Before Christmas, Marouane Chamakh was being talked about as one of the best signings of the season.
Though he may have run out of steam during the second half of the campaign, his contribution in those opening few months ensured a solid start to the Moroccan’s Arsenal career.
The striker signed from Bordeaux early in the summer and took to the Premier League like the proverbial duck to water, scoring headers against Blackpool and Bolton as well as forcing a point-saving error from Pepe Reina at Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season.
Marouane led the line tirelessly in the absence of Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner in the notoriously demanding top flight and scored ten goals in his first 17 starts - a highly creditable return given he was still getting accustomed to life in England. And all this was in addition to his unselfish, energetic front-running.
If anything, Marouane was the victim of his own success after raising expectations with a flying start to his maiden season in English football. He struggled in the New Year and Van Persie’s superb form limited his opportunities.
But expect the Moroccan to be back stronger and back among the goals in 2011/12.
"It's gone really well with the set-up here, I hardly knew anyone when I arrived but they all made me feel very welcome. It has been easy to settle in and this has allowed me to express myself and that's very important. Personally, I'm happy. I can do better but yes, I am happy."
Marouane scored a brace to give Arsenal a welcome 2-0 win away at Wolves in November. He opened the scoring with a header after just 38 seconds - Arsenal’s quickest goal of the season - and sealed the victory in injury time.
Marouane Chamakh scores against Wolverhampton Wanderers