Wenger: Arshavin has Arsenal future

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Football News

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Andrey Arshavin still has a part to play in the first-team, despite his uncertain role at the Emirates Stadium, reports talkSPORT.

The Russian forward made a brief cameo as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 Premier League victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, and is set to start in Tuesday's Capital One Cup clash against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

Arshavin's future in north London had been shrouded in doubt during the summer, with speculation suggesting he would return home after falling out of favour due to an unprofessional attitude.

However, in a recent interview with Arsenal TV, the Gunners boss defended the 31-year-old, adding that he can still have a strong impact this season.

"[Arshavin's attitude] has been questioned and I don't tolerate it," said Wenger. "He comes in every day and practices well, he's focussed and wants to do well. I insist on that because it was questioned and was completely unjustified.

"It was a short but efficient appearance [against QPR]. Andrey is a classy player and he will play tomorrow night.

"Of course, the competition is open for everyone and Andrey is classy. He has a fantastic attitude and is a top professional and when he came on you could see his brightness and intelligence on the ball, it's fantastic."

The French coach admitted that the Capital One Cup is way down on the club's list of priorities when compared to the Premier League and the Champions League, but insisted that Arsenal will still look to go as far in the competition as possible.

Victory over the Royals tonight will make it ten consecutive League Cup quarter-final appearances - proof of the strength and depth of Wenger's young squad, and that the Gunners really do take it seriously.

"It doesn't mean that you neglect them, just because you have other priorities," he explained. "It doesn't mean they are not important.

"What we try to do is to fight as hard as we can in all five [competitions] for as long as we can, and if you have to make a choice [between them] you make it as late as possible.

"Of course [we are proud of the achievement], because we have always played with young sides and it shows we have been highly focussed on it every time."

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Andrey Arshavin
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