Saturday, 21 September 2013

Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger hits back at Real Madrid president Florentino ... -

Asked if Perez might have been trying to justify Ozil's departure, Wenger replied: "That was certainly part of it."

Wenger insisted the mental pressure of playing for Arsenal was no less taxing and that the physical demands were arguably even greater.

He revealed he would have preferred to ease Özil into the Premier League by starting him on the bench at Sunderland last weekend but injuries forced his hand – with spectacular results.

The same concern has also led the Arsenal manager to offer the most unlikely of olive branches to misfit striker Nicklas Bendtner, who isthe club had been desperate to offload but who he now admitted was in line to start Wednesday's League Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion.

"He will be in the squad for sure," said Wenger of the Denmark international, who once famously declared himself one of the world's best forwards but has not played for the club for more than two years.

"He lost his way a little bit, but he is not a bad boy. He is a good guy.

He took the easy way a little bit but now he realises there are some [signals] in your career when players think that is the moment for them. He has got the message. He has good self-esteem...."

One reason Bendtner stayed was because Wenger failed to sign a striker this summer.

Wayne Rooney was one target and it has been suggested he could be again in January.

Wenger said: "I will wait now until December to see what we need in the squad."

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