herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Chamakh going great Guns but says more to come

Marouane Chamakh maintains there is still more to come after an impressive opening to the season for the new Arsenal striker.

With Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott out because of their ankle problems, and Nicklas Bendtner also not yet recovered from a groin injury, Chamakh will again lead the line at Sunderland this afternoon.

The Morocco striker, a free transfer from Bordeaux during the summer, has surprised manager Arsene Wenger with just how quickly he has settled into life at the Emirates.

Chamakh's goal against Braga in the Champions League was his third from five appearances. The 26-year-old believes it is a solid foundation on which to build.

"I still have plenty of room for improvement, but I think I have something to offer to the team. Things are going just fine at the moment," Chamakh said. "I have settled in quickly and things couldn't have gone much better from that point of view.

"I gave myself six months or maybe even a year to settle down here and I am ahead of schedule in that respect.

"I am delighted with how it is going, although training has been very tough for me. I don't think I have ever worked as hard as this physically, but here I am experiencing everything I had envisaged about Arsenal and the English league.

"The atmosphere in the stadiums, the open and attacking football and the standard of the team are just amazing.

"I am getting involved in the games and am scoring too. I just want to do my bit in each game and to help the team win."

Bendtner has yet to feature this season as he continues to try to overcome a niggling groin problem which has hampered him since the World Cup. However, the 22-year-old Denmark striker has rubbished reports he could be forced to quit.

"I have been worried during the injury spell, but there has never been mentioned that it could stop my career," he said.

"I can't understand where this rumour comes from. It's nasty and quite shocking."

While a date has not been set for his return, Bendtner remains positive for the season ahead.

"I am looking forward now and there is a lot to look forward to," he said.

SUNDERLAND v ARSENAL,

LIVE TONIGHT, ESPN (KO 5.30)

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