By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes Jay Bothroyd would thrive in the Premier League.

The Cardiff striker's career will come full circle when he returns to north London tonight for an FA Cup replay at Emirates Stadium. The 26-year-old started out at Arsenal but left under a cloud in July 2000 and had spells at six clubs before flourishing under the guidance of Cardiff manager Dave Jones.

Wenger saw Bothroyd rise through the ranks at Highbury and was impressed by his former charge's display when Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw in their Fourth Round tie at Ninian Park last month. At present, Bothroyd plies his trade in the Championship; Wenger doesn't think he would look out of place at a higher level.

"He impressed me [in the first game at Ninian Park] and I am sure he will try to impress me again," said the Arsenal manager.

"Jay is a Premier League player because he has the needed class and touch and strength. He has creativity too. He is a Premier League player and I don’t think that any coach you met would say any different."

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16 Feb 2009