Backpage Roundup: Walcott Injures Hip, Negredo Determined to Play in PL, Diaby Praises Young Gunners, Szczesny’s Apology and More

 

Walcott Injures Hip

Theo Walcott has suffered a ‘minor hip/groin injury’ and will not play any part in England’s upcoming World Cup qualifying round Group H game against Montenegro.

The Arsenal winger’s injury is not serious but he has been sent back to London as he is unlikely to recover in time for the Three Lions’ game on Tuesday.

The Arsenal forward sustained the problem in training with the national team on Thursday and will fly back on Saturday to be assessed by the Club’s medical staff,” a statement on Arsenal.com read.

 

Negredo Determined to Play in PL

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, who was once a rumoured transfer target for Arsenal FC, has expressed his admiration for the Barclays Premier League and admitted that he would like to play in England someday.

The 27-year-old striker’s current Primera Division club are currently embroiled in financial trouble and could offload their prized assets in the summer in order to make ends meet.

In addition to the Gunners, he has been on the radar of several English clubs in the past, and while things didn’t materialise back then, he says he would love to make a move now.

In an interview with Estadio Deportivo, Negredo said: “I have always said it, I have never hidden it. It [PL] is a league that I like. I do not know if it will be soon, or maybe further down the road, or tomorrow, but I will play there.

“The president (Jose Maria del Nido) received some offers, but he did not accept them. Nobody said anything directly to me, and it was not the right moment to leave. I do not know what will happen in the future. It depends on what the club wants and what it needs.”

 

Diaby Praises Gnabry and Akpom

Abou Diaby says his young Arsenal teammates Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom are extremely talented and believes that the teenage pair has the potential of achieving great things in the game.

The 17-year-old duo is rated very highly at Emirates Stadium and Diaby claims that the hype surrounding them is very justified due to their quality.

Ahead of young Gunners’ NextGen series quarter-final clash with CSKA Moscow, Diaby said: “There are some very good players in there, people like Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom. They train with us sometimes, and I have played with some of them in the reserves.

“Serge came away with us to Germany in pre-season and was really impressive. I think we have a bright future and I wish them good luck against Moscow.”

 

Swansea Captain Not Eyeing Summer Move

Rumoured Arsenal FC transfer target Ashley Williams has no intention of leaving his current club Swansea City, his agent Jamie Moralee has declared.

The 28-year-old centre-half’s impressive showings for the Swans have seen him linked with moves to several big Premier League clubs. But Moralee believes that the reported interest of big clubs in his client’s services is only paper talk at this moment and no one has actually come forward with a genuine bid.

Thisissouthwales.co.uk have quoted Williams as saying: “What I can say is that my player has got no desire to leave Swansea City Football Club. There have been stories linking Ash but his situation now is no different from his situation over the past few years. Ash has always remained a Swansea City player. He is happy there, his family are there with him and he is playing better than ever because Swansea have given him a platform.

“He has been captain for much of this season and he thrives on that responsibility. If he is drawing the attention of the big boys then that is a good thing, because it shows he is developing and Swansea are developing. But he has never knocked on the chairman’s door and said he wants to leave and he has never handed in a transfer request.”

 

Szczesny Apologises for Dad’s Criticism of Wenger

Wojciech Szczesny has apologised for his father Maciej Szczesny’s recent criticism of Arsene Wenger and accepted that the Arsenal manager’s decision to bench him is justified.

A string of poor displays resulted in Wenger replacing Szczesny with his understudy Lukasz Fabianski, who has since helped the Gunners keep two consecutive cleans sheets.

Szczesny’s benching drew a stinging criticism from his father who told a Polish newspaper that Wenger should be blamed for his son’s poor form this season. However, Szczesny junior has now moved to distance himself from his dad’s outburst.

In an interview with Przeglad Sportowy, the Poland international said: “I’m a realist. I saw what is happening in training, who is in better form. The manager told me earlier, what will happen in the next few weeks. I was ready to watch the Bayern game on TV.

“Of course, I would have preferred to play, but Lukasz was in better form and he played a very good game. This decision is made based on player’s form. The same happens with strikers; the striker who is scoring goals is playing.

“I don’t think there is a player more important than the club. If the team won two games, and I was not playing, then I have no complaints. The most important thing is that the team is winning, and the player who is in better form will play.”

“I would like to apologise for the comments made by my father which have been used by both Polish and English media. I’d like to make it clear that those were the views and opinions of my father and not mine, and although I respect his views I cannot accept them as I find them disrespectful to the club I truly love,” he added in a separate statement.

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