Backpage Roundup: Wenger Sees Future Arsenal Captain in Wilshere, Frimpong Leaves for Fulham, Djourou Open to Permanent Exit, Pires Still a Believer and More

Wenger Regards Wilshere as Future Arsenal Captain

Arsene Wenger believes that Jack Wilshere has all the ingredients to become a future Arsenal captain but says now is not the time to give him the full-time role.

The 21-year-old midfielder was handed the captain’s armband by Thomas Vermaelen in the Gunners’ recent 5-1 mauling of West Ham when the Belgian had to go off due to an injury.

While the Arsenal boss didn’t object to that temporary leadership change and regards Wilshere as captaincy material, he thinks that too much responsibility at this level could hinder the youngster’s development.

Wenger said: “Honestly, Vermaelen made that choice (against West Ham) and I let him make it. It is always interesting to see when Vermaelen is out who he feels spontaneously should be the captain. I did not want to stop him. Wilshere is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. He wants to win and shows you that.

“Of course he will be one of the leaders of this club – in fact he already is. A leader is somebody who does everything on the pitch to help his team to win. And he does that. If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen? No. But I think Jack will be captain of this club one day. It is important that the player gets to the stage where he develops first completely into an accomplished football player and then takes responsibility to take care of other people.”

 

Frimpong Loaned to Fulham

Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has been loaned to Fulham for the remainder of the 2012/13 season.

The news of the 21-year-old’s temporary switch was first broken through the Cottagers’ official account on Twitter and it was soon ratified by the player himself, who tweeted: “Fulham here I come.”

Through this loan move, Frimpong will try to resurrect his football career that has stagnated a bit in the past few years due to injuries and fitness problems.

 

Djourou Wouldn’t Mind Permanent Arsenal Exit

Johan Djourou has admitted that he might try and turn his temporary loan transfer to Hannover 96 into a permanent one at the end of the season.

The Swiss centre-half left Arsenal for the Bundesliga club earlier this month in search of regular football and he has now hinted that he will be willing to stay with Hannover beyond this season if a chance to do so arises.

Arsenal did not want to include a buy option. But those things don’t worry me right now. I have to perform first, to make sure Hannover want to buy me. As a team we have the quality to reach the Champions League. Everything has to work out great and we all have to stay fit. It is a high goal, but you need to have them in sport,” said Djourou.

 

Pires Still Believes in Wenger

Arsenal legend Robert Pires still firmly believes that Arsene Wenger is the right man to bring back the glory days to his former club.

The Gunners used to be regular winners of silverware during their Invincibles era but haven’t won a single trophy in the last seven and a half years. While a large contingent of Arsenal fans seem to have lost their faith in their French manager’s abilities to turn things around, his former pupil hasn’t.

Pires, who hasn’t played any football since leaving Aston Villa in 2011, recently said: “For me, I always believe in Wenger. Everyone knows the task is to qualify for the Champions League again next season. The team has been too inconsistent this season to do much more. Against Manchester City recently it was very difficult and against Swansea a few days later Arsenal were better but there have been too many games where they are up and down.”

He then urged the Gooners to give striker Olivier Giroud some time to settle and not term him as a failure already.

The people need to give Olivier time. I know he is a good player. It is very difficult to adapt from French football and everyone needs time, even Thierry [Henry] did in the first half of his first season at the club. I would tell supporters to relax, Olivier will score goals,” he said.

 

Sagna Hoping to Win Before Leaving

Bacary Sagna has admitted that a move away from Arsenal at some stage is inevitable but he wants to win some titles with the Londoners before that phase of his career arrives.

The 29-year-old Frenchman is trying to extend his current Arsenal deal, which is set to expire in the summer of 2014. But with clubs such as Inter Milan and PSG interested in his services, it is unclear how long the Gunners can hold on to him.

The player himself knows that his affiliation with Arsenal cannot go on for ever and a time might come when he would have to pack his bags for pastures new. However, he is hoping that by the day of his eventual exit, he would have won some titles with the club.

Sagna said: “Honestly, I’m under contract with Arsenal and I give everything so long as I am under contract with my club. Before leaving, because I will leave here one day, I would like to win something with my club. I don’t want to answer yes or no now because in football you never know what will happen.”

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