By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger sympathises with the plight of Johan Djourou and believes he will have a significant role to play as one of Arsenal's four centre backs this season.

The Swiss defender has been bedevilled by bad luck in the past year or so, missing virtually the whole of last term after knee surgery before suffering another injury at the start of the current campaign.

Djourou has a chance to relaunch his Arsenal career when Wenger takes a young squad to White Hart Lane for tonight's Carling Cup tie with Tottenham. And the manager still thinks the 23-year-old can establish himself in the heart of Arsenal's defence.

"He is in the squad," Wenger told "The competition is very hard for him but I have a lot of understanding for Johan because he was out for a year and you do not come straight back [to your best] in a month.

"You need four centre backs for a season. I believe personally that we have four good centre backs, not only good but very good centre backs.

"Johan was a midfielder and that’s why he likes to come out and play with the ball but he is as well tall, strong in the air and quick. He has all the assets to become a very good centre back."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
21 Sep 2010