Jeremie Aliadiere might have ended up playing against - not for - Arsenal at Middlesbrough this weekend.

Arsène Wenger had reluctantly agreed to let the 23-year-old striker leave in the transfer window and Gareth Southgate showed an interest in bringing him to the Riverside.

However the Arsenal manager decided to keep Aliadiere for the remainder of the season when one of his other strikers broke a bone in his foot.

"It was an option we considered and he considered," said Wenger. "But the injury to Robin van Persie killed that possibility."

7/2 - Middlesbrough v Arsenal: Thierry Henry to score the first goal

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2 Feb 2007