Arsenal: Ramsey not fit for Swansea; Jenkinson on loan experience; Italian giants contact Cazorla
England’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia in Ljubljana brought the international break to a close, and attentions now turn to the return of the Premier League this weekend. Arsenal host Swansea City on Saturday afternoon, and the Swans have been something of a bogey team for the Gunners having won the last two encounters at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger’s side however, are in fine fettle after five consecutive league wins. They are well placed in the pack behind Manchester City and with successive home games against Swansea and Middlesbrough to come, have a chance to put the league leaders under pressure.
The Welsh outfit make the long trip to north London under the guidance of new manager Bob Bradley, and the American coach has a reputation for conservative football. Swansea are likely to copy Burnley’s ploy of sitting very deep and clogging up the middle of the pitch. If the hosts don’t get an early goal, it could prove a frustrating afternoon. Francis Coquelin and Lucas Perez are in line for returns, but according to Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph, Aaron Ramsey won’t quite make it:
“Ramsey had previously suffered pain when he tried to again push himself and it was decided that he should take a longer-term approach to his recovery – especially after missing most of pre-season following Euro 2016 – and he is unlikely to be again rushed back.
“The Champions league match against Ludogorets Razgrad next Wednesday is one possible target but the Premier League match against Middlesbrough is more likely, or then the Capital One Cup last 16 tie with Reading.”
Wenger no longer has to rush Ramsey back because Arsenal have ample numbers and quality in central midfield with Coquelin, Granit Xhaka, Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny all vying for a starting spot. Ramsey hasn’t featured since limping off on the opening weekend against Liverpool, and the grapevine has it that there has been tension between him and the club over the handling of his fitness. Wenger has usually found a place for Ramsey in his side when fit, but it will be intriguing to see where he envisages him this term.
Elsewhere, Carl Jenkinson has been talking about how his two-year loan spell at West Ham helped him grow up. The former Charlton man has just recovered from a long-term injury and with Mathieu Debuchy frozen out, he is probably the deputy to Hector Bellerin for the right back spot. Jenkinson is a popular figure among the supporters, and someone who always gives his all for the shirt. He might not be good enough in the long term, but is an outstanding athlete who gets up and down the line relentlessly:
“I like to think I’ve always been quite a mature lad but just learning how to deal in everyday life with certain situations, I think I’ve matured a lot.
“I think on the pitch I’m better at making decisions and it comes with experience.
“I’ve played a lot of football over the last couple of years for someone my age.”
Finally, Juventus have reportedly made contact with Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla over a summer move. The Spaniard is out of contract in the summer, and is still hopeful of signing a new deal at the Emirates. However, Cazorla turns 32 in December and Wenger has sometimes been reluctant hand players of that age more than a one-year extension. The likes of Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have long been viewed as the future of Arsenal’s midfield, but the continued brilliance of Cazorla has made him undroppable.
Featured image: All rights reserved by Emrah Partal
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