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Wenger: Park patience is key

27 Dec 2011 08:46:59

Wenger: Park patience is key

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is urging fans to show patience with striker Park Ju-young.

As yet, the Gunners have seen only glimpses of what the South Korea captain is capable of, with a well-taken finish in the Carling Cup win over Bolton his only goal so far from four appearances - none of which have come in the Premier League. Wenger, though, accepts the 26-year-old has to go through a period of acclimatisation following an August move from Monaco.

"It has been difficult because I have not given him the chance to play and the intensity of the challenges - some players take short, others take long. But it takes you time," said the Arsenal boss ahead of today's meeting with Wolves.

"You see a player like [Laurent] Koscielny last year, he was still sometimes surprised by the physical demands of the game. This year, he is dominating the physical challenge, that shows it takes time."

Swiss international defender Johan Djourou could return from a minor groin problem today, while Wenger must also decide whether to rest skipper Robin van Persie who, with 34 league goals in 2011, is close to breaking the Premier League record for a calendar year.

An attacking option available to him if he does rest Van Persie is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

So far, Wenger has been conservative with the use of the teenage £10million summer signing from Southampton, who scored on his Champions League debut against Olympiacos in September.

The 18-year-old's only taste of Barclays Premier League action to date came as substitute in the 8-2 mauling at Manchester United on August 28.

While Wenger feels that introduction was "not the best of favours I have done", the Gunners boss is in no doubt Oxlade-Chamberlain can go from strength to strength in 2012 - which could even end with inclusion in the England squad for the European Championships.

"In 2012, at the beginning of the year, he will play games. He is not far," said Wenger. "Alex is a talented boy, it is all there - he just needs that toughness in the game and because every game for us is so tight."


PA

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