Fit Silvestre Gunning For Start

Mikael Silvestre, Arsenal’s summer signing from Manchester United, made his debut for the Gunners in a reserve team outing last night and finally looks ready for first team action.

The French defender surprisingly swapped Old Trafford for the Emirates in August but has been struggling with injury ever since arriving in North London.

However, he finally made his first appearance in the red and white of Arsenal last night, coming through a reserve team match against Stoke City unscathed and helping his side to a 3-2 victory.

Speaking to the club’s official website after the game, Silvestre reported no ill effects and admitted it was good to be back playing again.

“I feel good,” admitted the new Gunner, “I got through the 90 minutes without any discomfort or pain and physically I felt at the same level as my team-mates so it felt good.”

Silvestre has yet to appear for the first team but revealed that his full debut may finally be close. He explained: “The boss [Arsène Wenger] asked me if I wanted to play because it was a long time since I last played competitively, back in August or July with United. Before I get back with the first team it was good for me to play and get something other than training.”

The former United man, who spent nine years as a Red Devil after signing from Inter Milan in 1999, also revealed his pleasure at his new club and was quick to praise the youngsters in the reserve side. He said: “It is not a surprise [to see how good the young players are] because most of the first team are 20, 21-year-olds so the quality is always there. I expected the same quality in the Reserves and most of them train with the first team so I knew them already.”

The French defender is also clearly enjoying life at the Emirates and was quick to praise the style of football played by Arsene Wenger’s side

“It is the way the Club is set up,” he said before concluding, “Everything is done to play good attacking football so the players enjoy it and you just have to make sure you give 100 per cent in the challenge because if you don’t get the ball you can't play the nice football.”

Gill Clark