Football

Arsenal quartet set for debuts

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After a tumultuous summer that saw the departures of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, Arsene Wenger was forced to act hastily on deadline day to avoid a complete disaster.

Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta all joined the club in the final hours of the transfer window, while Park Chu-Young and Andre Santos put pen to paper in the days previous.

All five players could be in line to make their Arsenal debuts against Swansea tomorrow, with injuries and suspensions still a concern for Wenger.

Mertesacker is expected to play in the centre of defence - especially after Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out for two months - while Mikel Arteta is likely to slot into the midfield.

Benayoun, too, could feature for the Gunners in a new look line-up hoping to atone for the 8-2 demolition at the hands of Manchester United in their last outing.

Arsenal also remain hopeful that Park will gain the relevant paperwork in time to make an appearance, but it would seem as though tomorrow's encounter will come to soon for Santos, who is still lacking fitness.

Here, GMF runs the rule over Arsenal's five potential debutants...

Per Mertesacker

Age: 26 Position: Defence

Mertesacker signed from Werder Bremen for a fee reported to be in the region of £7 million, and brings a wealth of experience to the Emirates Stadium.

Capped 76 times for Germany, the centre-back stands at an imposing 6ft 6in and is built perfectly for the demands of the Barclays Premier League.

Originally expected to form a defensive partnership with Thomas Vermaelen, the German is likely to partner Laurent Koscielny against Swansea, with the former sidelined after undergoing Achilles surgery.

Mikel Arteta

Age: 29 Postion: Midfield

The Spaniard is already well versed as to the rigmaroles of English football, having excelled during a six year stay with Everton.

It was with great regret that he left Goodison Park, but the lure of Champions League football was too much to resist, so the 29-year-old forced through a £10 million move shortly before the deadline.

Although he may argue otherwise, Arteta was signed to fill the void left by the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, and can operate on either flank, but his preferred position is through the middle.

Arteta will provide Arsenal with the the creative spark they have been missing in the early days of the season.




 

Yossi Benayoun

Age: 31 Position: Midfield

Like Arteta, Benayoun possesses plenty of experience when it comes to the Barclays Premier League but, unlike his new teammate, the Israel international is a veteran of the Champions League.

The 31-year-old has performed to distinction for both Liverpool and Chelsea in the competition, and his neat footwork and passing ability will ensure he quickly adjusts himself to Arsenal's style of play.

Brought into English football by West Ham in 2005, Benayoun remains the only player to have scored hat-tricks in the FA Cup, Champions League and Barclays Premier League.

Park Chu-Young

Age: 26 Position: Forward

The South Korea captain will provide Arsene Wenger with an extra goalscoring option, while the 26-year-old also as an eye for an assist.

Although it seemed like Park was set to join Lille a week before the deadline, Arsenal made a late dash to secure his services, which led the French champions to turn their attention to Joe Cole.

The Gunners managed to secure his services on the cheap after Monaco were relegated to Ligue 2, and he could prove to be another astute signing by Wenger.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
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