By Nick Teale
Thomas Vermaelen knows Arsenal will miss the injured Robin van Persie but after seeing Andrey Arshavin's impressive display against Stoke, the defender believes the Gunners are well equipped to cope without the Dutchman.
Van Persie (ankle) is expected to be out for four to five months, and with Nicklas Bendtner (groin) also unavailable, a thigh injury sustained by Eduardo on Friday meant that Arshavin was thrust into the attack.
The Russian was impressive in an unfamiliar role and scored the Gunners' first goal of the 2-0 win over Stoke on Saturday.
After the match, Vermaelen acknowledged that Van Persie's injury is a blow to Arsenal but insisted that the Gunners have enough strike power to manage without the Dutchman.
"Robin is a very good striker and we'll miss him a lot," said Vermaelen. "But we have other strikers with enough quality to play there."
The Belgian highlighted the qualities that made Arshavin so effective filling in up front.
"He's quick and he scored a good goal today," said the Belgian.
"He's putting the runs in behind the defenders. We play passing football and we can put the ball in behind the defenders."