Benayoun misses derby

By Simon Griver, April 23, 2012

Having finally established a place in Arsenal’s starting line-up, Yossi Benayoun was unavailable for tomorrow’s derby against Chelsea due to the terms of the loan deal that brought him across London in August.

The Israeli captain had mixed feelings as the London rivals competed for Champions League qualification because it is unclear whether he will be wearing red or blue next season.

Benayoun, 32 next month, was released by former Chelsea manager Andres Villas Boas but he has one year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

The midfielder has been used sparingly by Arsene Wenger this season but has started the last three games.
“I was so patient and it is now coming right for me,” said Benayoun.

Speaking before the defeat against Wigan, Wenger said: "We have to say that in the games he started he did extremely well and the team did extremely well as well. That is never a coincidence. So we have a good balance in the team with him and a good focus. And of course he has quality, Yossi."

Last updated: 12:07pm, April 23 2012