Wenger: We could do with Wilshere to cover Ramsey absence

By Jack Davies 3 February 2017 107
Wenger: We could do with Wilshere to cover Ramsey absence

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal could do with the services of Jack Wilshere after revealing Aaron Ramsey will miss three weeks of action with a calf injury.

Ramsey limped out of Arsenal's Premier League defeat to Watford at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, ruling him out of Saturday's clash with leaders Chelsea, as well as the Champions League last-16 first-leg encounter with Bayern Munich.

Arsenal loaned Wilshere to Bournemouth for the 2016-17 season and, while Wenger concedes it would be nice to still have the midfielder around, he is satisfied he has plenty of options to cover for Ramsey.

"We have agreed for him to go for one year on loan and we accept that," said the Frenchman.

"Yes [we could do with him back at the moment] but I would like to reiterate that we didn't push him out – he wanted to go somewhere and play and I agreed with that.

"He wanted to go because of the level of competitive players we have in midfield. Let's not forget that at the moment we have [Granit] Xhaka suspended.

"There is a huge level of competition and I accepted to let him go. We have to deal with the consequences of that.

"Yes, we are a bit short at the moment, but I think we have young players who can do well in there.

"We have [Jeff Reine-] Adelaide, [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles, we have [Alex Oxlade-]Chamberlain who can play in there. [Mohamed] Elneny will come back after the weekend so we still have some strengths. So we should be okay in there."

Wenger added that Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck could be involved against Chelsea and he is hoping for a positive response to Tuesday's shock result.

"The most important thing is we turn up with a positive performance," he stressed. "We have shown we can beat Chelsea in the first game, so let's turn up with the same quality and show a great response.

"What is at stake here is how you respond in a united way and a very determined way. We will get there and play our game.

"Naturally we will be more on alert than we were against Watford. Overall I believe in this game we have to rebuild united strengths to go into this game and be on the edge of our concentration."

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Jack Davies