Jeremie Aliadiere's two goals against West Brom were a gentle prod in the ribs for Arsène Wenger.

The Arsenal manager has an immense amount of striking talent at his disposal but the ability of the striker he brought over from France at just 16-year-old should not be overlooked.

It is incredible to think Aliadiere is the second longest serving player in Arsenal's first-team squad after Freddie Ljungberg. The 23-year-old was the Club's oldest outfield player at The Hawthorns but, at the same time, it was only his eighth start. The bulk of his career has come in 22 appearances as a substitute. Despite this, his brace against the Baggies brought his overall Arsenal tally to seven. His goals-per-minute ratio must be impresssive even though his minutes-per-season statistic is not. Injuries have been unkind, loan spells sometimes fruitless but Aliadiere remains committed to forging a career at Emirates Stadium.

"Of course," he replied immediately when asked if he saw his future at the Club. "I love Arsenal. [Otherwise] I would not have stayed at the Club all this time. There were times when I could have gone but I always wanted to be here.

"It is just a matter of training everyday, doing my best and, when I get the chance like this, just showing the boss I am ready to play.

"It is the first game I have started with the first team this season so obviously I wanted to do well. But for the team it is a cup and obviously we wanted to go through to the next round. The most important thing, though, was to win."

Aliadiere laughed when he was labelled the 'old man' of the side but perhaps it tells a story of unlucky injuries at unfortunate times.

"Yeah I have grown up," he said. "I have been here for eight years now and other younger players have come in. But I am happy at the Club and I want to stay and do my best.

"Sometimes before when I was in the team I got injuries and then after I went out on loan and it did not work out really good for me.

"But now everytime I go on the pitch I want to do my best. Anytime I have got the chance I will try to show the boss that I am ready to play. After that it is up to him."

17/2 - Alexander Hleb opens the scoring against Everton

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
25 Oct 2006