Pato Could be Available in January
Corinthians will not stand in Alexandre Pato’s way if an offer from Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur arrives in January, the Brazilian club’s director Roberto de Andrade has revealed.
Pato, 24, recently claimed that Spurs made an inquiry for him in the summer transfer window, but he decided to stay put. The Gunners are also in the market for a new striker, and Pato – who has scored 16 goals in 52 matches since joining Corinthians from AC Milan earlier this year for €15million – fits the bill.
Both the North London giants only have just one top quality striker each at their disposal and are expected to add to their frontline when the transfer business resumes early next year. Their rumoured interest in Pato has received a major boost as it seems that his current employers are willing to listen to offers for him.
“Considering his value, I think it’s hard that he moves to another Brazilian club,” De Andrade said. “If those two clubs [Arsenal and Tottenham] are interested in Pato, we don’t rule out selling him in the winter transfer market.”
Gibbs and Wilshere doubtful for Dortmund trip
Arsene Wenger is sweating over the fitness of Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs ahead of Arsenal FC’s difficult away trip to Dortmund.
The Gunners are scheduled to take on Borussia Dortmund in Germany on Wednesday night but could be without the services of the aforementioned duo. Wilshere missed the club’s 2-0 defeat of Liverpool last weekend due to an ankle injury, which is still troubling him. Meanwhile, Gibbs picked up a calf problem in that game and was substituted before the full-time whistle.
Later on, the Arsenal boss admitted that he doesn’t know whether the injured duo will recover in time for the crucial Champions League fixture. He said: “Jack has an inflamed ankle. Will he be available for Wednesday? I do not know. We will have to wait until Monday to see. Gibbs has a calf problem. I don’t know exactly how bad it is.”
Gunners Need Giroud Backup – McLintock
Former Arsenal captain Frank McLintock believes it is imperative that Arsenal recruit a new striker in January to share some of the goal-scoring responsibilities.
Olivier Giroud is currently the Gunners’ only recognised and top quality centre-forward option, and McLintock feels the Frenchman would need a partner up front, if the club want to retain it’s top position in the Barclays Premier League come May.
In an interview with Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme, the 73-year-old said: “I was very disappointed that we didn’t get another centre-forward before the season started. We’ve only got Giroud and sometimes Lukas Podolski can play in that position, but he’s not as good when playing as a centre-forward – he looked quite lost and it’s the same with Theo Walcott. If Giroud gets injured for any length of time, then all the good work that has been done already could go out of the window.
“Very much so I’d like (manager) Arsene Wenger to be active in January. If we don’t get a centre-forward….We have a history at Arsenal of long-term injuries and if that happens to Giroud then unless we get someone in January…. but I think the club is well aware of that. You can’t have any weaknesses in your team (if you want to win the title) and that’s a potential weakness.”
November Crucial for Arsenal – Wenger
Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal FC’s performances in the month of November will play a major part in shaping up the club’s season.
The Gunners have started the month in fine form, beating Liverpool 2-0 at the Emirates but their next three games are against Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Southampton. The former two are away games while the Saints have the ability to hang with the big boys. Arsenal currently lead the Premier League standings and have opened up a five-point gap at the top, but Wenger says it doesn’t take long for the fortunes to take a 180 degree turn in this business, which is why he is staying grounded for now.
He said: “After the Aston Villa game [a home defeat], if I had told you that [this would happen] I would have to run away because you would have killed me. It shows you that things can change quickly but that should as well alert us that it can go the other way. We must keep good focus, continue to develop our team as there’s room for improvement. At the moment, with 10 games played, you can say 25 per cent of the season [has gone]. You see the first tendencies and trends but it’s still not settled. By the end of November you will have a clearer idea.”
Ozil Even Better than Zizou
Arsene Wenger feels Mesut Ozil is on par with the legendary Zinedine Zidane at several technical levels but is even better than the retired Frenchman when it comes to dribbling.
The Gunners boss made the bold claim in a recent interview with Telefoot. Discussing the German star’s game, he said: “Ozil has a special quality, he always takes the right decision quickly. Ozil is a bit better at dribbling than Zidane. They have a similar form of technical ease and similar humility.”
Wenger also shared a few details about Ozil’s signing in the summer. “Last summer, the first contact was in my home,” he recalled. “It was fairly quiet. He took a decision in almost 24 hours. After that, carrying out the transfer and the decision was fairly quick. I tried to get him before he moved to Real [in 2010]. It was between them and us at the time. He called me and he told me that he had chosen Real, but he told me he would have also liked to come at us. Paris were also interested last summer. And the advantage I had was that I had contacted him before he went to Real.”
This image is provided courtesy of www.lancenet.com.br