Belfast Telegraph

Benayoun move may become permanent

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is in no doubt Yossi Benayoun can fit right in at the Emirates Stadium - and has not ruled out moving for the Israeli midfielder on a permanent basis.

The 31-year-old midfielder was one of five signings by the Gunners boss in the closing week ahead of the transfer deadline, joining on loan from Chelsea. It is something of an unusual manoeuvre from the Arsenal manager, who rarely brings players in on a temporary basis, the last being Julio Baptista from Real Madrid in 2006.

But Wenger indicated a permanent transfer could well be on the cards. He said: "It's too early to say at the moment [whether we will sign him], but I don't rule it out."

He added: "I want him to contribute as much as he can to the rest of the squad like every other player - not more, not less.

"Benayoun gives his best every time he plays and we think he can integrate well. He can play on both flanks. He can play in the middle, although I think he prefers to play on the wing.

"Overall he has shown on Tuesday night [against Borussia Dortmund] that he is completely physically fit again."

The Gunners have endured one of the most testing starts to a campaign under Wenger's tenure, which resulted in them being thrashed 8-2 at Manchester United before the international break as the weaknesses of a squad which sold captain Cesc Fabregas and playmaker Samir Nasri were exposed in brutal fashion.

However, Arsenal followed up what was a nervy first Barclays Premier League victory over Swansea with a hard-earned 1-1 away draw at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night.


From Belfast Telegraph