Arsene Wenger has responded to criticism over some of his substitutions in the weekend draw against Aston Villa. In a drab 0-0 draw Wenger decided to take off in-form striker Olivier Giroud for defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin with just two minutes remaining. The Frenchman iterated a stance that he did not need to justify himself to journalists and that he did not want to comment on Arsenal fans chanting ‘’you don’t know what you’re doing’.
Wenger has also moved to quell fears that Jack Wilshere has suffered a significant setback in his comeback trail. The 20-year-old midfielder only recently returned after over a year out with various injuries and it was feared he may have re-injured his ankle slightly after taking a knock ahead of the game with Villa. Wenger explained that there has been some inflammation on his previously injured ankle that is likely down to remaining scar tissue from his past ailment. He believes that Wilshere will be fine to face Everton on Wednesday.
Wenger believes that the £40 million being entrusted to him in January is a sign of the faith the board has in him. It comes after what has been a difficult season so far which has seen some fans starting to doubt their veteran boss. However he hopes he can spend the money wisely in January to help The Gunners get back into the top four as soon as possible.
Olivier Giroud has admitted that it would be something of a dream come true to have the opportunity to play alongside Thierry Henry at Arsenal. The Gunners legend and record goal-scorer is being linked with a potential loan-move back to The Emirates in order to maintain his fitness during the MLS off-season. Giroud, who has been in-form himself, mentioned that it would be a ‘joy’ to feature with the striker who is currently training with the squad.
Stewart Downing is reportedly a surprise transfer target for Arsenal in January. The England winger is surplus to requirements at Anfield which has sparked interest from boyhood club Middlesbrough. Wenger missed out on the former Villa man in 2011 and now Wenger sees him not only as perfect cover on the wing but also at left-back.
Meanwhile Arsenal and Liverpool will do battle for former Birmingham City forward Mauro Zarate. The Argentine is currently unwanted by Serie A outfit Lazio and he has fond memories of his time in the Premier League. There is also interest from Stoke City, Russia and Spain for the ‘Zarate Kid’ who could be available on loan.
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