Wenger welcomes Gibbs return

Wenger reported no fresh fitness worries following Sunday’s

thrilling 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round win over Aston Villa at Emirates

Stadium, where they had trailed 2-0 at half-time.

Right-back Bacary Sagna came on for the closing stages for a

first appearance since breaking his ankle against Tottenham in

October, and the imminent return of England international left-back

Gibbs after three months out following groin surgery will be

another timely boost, with Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos both

still on the recovery trail.

Switzerland international Johan Djourou has also shrugged off a

calf problem picked up in the defeat against Manchester United, so

will bolster a defence which is slowly starting to have balance

again following a period where four centre-halves were deployed

across the backline.

“He had a normal training session yesterday,” Wenger said.

“Kieran is still short to play now, but it is good news to have him


“I think one or two more weeks practice will get him back to

being available again, that is very positive.”

Wenger, however, urged caution with expecting too much too soon

from France international Sagna.

He said: “Sagna is a bit early still [to say for tomorrow], but

you never know.

“I might consider it because I have to check all the recoveries

of the players who played on Sunday.”

Wenger admits his players will have to dig deep to find the

energy to go again at Bolton having producing a rousing second-half

performance against Villa to book their place in the last 16.

“It was a very demanding game physically,” he said. “Now it is

important that we recover and prepare well for tomorrow night.”

Wenger has so far not made any major moves on transfer deadline

day, although reports suggest Arsenal have signed 19-year-old

attacking midfielder Thomas Eisfeld from Borussia Dortmund in a

£600,000 deal.

Andrey Arshavin is said to have been offered the chance to

return to Russia with big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala. The

30-year-old, signed from Zenit St Petersburg in January 2009, still

has 18 months on his current contract left to run.

One confirmed deal is the loan of Japanese midfielder Ryo

Miyaichi to Bolton until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old had a successful spell with Feyenoord last

season, and returned to make two Carling Cup appearances for the


Under Premier League rules, Miyaichi will not be eligible to

play against his parent club at the Reebok Stadium tomorrow.

Wenger wanted Miyaichi to stay in the Premier League to continue

his acclimatisation.

Speaking after Sunday’s game with Villa, Wenger said: “[Alex]

Oxlade-Chamberlain plays on the flanks now too, so if I can find an

opportunity for him to play somewhere I will decide whether to do


“It will have to be in England because he will lose the

homegrown [status] if he leaves the country.”