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Napoli forward makes a winter return to Arsenal’s radar

| 07.12.2015

A 3-1 victory over Sunderland proved to be particularly sweet for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, with many title rivals failing to claim three points.

The Gunners had gone on a wobbly patch prior to Saturday’s victory, suffering defeat to West Brom in-between draws with Norwich and Tottenham which left the London side fourth in the Premier League.

Arsenal were 11/4 on Friday to win the Premier League this term, but are now 19/10 following a handy set of results this weekend.

With Manchester City losing at Stoke, and Manchester United held by West Ham, Wenger’s men are back up to second behind surprise leaders Leicester, and what’s more, they’re up there with a threadbare squad.

The win over Sam Allardyce’s side saw Wenger forced to name a bench with Theo Walcott – himself just back from injury – as the only attacking option on it.

Santi Cazorla’s knee injury at Carrow Road looks set to keep the Spaniard out until March, and with Alexis Sanchez also out for up to a month, Wenger’s creative options have been hindered.

The Frenchman pursued Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne over the summer having initially been keen on the Italian in 2014 before a cruciate knee ligament injury last November.

However the 24-year-old made a successful recovery and has been in sublime form for the Naples club this term, netting seven times in addition to five assists in Serie A.

Insigne has often played on the flanks of a forward front three for Napoli, but the papers suggest Wenger is confident the Italy international would have little problem fitting into his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

The player is valued at £14m by transfermarkt.com, but the likelyhood is Wenger will need to pay much more than that, especially so should the Arsenal boss desire a January swoop.

Gli Azzurri are currently third in Serie A’s most open campaign for years, sitting just two points off the lead  and they’re unlikely to let such a prize asset go without a financial fight.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.