Search

Arsenal’s ‘forgotten man’ set for Premier League debut against Tottenham

12:20 13 March 2014

Kim Kallstrom, Arsenal

Kim Kallstrom, Arsenal

EMPICS Sport

Arsenal go into Sunday’s north London derby without Jack Wilshere – but the midfielder’s injury opens the door for the Gunners to unleash their secret weapon.

Kim Kallstrom has been largely forgotten since the bizarre circumstances of his arrival at the Emirates just before the close of the January transfer window.

The Swedish international was signed on loan from Lyon despite the sudden discovery that he had sustained a back injury and would be unable to play until mid-March.

It seemed highly illogical to bring him in as cover for the likes of Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey – but now, with the England midfielder sidelined again and Mesut Ozil nursing a hamstring strain, it could yet prove to be a masterstroke.

Kallstrom is likely to be pitched in at the deep end for his Gunners debut at White Hart Lane, while Ramsey – out since the end of December with a thigh injury – may also make his comeback.

This is the beginning of a crunch period for Arsenal, with the back-to-back derbies at Tottenham and Chelsea immediately followed by home matches against Swansea and Manchester City in the space of four days.

Their advance to the FA Cup semi-final means they must reschedule another Premier League fixture, at home to West Ham – so it is likely that an extra option in midfield will be vital.

Manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he does not expect Wilshere, who sustained a hairline fracture in his foot while on international duty against Denmark last week, to take the field again until May.

That leaves the door wide open for the experienced Kallstrom to do the job he was signed to do, and Sunday’s clash with Spurs seems as good a time as any.

The return of Ramsey – undoubtedly the star of the first half of the Gunners’ season – is also timely, particularly as one or two of his midfield colleagues appear to have gone off the boil in recent games.

Wenger will be hoping that the Welshman can again galvanise his team-mates to recapture their form of the autumn, when as a unit they frequently looked unstoppable.

That is a habit Arsenal need to rediscover now as they head into a series of games that may determine whether they are still chasing the league title by the time Wilshere returns to action.

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 15:51
Emmanuel Adebayor

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has Emmanuel Adebayor available for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Burnley as Spurs look to carry the momentum of the midweek thrashing of Newcastle.

Thu, 23:46
Hendon striker Leon Smith (right)

Hendon manager Gary McCann is hopeful that the club’s ‘pay what you want’ game against Wingate & Finchley on December 27 will attract local football fans down to Earlsmead.

Nabil Bentaleb (right) celebrates his first goal for Tottenham in Wednesday's 4-0 victory over Newcastle in the Capital One Cup quarter-final. Pic: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Nabil Bentaleb achieved another landmark at Tottenham this week, scoring his first goal for the club a year after his debut - and the Algeria international believes Spurs can finish in the top four this season.

Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen is pleased to have some consistency at the heart of the Tottenham defence, and he feels he is developing a strong partnership with Federico Fazio.

Most read sport

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition