Backpage roundup: Wright wants Defoe at Emirates, Arteta says RVP is irreplaceable, Vermaelen wants positive thinking, Lansbury sold and Niang gone

Wenger Should Sign Defoe, Says Wright

Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes that Arsene Wenger should sign Jermaine Defoe from fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur as recently-departed striker Robin van Persie’s replacement.

Current Arsenal frontmen Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are goalless after the opening two matches of the new season, and while Wright is confident that the misfiring duo will eventually come good, he says that the Gunners need a proven finisher like Defoe as a short-term fix.

In his column for The Sun, Wright wrote: “TWO games and no goals show where Arsenal’s problems lie and there are few better finishers around than Jermain Defoe. I’m sure Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will get goals for the Gunners once they have picked up the pace of the Premier League. But Arsenal cannot afford another dodgy start to a campaign after playing catch-up for all of last season.

“So if I was Arsene Wenger, I would make an audacious bid for Defoe, whose face doesn’t seem to fit at Spurs and who looks up for a move. Defoe would be the perfect replacement for Robin van Persie, the penalty box predator to finish off all those half-chances which are currently going begging.

 

Arteta: RVP Is Irreplaceable

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has tried to release some pressure off his teammate Olivier Giroud by saying that it is unfair to compare the misfiring Frenchman to his predecessor Robin van Persie, whom he regards as irreplaceable.

After their second consecutive 0-0 draw last weekend, Giroud and Lukas Podolski are under pressure to deliver the goods for Arsenal, with the former of the two facing the giant share of criticism as he was seen as a direct replacement of van Persie. However, Arteta believes that replicating the Dutchman’s heroics straightaway is an ‘impossible’ task for anyone and therefore, criticism on Giroud and Podolski is unfair.

Talking about the former Montpellier man, Arteta told The Daily Mirror:Look, it’s two games. In fact, he has started just one game. [Comparisons are] not fair on him. He has played 90 minutes here. He played 25 minutes in the last one. A striker has to be relaxed. He doesn’t need to be tense.

“Of course, you can’t replace Robin. We know that – it doesn’t matter who is brought in. Manchester United went for him at the age of 29. What does that say? There aren’t many bigger talents in the world. To replace Robin is an impossible thing because he’s a special player. You can’t ask anyone to be as good as him. I don’t think it’s possible.

 

Lansbury on the Verge of Arsenal Exit

Arsenal youngster Henri Lansbury has passed his Nottingham Forest medical test and is set to depart Emirates Stadium in a deal reportedly worth £1 million.

The England under-21 international got promoted to Arsenal first team in 2007 but managed just seven senior appearances for the club and spent a major part of the last five years on loan to various Championship clubs. He wasn’t in Arsene Wenger’s long term plans and so the club decided to cash in on him.

Earlier today, the midfielder announced through his official Twitter account that his medical has been completed and it’s only a matter of time that he’ll officially become a Forest player.

 

Vermaelen: Focus Should Be On Positives

Thomas Vermaelen has said that even though Arsenal have not scored a single goal in their opening two matches of the new season, the club’s focus should be on the positives.

The Belgian centre-half believes that instead of looking at the two 0-0 draws as two attacking failures, the critics should also take notice of the fact that Arsenal have kept two straight cleans sheets in those games.

The Daily Mail has quoted Vermaelen as saying: “There is always pressure to win a game at Arsenal because we want to win every one. But you have to look at the positives as well: our shape is really good and we haven’t conceded any goals in two games. That is not easy, especially at a place like Stoke, so we have to keep on working and in the end the results with come. I think the team will get stronger and stronger every game now.”

About the performance of the club’s summer signings, he added: “The new signings are working hard but coming to England is not easy and you have to adapt. That is especially true when your second game is away at Stoke. But I am really pleased with them, they are three good signings and they are working hard to get fitter and stronger.”

 

AC Milan Sign Arsenal Target Niang

French club Caen have confirmed that teenage striker M’Baye Niang, who was being chased by several Premiership clubs including Arsenal, has been sold to AC Milan.

The 17-year-old prodigy has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Serie A giants and is expected to be involved in the club’s senior side straight away.

It was expected that Arsene Wenger would make a move for the £5 million-rated Niang this summer, but Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski’s disappointing form may have prevented him from taking a gamble on another unproven forward.

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