Paper Review: Andros Townsend Praised, Arsenal Set Transfer Targets

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterOctober 12, 2013

Paper Review: Andros Townsend Praised, Arsenal Set Transfer Targets

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    England came through their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro with little difficulty and a 4-1 win to leave them on the brink of qualification for the finals in Brazil in 2014.

    Saturday's newspapers applaud manager Roy Hodgson for handing Andros Townsend his full debut, with the Tottenham star turning in a man-of-the-match display and a crucial goal at Wembley.

    Arsenal are in the news with a number of players linked to the Emirates Stadium in January as the Gunners attempt to build on the success of Mesut Ozil's arrival.

    But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.

Roy Hodgson Praised for 'Brave' Move in Selecting Andros Townsend vs. Montenegro

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    England manager Hodgson emerged from the 4-1 win over Montenegro with credit from the newspapers, particularly for his decision to give Townsend his full debut.

    The gamble of selecting the Tottenham midfielder ahead of the more experienced James Milner paid off handsomely with Townsend claiming the man-of-the-match award and providing a crucial strike to make it 3-1 after the Montengerins had pulled a goal back.

    However, Hodgson admitted he almost didn't pick Townsend, as Dan King of The Sun (subscription required) reported.

    We agonised over selecting Andros Townsend, we argued back and forth.

    We had a lot of time to think about our selection. I’m quite prepared to mention that it was a subject for discussion because we had a lot of good players to choose from.

    It was not easy to leave Jack Wilshere out, or James Milner with all the good work he’s put in for us. Michael Carrick, too.

    We thought Andros Townsend’s pace against a packed defence would open doors. He really performed on the night.

    One man not to receive plaudits for his performance on the night was ITV presenter Adrian Chiles, who was the subject of criticism for a comment about Poland, England's next opponents on Tuesday, as John Drayton of the Daily Mail among others reported.

Arsene Wenger Linked with Karim Benzema and Other Transfers in January Window

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    For a man previously criticised for not spending big in the transfer market, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is going to be exceptionally busy when the window reopens in January, according to newspaper reports.

    The Gunners and Chelsea will face competition from Galatasaray for the signature of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    Jack Wilson of the same newspaper noted the strong friendship between Ozil and reported Arsenal target Sami Khedira while the pair trained together for Germany.

    Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler has placed Arsenal on a list of clubs he would leave the Bundesliga for, as Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express reported.

    Arsenal will be joined by Liverpool and Fenerbahce in the chase for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore, claims Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal are considering a move for Genoa and Croatia defender Sime Vrsaljko as a potential replacement for Bacary Sagna, who has stalled over a new deal at the club.

    Wenger has seen off the challenge of Chelsea and Everton to snap up Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Matt Macey, claims The Sun (subscription required).

    West Brom striker Saido Berahino is attracting the interest of Wenger and Arsenal, reports Jack de Menezes of The Independent.

Mesut Ozil Could Have Joined Manchester United on Transfer Deadline Day

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    Keeping with the Arsenal theme, Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail claims that Ozil could have joined Manchester United after completing his medical with the Gunners.

    Wheeler says Real Madrid were still prepared to do a deal with United, even though the midfielder had flown from Munich—where he was on international duty with Germany—to London to complete the £42.5 million move.

    According to Wheeler, United turned down an earlier mandate for Ozil with manager David Moyes looking at Daniele de Rossi, Ander Herrera and Khedira instead before signing Marouane Fellaini late on deadline day.

    Meanwhile, United have been warned not to let Adnan Januzaj slip out of their grasp by Juventus general director Giuseppe Moratta, reports Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.

    The teenager announced his presence in the Premier League with his display in the win at Sunderland last weekend and Moratta cannot believe United will risk losing Januzaj like they did with Paul Pogba to the Italian giants last year.

    If they fear another case like Pogba's then they are right.

    It's difficult to understand how we can reach a stage eight months prior to the contract expiring without seeing a renewal.

    Januzaj is a player showing big promise. He is a player of great quality.

    Pogba, meanwhile, wants to stay with Juventus despite interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, reports Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

David Silva to Stay with Manchester City Despite Reported Real Madrid Interest

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    Manchester City supporters can breathe a sigh of relief after playmaker David Silva pledged his future to the club, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.

    The Spain international, who was in his home country during the break from league action, had been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

    But Silva insists he is happy at the Etihad Stadium where his form has been excellent so far this season.

    I'm very happy in Manchester and I think this is similar to what happens every year.

    There are always rumours and, in the end, the player has to be calm. I renewed my contract because I am happy over there.

    Meanwhile, City are among a number of clubs to be linked with Saint-Etienne defender Kurt Zouma, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

    City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Inter Milan have all been credited with an interest in the France Under-20 international, claims Jones.

Bits and Pieces: Javier Mascherano, Ilkay Gundogan, Ter Stegen, Deulofeu

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    Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is hoping to be reunited with Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano in January, reports Neil McLeman of the Daily Mirror.

    Mascherano played for the former Liverpool manager at Anfield and Benitez is ready to spend £18 million to bring the Argentina international to Naples, claims the report.

    Real Madrid are planning a £25 million move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    Barcelona will sign Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the end of the season to replace Victor Valdes, who will join Monaco, reports Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.

    Gerard Deulofeu says a return to Barcelona when his season-long loan spell with Everton ends would be difficult, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    West Brom midfielder Morgan Amalfitano has no intention of leaving the club, despite reported interest from Juventus and Roma, reports the Daily Express.