From the Back Pages, September 14: Michael Laudrup surprised by Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge’s return to fitness

From the back pages
From the back pages

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup said he was “surprised” that Daniel Sturridge is fit enough to play for Liverpool on Monday despite being ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine. (The Telegraph)

Samuel Eto’o has something of a reputation. He is one of those players — and there are a few — who can be a bit, well, truculent. A little stand-offish when cast into the searing glare of the spotlight. You hear scare stories: interviews where subjects are declared off-limits, where he arrives late, offers one-word answers, and departs in a cloud of adjutants and aides. (The Times)

Showtime has arrived at last for Gareth Bale. After a summer of almost interminable haggling, the 24-year-old will make his debut as a Real Madrid player when then Spanish aristocrats travel to Villarreal on Saturday night. (The Guardian)

Christian Benteke is now the best player in the Premier League says team-mate Gabriel ­Agbonlahor. (The Mirror)

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he still has to add a number of quality players to his squad if Liverpool are to make a serious challenge for the top four. (Daily Mail)

MAROUANE FELLAINI has conveyed his desire to become a Manchester United legend at his first press conference today. (The Express)

Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal debut has been plunged into doubt after both he and defender Per Mertesacker failed to take part in training today, with the latter not traveling to Sunderland ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture. (The Independent)