Arshavin in line for Gunners debut

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Arsene Wenger could be ready to hand new signing Andrei Arshavin his debut in Sunday's north London derby at Tottenham - and declared Arsenal had "nothing to hide" over the Russian's protracted transfer.

The move to land his number one target went right to the wire, with official confirmation of the deal being pushed through ahead of the deadline not coming until almost a day after the window had closed.

"It was done in the last minute, but regularly. We have nothing to hide," the Arsenal manager declared.

Reading manager Steve Coppell has labelled the whole saga "a sham," after the matter was not, as had been expected, raised at Thursday's meeting of the Premier League board.

Wenger, though, maintains all the correct procedures had been followed and revealed Arshavin may be handed a baptism of fire against the Gunners' fierce rivals at White Hart Lane.

"We just did the deal very late in the afternoon, sent it to the Premier League and they ratified it," he said.

"Of course, we want everybody to question the deal. If the deal was not right we would have cancelled the transfer and accepted it. We have done nothing wrong.

"We were not the only one in this case. In every transfer window you have at least 10 or 15 clubs who have to wait until the next morning usually to get agreement from the Premier League. We just didn't want to announce it as long as it wasn't officially accepted."

Wenger added: "I will have reservations [about playing him], yes because the worst thing for a player is not being ready to play in a game of that intensity, or getting injured before having kicked a ball for the team.

"I will see what kind of shape he is in to see if he will be involved in the squad or not. We are not in a hurry with him."
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