Football

Wenger backs Senderos to improve

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Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos has his best years still to come, according to manager Arsene Wenger.

The Swiss centre-back spent last season on loan at AC Milan and looked to be heading to Everton after they sold Joleon Lescott to Manchester City. However, a move to Goodison Park before the transfer deadline never materialised, and Senderos is set to make his first Arsenal appearance since May 2008 against West Brom in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.

"I don't believe he is starting his career again because we know how good he is, but it is a new start, let's say," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "He is still very young for a centre-back, he's 24-years-old and he has the future in front of him. The best 10 years are now coming for him."

With Johan Djourou sidelined for the best part of the season because of a serious knee problem, the 24-year-old could soon find himself back in Wenger's first-team squad on a regular basis.

"In this job you have always to be ready and the day you get the chance you can do well," Wenger added.

"If you are not ready, everybody will say he is not good enough for the level, to play for Arsenal Football Club. Now Philippe is back with us, so we will just give him a chance."

Senderos will, along with veteran defender Mikael Silvestre, who has yet to make an appearance this season, provide experience at heart of defence. Full-back Kieran Gibbs, midfielders Fran Merida, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere are in line feature as they all stake a claim for a regular first-team place, as will pacy forward Sanchez Watt.

Wenger also indicated 19-year-old Poland keeper Wojciech Szczesny was set to make his first-team debut, given Vito Mannone has been standing in for Manuel Almunia, who was out with a virus, and Lukasz Fabianski is still recovering from a knee injury.

Wales midfielder Ramsey, 18, has already made six appearances from the bench this season, scoring in the 4-1 Barclays Premier League win over Portsmouth as well as playing in Europe.

Wenger has been impressed with Ramsey's progress since his £5million move from Cardiff during the summer of 2008, saying: "I believe he has improved a lot."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Arsenal
Portsmouth
West Bromwich Albion
Aaron Ramsey
Kieran Gibbs
Lukasz Fabianski
Football
Manchester City
Johan Djourou
Mikael Silvestre
Sanchez Watt
Premier League
Cardiff City
Manuel Almunia
Joleon Lescott
Wojciech Szczesny
Everton
Philippe Senderos
Jack Wilshere
Vito Mannone
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