Theo Walcott continued his scintillating goalscoring form for Arsenal as the Gunners’ drew 1-1 against Everton at Goodison Park.
Walcott has now scored nine goals in his last 11 games in all competitions – and it’s no surprise that Arsenal fans were chanting for chief executive Ivan Gazidis to ‘sign him up’ after he netted the opening goal.
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellani equalised on 28 minutes with a curling low, left-footed shot inside goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s right-hand post.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will make a decision ‘shortly’ on whether to fast-track Thomas Eisfeld into the senior squad.
Eisfeld has scored seven goals in eleven starts for Arsenal Under-21′s and impressed in the recent Capital One Cup win at Reading – and Wenger believes the German is almost ready for the Premier League.
The 19-year-old is considered one of the Gunners’ brightest prospects alongside Serge Gnabry, with both players expected to be involved in the upcoming Capital One Cup clash against Bradford City.
“We were concerned that he lacked some power but in the last six months he has improved tremendously and now he is absolutely a different player when you watch him play”, said Wenger.
“When the ball goes to him, you always feel that something positive will happen.”
Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky’s history of long-term injuries has also persuaded Wenger to consider bringing the highly-rated Eisfeld into the fold earlier than expected.
Signed from German giants Borussia Dortmund for £475,000 in January 2012, talented Eisfeld initially struggled with injury before gaining the attention of Gooners across the globe during Arsenal’s pre-season tour in Asia.
Kieran Gibbs is expected to return to the Arsenal starting line-up for Saturday evening’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The left-back has been one of the Gunners’ most consistent performers this season and formed an excellent partnership with Lukas Podolski down Arsenal’s left hand side before suffering a troublesome thigh injury in late October.
Gibbs was on the bench for Arsenal’s previous two games against Tottenham and Montpellier, with skipper Thomas Vermaelen and Andre Santos having to fill in at left-back during his absence.
Importance of Gibbs
Arsenal have a lower win percentage when Gibbs hasn’t played this season, showing the importance of the 23-year-old England international to Arsene Wenger’s side.
He is also statistically ahead of Arsenal’s other left-back Andre Santos, only being beaten by a player every 99.44 minutes compared to Santos’ 28.36 minutes.
Gibbs’ increasingly impressive performances have forced Arsenal officials to assess his contract situation – which expires in the summer of 2014.
Theo Walcott, Bacary Sagna and Gibbs are all currently in discussions with the club over extending their deals at Emirates Stadium.
New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry will train with Arsenal in a bid to keep up his fitness during the MLS winter break – prompting reports that he could make another sensational return to the club in January.
The 35-year-old could be brought in as a back-up forward in January when Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh head to the Africa Cup of Nations.
During his first stint with the Gunners between 1999 and 2007, Henry became Arsenal’s leading goalscorer of all time.
It is also believed that the ex-France international could return to the north London for a third spell as a player, although any deal is dependent on New York Red Bulls’ terms and agreement.
“This year we lose Gervinho again as they are playing the Africa Cup of Nations two years in a row. So we will be confronted with a shortage – particularly if (Marouane) Chamakh should go. Then we will be short”, admitted Wenger.
Henry returned to Arsenal earlier this year for a loan two-month spell with the club, scoring two goals.
Arsenal have a tough set of fixtures in January with games against Southampton, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool providing stern tests, while FA Cup clashes and a potential Capital One Cup semi-final could make the month even harder.
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