By RYAN TOLMICH
Diego Milito’s return home has paid off.
After spending the last 15 years bouncing around through European soccer, Milito returned home to Racing Club this season. That move has proven to be a fruitful one, as Milito’s Racing claimed their first Argentinian first-division title in 13 years Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Godoy Cruz thanks to a Ricardo Centurion winner in the 48th minute.
With the victory, Racing finished two points ahead of traditional power River Plate, who claimed the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday.
Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:
ARSENAL CONCERNED BY OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN INJURY
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be the latest Arsenal star to face time on the sidelines.
The midfielder was removed early from Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle, as Oxlade-Chamberlain is currently dealing with inflammation of the groin. The club is already missing out on midfield regulars Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, leading manager Arsene Wenger to admit that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s health is vital for the coming weeks.
“I wanted to take him off and then he takes the ball and crosses the whole pitch and cannot run anymore,” Wenger is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “We cannot afford to lose him at the moment. He’s got a pain in his groin. I took him to Galatasaray [last Tuesday] and maybe two games was a lot for him.”
In response, Wenger has given his team a three-day Christmas break with the aim of giving his side some much needed rest ahead following a busy stretch of games.
“I’ve given the players some days off for their Christmas and we come back on Wednesday to prepare for Sunday,” he said. “Most of them will stay in England because their families are here. When you count the number of games, including the Champions League, it’s important to have a break.”
TONI FEARS FOR STATE OF ITALIAN YOUTH PLAYERS
Luca Toni has been around the block quite a few times, but his continued presence in the Italian game has left the forward concerned.
The 2006 World Cup winner has spent 20 years in the professional game, leading Toni to confess to fellow veteran Antonio Di Natale that his continued success at an advanced age is worrying for the state of Italy’s game.
“In the tunnel I spoke with Toto Di Natale and we agreed that if we’re still the ones scoring the goals, then the clubs have reason to worry,” Toni said. “We’re happy to score but strong young players must be found, and more must be invested in them.
“Today there are so many that play just twice and already think that they are footballers.”
Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forrest will be unable to sign players in January due to a transfer ban stemming from Financial Fair Play. (REPORT)
Humberto Suazo is set to return to his home country and sign with Colo Colo. (REPORT)
Croatia have been handed a stadium restriction in response to their fan’s behavior in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy. (REPORT)
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes his side is in the running for the Premier League title. (REPORT)
What do you think of Racing Club’s title victory? What do you blame for Arsenal’s injury crisis? How do you feel about the state of young players in both the Italian and world game?
Share your thoughts below.