By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has finally revealed exactly why he wants to sign Andrei Arshavin.

The Arsenal manager has remained as tight-lipped as possible during his pursuit of the 27-year-old midfielder from Zenit St Petersburg. That has been difficult as the issue has pretty much dominated every press conference during January.

However the dénouement is now close. The transfer window slams shut on Monday. Arsenal’s interest in Arshavin is now common knowledge but only on Friday did Wenger discuss why he was going for the Russian.

``He's a guy who can go past people in the final third,” said the manager. “He can have the key, individually and collectively.

“He is an experienced player, 27, a good age and we are a very young side. We will not have Fabregas in the next six to eight weeks, we will not have Walcott in the next five weeks, Rosicky in the next eight weeks.

“You can see with the replay of the FA Cup we have the desire to do well in every competition and one more body could help us.”

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 30 Jan 2009