By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger always knew that Andrey Arshavin would be ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Champions League - but he is still frustrated that he can’t select his new signing against Roma.
The Russian playmaker joined Arsenal on transfer-deadline day in February and made his long-awaited debut in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Sunderland. Arshavin can play in the Premier League and FA Cup but he cannot help Arsenal’s European cause having represented Zenit St. Petersburg in Europe earlier this season.
Zenit were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League and that was the source of Wenger’s frustration when the topic cropped up at his pre-match press conference.
"Yes [I am frustrated]. He played in a team that is out of the competition,” said the Frenchman.
“The logic is not really obvious. If he can play in the League and FA Cup, why not be qualified in the Champions League?
"But it’s the rules and you cannot complain because we knew the rule when we bought him. We cannot complain about that.
"The logic is not obvious because he has played for a team that cannot play any more in the Champions League."Copyright 2013 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 23 Feb 2009