Arsène Wenger has confirmed that Johan Djourou will be returning from his loan spell at Birmingham in January.

The Swiss centre back has been at St Andrews since the start of the season, playing in 12 Premier League games so far. Recently Birmingham manager Alex McLeish stated his desire to keep the 20-year-old for the remainder of the campaign. 

Speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday the manager explained his rationale for recalling Djourou.

"The decision is made, he will come back," he said. "I have done that for two reasons. First of all Kolo Toure is going to the African Nations Cup. Secondly we may lose Alex Song for the same tournament. If that happens then we will be really short in that area.

"Even with Johan back we will be left with only three centre backs."

Copyright 2014 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 21 Dec 2007