Arsene Wenger has stressed that all is well in the Arsenal camp following comments Denilson made about captain Cesc Fabregas.
The midfielder said on Brazilian television that “Fabregas is the captain but he is not a leader.”
The 22-year-old later claimed that he was misquoted and that he meant no slight against his friend and teammate: “Fabregas is a great friend. When I said the team had no leadership, it was to point out that Arsenal have a very young squad and sometimes lack a more experienced person, as it had for many years with Gilberto Silva for example.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was quick to play down any tension in the dressing room and show his confidence in Arsenal’s young skipper: “Cesc is an outstanding leader, particularly when you consider he is only 22 years old.
“I don’t think that (criticism) was the spirit of Denilson’s comments. They (Denilson and Fabregas) are two very good friends with a lot of respect for each other.”
Arsene Wenger is pleased with the progress his side have made and the hunger they have shown in recent weeks.
Speaking after his side’s 3-1 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup third round replay, Wenger said: “The team goes from strength to strength and we have shown again tonight we are hungry.”
The Gunners boss will be relieved to have made it through to the fourth round of the cup but is confident that his side can get passed Huddersfield when they host the League One side at the Emirates on January 30: “This gives us a good opportunity to play at home against Huddersfield – of course we will be favourite and I think we had that in mind tonight.”
Gunners want Samba.
Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba is Arsene Wenger’s top transfer target, according to Mirror Football.
Wenger is in desperate need of a centre-back as he is without Thomas Vermaelen for at least six weeks and Sebastien Squillaci is also unavailable with an injury, leaving the Frenchman with just Laurent Koscielny and Johan Djourou as his only fit centre-halves.
The Gunners manager initially targeted Bolton Wanderers’ Gary Cahill but was unwilling to meet the Trotters’ £20million asking price for the England international.
Arsenal have been linked with West Ham United’s Matthew Upson and Bordeaux’s Mikel Ciani but Wenger is looking to sign a player with Premier League experience on a long-term deal and it has been reported that Samba is his first-choice.
The Londoners are expected to table a bid in the region of £6m but it is expected that Rovers will be looking for something closer to £10m before they will let the Congo international leave Ewood Park.