By Richard Clarke
Sunday’s North London derby may come too early for Andrey Arshavin.
The 27-year-old new signing is currently travelling back from Russia after obtaining his visa. He is scheduled to arrive on Friday night however, with only 10 days of pre-season training under his belt with Zenit St Petersburg, Arsène Wenger was suggesting the midfielder may miss out.
“I will have reservations yes," said the manager at the pre-match press conference. "The worst thing for a player is not being ready to play in a game of that intensity, or getting injured before having kicked a ball for the team.
“I will see what kind of shape he is in tomorrow to see if he will be involved in the squad or not. We are not in a hurry with him.
“He will be available. But at the moment he is somewhere in a plane. He had to fly back to Russia to get a visa and he is coming back tonight.
“I believe he is talented, intelligent and motivated. When you have these things together, you always have a chance to make an impact. But you have to give him time as well. He is not fit at the moment because he had only 10 days preparation after a long break.”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 6 Feb 2009