By Chris Harris
Andrey Arshavin needs another "10 days" before he can withstand the rigours of the English game, according to Arsène Wenger.
The Russian playmaker has started two Premier League games since arriving from Zenit St. Petersburg on transfer-deadline day, playing for 63 minutes against Sunderland before completing his first 90 minutes in an Arsenal shirt on Saturday.
Arshavin showed glimpses of his undoubted talent in both matches but was visibly flagging in the latter stages of the Fulham game. Wenger expects him to be 'match fit' by the time Arsenal face Blackburn on Saturday week.
"I believe that physically it will take him 10 more days," the Frenchman told Arsenal TV Online. "He says he felt much better than in the first game.
"You could see that he is not completely there but I am convinced he will have a tremendous influence on the game."
While Arshavin acclimatises to the pace of the Premier League, the rest of the Arsenal squad is adapting to the Russian's style of play. The quick-thinking Russian makes his national side tick and Wenger accepts that it will take time before Arshavin and his new team-mates are on the same wavelength.
"We work on that to adjust our combinational level together," said the manager. "That is as well down to intelligence.
"Arshavin has a quick brain and he is many steps ahead of the game and even on Saturday he gave two great chances to Robin; one header and one that Robin tried to finish with his right foot - two great passes.
“He had two great chances himself too. When you can have that kind of impact on a game it is very positive."Copyright 2015 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 3 Mar 2009