December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011
Marouane Chamakh has said he cannot remain a bit-part player with Arsenal “forever” and is hoping to get more chances to impress. The Morocco forward has faded since making a quick impact at the start of last season following a free transfer from Bordeaux, ending the campaign with 11 goals.
Given the prolific form of the captain, Robin van Persie, the 27-year-old has now found chances limited – with only one start in the Premier League and a single strike in the 4-3 defeat at Blackburn in mid-September.
Chamakh is, along with Arsenal’s Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, set to head to the African Nations Cup in January, which could see him unavailable for almost two months. While the 6ft 2in striker remains part of the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger’s long-term plans, Chamakh accepts sooner or later he has to get more opportunities in the first team.
“I am 27. I need to play. I cannot stay like this forever,” Chamakh told French TV station TF1’s Telefoot programme. “If I played more, of course I would have more confidence and score more goals.”
Chamakh said he would have an “important decision” to make in the summer, and indicated if he were to return to France one day in his career, Bordeaux would be his preferred destination.
Arsenal have turned their campaign around, reaching the last 16 of the Champions League while seven wins out of eight have propelled them into the top four of the Premier League following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Everton, which was settled by a stunning volley from Van Persie.
Wenger admits his back-up attacking options will be stretched during the Africa Cup of Nations, but has ruled out bringing in any more forwards during the transfer window, preferring instead to give the South Korea captain, Park Ju-young, and Andrey Arshavin the opportunity to impress.
The Arsenal manager has also appeared to rule out a move for the Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff.
Wenger told Canal+: “He is a player I like a lot and I believe people have been very critical towards him in France. However, we won’t be in the winter market for any midfield positions considering that our players are back from injuries.”
Arsenal are, meanwhile, currently exploring all options for next summer’s pre-season campaign following the decision to postpone the Emirates Cup because of a clash of dates with the London Olympic Games.
A delegation from the club is understood to have arrived in Lagos, Nigeria as they examine several potential alternative destinations.