Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to help England win the World Cup after adding another homegrown talent to his first team squad.
The recent acquisition of Calum Chambers, added to that of fellow ex-Saints Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and recently loaned Carl Jenkinson takes the English contingent at the Emirates to six players, a statement of intent on the part of the boss to create a stable core of ‘local’ talent.
Namechecking the success of Spain and Germany, who fielded a majority of Barcelona and Bayern Munich players in their respective national triumphs, the boss said:
“I hope in the future we have a core of the English national team because what we have learned over the past two World Cups is that Spain won it with six players from Barcelona, this time Germany won it with six players from Bayern Munich – I hope England win it with six players from Arsenal.”
Wenger also touched specifically on Jack Wilshere’s progress admitting again that the 22-year-old faces an important season after several years of injury problems.
“It is a big season for Jack, but in the last three years, for me, this is the best shape he’s has been in. He has prepared, I think he is rid of his ankle problems and if he can maintain that I think he will have a great season – but it is a very important season for him.”
In other news, David Ospina won’t take part in this weekend’s Emirates Cup due to a thigh problem.
The Colombian goalkeeper, who signed for Arsenal last Sunday, had been penciled in for a debut against either Benfica or Monaco this weekend but hasn’t trained at all this week.
“Ospina has a little thigh problem,” confirmed Arsene Wenger this afternoon. “He won’t be available.”
“I like him, he is intelligent and quick, he has shown he can adapt.”
The thigh injury isn’t thought to be serious but it does mean Gunners supporters will have to wait a while before watching the 25-year-old in action.
Wojciech Szczesny will share Emirates Cup duties with third-choice Damien Martinez and the Pole is expected to continue between the sticks against Manchester City in the Community Shield and against Crystal Palace on 16th August.
Wenger has said already that he expects Szczesny to start the season as his number 1 but made clear that Ospina will get game time if he works hard on the training ground.
“You know at the start Szczesny will be the No 1, then again it will be down to performances and, if Ospina shows that he is better, he will play.”