Home » Arsenal » Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger ready to promote Ju Young Park, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andrei Arshavin

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Both Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh will depart next month for the African Cup of Nations, leaving Arsenal short on attacking options and Wenger still pondering whether to bring Thierry Henry back on loan until the beginning of March.

Wenger will focus first on the options within his squad. He is aware that he is yet to give a real opportunity to Park or Oxlade-Chamberlain, who were signed for combined fees of about £15million during the summer.

Arshavin’s situation is becoming pressing. While most of the recent attention has been on the contract situations of Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, Arshavin’s deal also expires in 2013. With Gervinho having taken Arshavin’s place in the first team in recent months, he is now effectively playing for his future.

Wenger is interested in Mario Götze and Lukas Podolski, two of the Bundesliga’s most coveted players, but knows that Arsenal are unlikely to secure major signings next month, making Wenger tempted by the Henry loan. He intends to make a decision this week on that deal and whether he sign a left-back on loan to cover for Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs, both of whom are injured.

However, the Frenchman is mindful that some peripheral members of the squad need opportunities.

“The problem is that we have a big squad,” Wenger, whose team face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates on Tuesday, said. “To add players, we will have to see how we can balance our books. Then we lose Chamakh and Gervinho for January. Chamakh has not played too many games but he is still a security that we have.

“Park has to step up. The adaptation period for him is over now, so he has to show he has the quality to play for us. I believe he has. We also have Arshavin and Chamberlain, who is now ready to play.”

Wenger remains convinced that Park and Oxlade-Chamberlain have long-term potential. He pointed to the transition period that Laurent Koscielny needed after arriving from Lorient in the summer of 2010.

“It has been difficult because I have not given him [Park] the chance to play,” said Wenger. “It takes you time. You see a player like Koscielny last year. He was sometimes surprised by the physical demands of the game and, this year, he is dominating.”

Of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wenger said: “He will play games. He is not far. He is a talented boy. It’s all there. He just needs that toughness in the game. I could have brought him on the other night [in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa]. He is ready. He is just missing experience at the top level.”

Wenger is cautious also because he was forced to blood too many of his young players, including Oxlade-Chamberlain, in the 8-2 humiliation against Manchester United in August. “On the day, it was not a favour for anybody to come on,” he said. “The team was completely lost and it was not the best of favours I’ve done.”

Two regular first-team players who could return next month from long-term injury are Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere. Sagna began running last week and Wilshere hopes to reach that stage in his rehabilitation this week.

Wenger is also considering whether to loan out Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi to give him regular first-team football.

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