Walcott to Undergo Abdominal Surgery Today
Theo Walcott is set to go under the knife later today to correct the abdominal problem that will keep him out of action for the next few weeks.
The 24-year-old Gunner first complained of abdominal discomfort in the 2-1 Champions League win over Marseille last week before it became serious enough to make him sit out the 3-1 defeat of Stoke City at the weekend.
Talking about Walcott’s mysterious injury, coach Arsene Wenger said: “Theo will be out for a few weeks. He has developed some damage to his posterior abdominal wall. It’s not a hernia, but it’s a little structural problem in his abdomen.”
When asked if surgery could mean an extended spell on the sidelines for the former Southampton man, Wenger replied in the negative. “He will have the procedure in Germany on Wednesday and, because it’s so minor, we can begin his rehab immediately,” he added. “We are pleased it’s being dealt with quickly and he shouldn’t miss too many Arsenal matches. But he will miss the forthcoming international matches with England.”
AST Want More Squad Strengthening
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) have expressed their satisfaction at the way Arsenal FC conducted its business in summer but wants more of the same in the upcoming transfer windows.
For the first time after several off-seasons, the Gunners weren’t forced into selling their best players. Instead, they signed one of the world’s finest attacking talents in the form of Mesut Ozil for a club record transfer fee. The financial figures unveiled by the club yesterday show that the club is sitting on cash reserves of almost £120m, and the AST want that money to be used for further squad strengthening.
A spokesperson of the fan group told the press: “We are encouraged that since the season ended much progress has been made by Arsenal to remove the non-performing players from the wage bill. This pruning has allowed scope for more concentrated wage spend.
“Looking forward, Arsenal are in a healthy financial position, with substantial cash reserves. The AST continues to urge the club to invest the money it has to further strengthen the current first-team squad and improve the chances of winning silverware. Substantial funds are available for additional transfer and wage spend without affecting self-sustainability.”
Arsenal Confirm Semi Ajayi Deal
Arsenal FC have announced the signing of young defender Semi Ajayi on a free transfer.
The 19-year-old centre-half left his former club Charlton Athletic at the end of last season after spending a decade with them. He was offered a trial by the Gunners in the summer, at the successful completion of which, he was given a permanent deal by the club.
Ajayi broke the news of him signing for Arsenal last week, but the club has only just confirmed it via their official website.
“Everyone at Arsenal would like to welcome Semi to the Club,” the short statement on Arsenal.com read.
Squillaci Wanted to Leave Last Summer
Former Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci says he wanted to leave the North London club a year ago but the club made him stay.
The 33-year-old Frenchman, who was finally released this summer, believes lack of fitness, confidence issues and being thrown into action ahead of time, all contributed to his nightmarish spell in the Premier League.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Squillaci – who now plays for French club Bastia – said: “When I joined Arsenal in summer 2010, I just came from the World Cup in South Africa and I didn’t have any pre-season preparation. I was the number three centre defender, but (Thomas) Vermaelen got injured and I had to play. I had a good first two months, but in December it was very difficult. I was exhausted physically and I was not good.
“Training sessions when you don’t play anymore? Sometimes it was difficult indeed, but it is my job. I could not go to training sessions without any enthusiasm. Your team-mates need strong opposition. I could not give up, even if I didn’t always have a great state of mind.
“In summer 2012, the club could have made a good gesture to let me leave, but they didn’t want. A club is just like a business, human being is not the top concern. But I woke up every morning to go and play football, it was not going down the mine.”
Grenier Doesn’t Regret Lyon Stay
Arsenal FC transfer target Clement Grenier says he is content with his decision to extend his contract with his current club Olympique Lyonnais.
The 22-year-old France international was linked extensively with a summer move to North London, and coach Arsene Wenger also spoke highly of him on a few occasions. But in the end, a transfer never materialised and he eventually signed a two-year extension. Earlier this month, Lyon were knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying round by Real Sociedad, but the player still insists that he is happy with the choice he made.
In an interview with RMC Radio, Grenier said: “I don’t have any regrets about extending my contract, quite the contrary. I’m still learning. I hope that we’re going to have a good season.”