By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger believes Denilson can replace Alex Song "without a problem" during January.
The Cameroon international has made the midfield holding role his personal property during the past 12 months so a month-long spell at the African Cup of Nations leaves a sizeable hole.
However Wenger believes Denilson's calm versatility can fill the breach. He argues that the quiet quality of the Brazilian has been overlooked by many observers.
"Alex Song has been very consistent but we always knew before the season that he would be missing during January," said the Frenchman.
"We have players who can play in the same position. Denilson is an all-rounder. He can play this role and come in for Song without a problem. People don't notice how important he is for us, he can play in every single position in midfield.
"He has 150 games in the Premier League and is very strong in reading the game and winning the ball back. Although Song and Denilson can play together, they have similar qualities."