Wenger: Aliadiere will stay
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jeremie Aliadiere will not be leaving Arsenal following an injury to Robin van Persie.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Jeremie Aliadiere will not be leaving Arsenal in January following an injury to Robin van Persie.
Aliadiere had been linked with a potential exit from Emirates Stadium but Wenger will not sanction the French striker's departure, as van Persie is expected to be on the sidelines for up to ten weeks with a broken metatarsal.
Arsenal's second-longest serving player had attracted interest from Middlesbrough, St Etienne and Sochaux and could have conceivably ended his injury-ravaged spell in North London.
However, Wenger is now looking for Aliadiere, and Carling Cup hero Julio Baptista, to make a significant contribution in van Persie's absence.
"I did not want to let him go anyway, and I believe it is a good opportunity for him and someone like Julio Baptista to show how good they are," said Wenger.
"I believe that he will come through with some goals until the end of the season."
One player who could be leaving North London is young midfielder Alex Song, with French club Sochaux reportedly keen on taking the Cameroon youngster on loan.
Now, Wenger has admitted he will allow Song to leave The Gunners, as he has a number of options in his engine room.
"The only one to go out could be Song because I want him to play somewhere," Wenger added.
"Diaby is back and Denilson has shown that he is ready to play so, in central midfield, we are a bit congested with Flamini, Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas and Gilberto."
Meanwhile, the Gunners boss has insisted he is not concerned with a recent slump in Theo Walcott's form - with England's youngest ever player still waiting for his first Arsenal goal.
"I think he had developed very well, but recently he had a little dip in form," he added.
"He is certainly miles better than six months ago.
"I feel at the moment he needs a goal or a shot of confidence because for me he looks a bit short of confidence right now. I think you necessarily go through that period when you are 17."