Arsène Wenger believes Lassana Diarra's move to Portmsouth was prompted by a bit of "panic"

With the European Championships on the horizon, a perceived lack of games led to the midfielder seeking pastures new. It was a problem the 22-year-old had encountered before.

"I believe he was impatient especially because he had known a situation like that before at Chelsea," said Wenger. "When he had exactly the same problem again, he panicked a little bit."  

Having battled for the Frenchman's signature just a few months ago, Wenger expressed regret at the departure. However with an abundance of talent in the middle, the boss has no doubt the gap can be filled.

"I regret that he has gone and I wish him well," said Wenger. "I believe he has enough quality to play at the top level, that means for a big club.

"He was impatient and I decided to open the door because I have players in that position."

"But you always regret to lose a very good player."

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18 Jan 2008