Traore prefers Arsenal stay
Armand Traore has told skysports.com he would prefer to stay at Arsenal this season.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 03/08/09 1:35pm
Armand Traore has told skysports.com he would prefer to stay at Arsenal rather than seal a loan to move Birmingham City.
Traore, who joined the Gunners from Monaco in 2005, spent last season on loan at Portsmouth and made 14 Premier League starts.
The gifted teenager has since returned to Emirates Stadium but has been linked with a move to St Andrews, with Blues manager Alex McLeish eager to bolster his options at left-back.
Traore has explained he has not been informed of a concrete approach from Birmingham while stating that he hopes to remain at Arsenal and fight for his place in the side.
He told skysports.com: "I haven't heard anything about that [the rumours]. I want to stay at Arsenal this season. I don't really want to go out on loan.
"But if Arsene Wenger does not want me here and thinks that I need go out on loan again, I will see. I would prefer to stay.
"Honestly, I have not heard anything (from Birmingham). At the moment, maybe Birmingham have talked to Arsenal. But nobody has come to me about it. I don't know anything about it."
He added: "I am feeling good. I am feeling more hungry and eager to learn.
"I will have to speak with Arsene Wenger, at the moment I am just concentrating and working hard to try and be the best at training so that at some point he sees that I can push for a place."
Traore also discussed the form of teenager Jack Wilshere, who shone for the Gunners over the weekend during the Emirates Cup.
Much has been made of 17-year-old Wilshere's talent, and Traore is confident the Englishman will shine for many years to come.
He said: "I think the fact that he has been training with the first team has helped him. You can see that on the pitch.
"He is a big talent and from the start people could see that he is naturally very strong and gifted with the ball.
"He definitely (has a bright future ahead of him)."
Traore went on to calm suggestions Arsenal could struggle this campaign, following the exits of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City.
Of the departures, he said: "I think you just have to get on with it. In football you cannot cry over a few people who have left.
"We have a big season coming up so we cannot stop and cry about players who leave.
"I don't think it is dangerous (to sell them to City). We have got the players here to compete."