Arsene Wenger is convinced of the "class" of transfer target Javier Pastore, but it concerned by the PSG star's current mental state.
Speaking to television channel Bein Sport, the Arsenal manager revealed he felt the recent criticism of Pastore was making it difficult for him to perform to the best of his ability and felt that playing out wide was perhaps not ideal.
Pastore has started every game for the Ligue 1 champions this season, but the arrival of Edinson Cavani has seen him become a prime substitution candidate and his form has been sketchy since so far.
Wenger felt that the Argentina international was probably not capable of adapting his game to play wide without some help, though the Gunners tactician questioned whether playing out wide would ever get the best out of him.
"I find the crowd at the Parc des Princes quite harsh on Pastore," Wenger said (translation by of @hififidelity).
"I see him as a central player. In my opinion he has class but it's like he's playing with the handbrake on and not with freedom.
"For me, he's a little young to solve this problem alone, he needs confidence, and hasn't got the energy or the strength to go wide; he's fluid, a central player."
Arsenal were linked with a deadline day move for the 24-year-old who was once PSG's record signing when joining them from Palermo in a €40million deal, but could not get a deal agreed in time.
Wenger currently has a shortage of strikers, with Olivier Giroud the only fit senior option available and the Emirates Stadium boss' comments confirm his liking for Pastore and Wenger's belief he is best deployed through the middle would make a January move unsurprising.