacks have slowed down his career significantly but he believes that he too can fight back and emerge as a major player for the Gunners just like Wilshere has done this season.

He said: “That is football, sometimes you are going to get good luck, sometimes you are going to get bad luck, and I have had loads of injuries, but I mean to get over it just like Jack has. He has got over his injury and now he is playing for England. That is what I trying and do – to get over my injuries and start playing football on a regular basis.

“Jack is a great footballer. For his age and for what he is doing, he is an inspiration obviously because every young player in the Premier League wants to achieve what he is doing. Since I have been here, I haven’t really spoken to him, but when I am at Arsenal, we do speak on a regular basis. I am happy for him and what he is achieving in football.”

The Ghana-born midfielder then revealed how he plans on using his Fulham spell to kick-start his Arsenal career next season.

The boss at Arsenal, Mr Wenger, told me to come here and get some games because there is no point sitting on the bench at Arsenal. He said to come here and show what you can do, get some games under your belt, then come back next season and see what happens,” Frimpong added.

 

Santos in Brazil to Finalise Arsenal Exit

Andre Santos is on the verge of leaving Arsenal for Brazilian club Gremio and has jetted off to Brazil in order to end his sorry spell in North London.

The reports of Gremio’s interest in acquiring Santos first emerged last week and now the player himself has confirmed that he is close to moving back to his homeland.

Upon his landing at Porto Alegre’s Salgado Filho International Airport, the 29-year-old left-back talked about his delight at having the chance to play for Gremio and under their manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo.

I have the best expectations. They are one of the biggest clubs in the country. I’ve come to Gremio to be a champion. I am very excited about this project. I have dreamed of working with Luxemburgo. He is a top manager in our football,” Santos told Lancenet.

He then revealed that he would need some matches to get back in shape as he rarely got a consecutive runs of games at his soon-to-be former club Arsenal.

If there was a game today, I would like to play. But I need to be match fit as I played a game one day, then not the next one. I’ll need five or six games to be fitter. I’m anxious to know the squad,” he added.

Emenike Not Interested in Immediate PL Switch

Spartak Moscow forward Emmanuel Emenike has downplayed media reports linking him to a summer move to the Barclays Premier League.

The 25-year-old attacker, who has been scouted by Arsenal in the past, played a major part in Nigeria’s recent triumph in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. As a result, his stock has gone up significantly and chances are that clubs from bigger leagues will be interested in signing him in the near future.

While Emenike admits that he dreams of playing in the PL one day, he is not too keen on leaving his Russian club right now.

He said: “I am playing in Russia at the moment and I have a contract that I intend to respect. But to be linked with the Premier League is a dream come true. I would love to play there in my career. There are many great clubs there.”

 

HSV Willing to Let Son Leave for Right Offer

Hamburg SV’s General Manager Frank Arsnesen has admitted that his club will not stand in the way of their exciting forward Heung-min Son, if they receive a suitable offer for him in the summer.

Arsenal, their London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea, and Liverpool are all believed to be interested in the 20-year-old South Korean, who is regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in Bundesliga and is versatile enough to play anywhere across the frontline.

Recent media reports suggested that the German club have put a price tag of £10 million on Son, and while Arsnesen refused to confirm those reports, he did confess that the Rothosen will not be able to turn down a big offer.

Hamburger Morgenpost have quoted Arnesen as saying: “Of course we have an acceptance limit. But Sonny is a very young and great talent. We have the ambition to sign new terms with him and will be in a position to hand him a good deal. I am sure we can find a solution to keep hold of him for longer than the end of his current deal (which expires in June 2014).”