By Chris Harris at London Colney
Andrey Arshavin has suffered a blip in form but he’s getting back to his best and is happy to stay at Arsenal.
That’s the view of Arsène Wenger, who spent much of his pre-match press conference fending off questions about the Russian playmaker’s future following a difficult spell for the 29-year-old.
Arshavin started the season with five goals in nine games but he has scored just twice since September and was omitted for the recent Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Manchester City.
However the Russian did start at Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday and Wenger saw enough at Elland Road to suggest that Arshavin is on the up.
“Arshavin has played many games since the start of the season but I think physically he was quite sharp at Leeds, the sharpest I have seen him for a while,” said the manager.
“He looks to me that he is coming back to a normal level. Maybe he lacks a bit of confidence because he plays less but overall I think his numbers since the start of the season are good.
“He has gone through a difficult patch in the last month but now he looks to me that he is on the way up.”
It was put to Wenger at London Colney on Friday that Arshavin might not be happy at Emirates Stadium but the Frenchman was having none of it.
“I make everything to keep him happy because I like him as a man and as a player. He looks to be happy here,” said Wenger.
“Why should I think about that [the prospect of him leaving]? He is a deep thinker, a very intelligent thinker.
“He is very happy at this club and loves London as well, I don't know why you English people [in the media] don't want people to love England.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 21 Jan 2011