Marouane Chamakh considering Arsenal future


Marouane Chamakh admits he cannot remain a bit-part player with Arsenal "forever" and is hoping to get more chances to impress at Emirates Stadium.

The Morocco forward was a hit in his early days with the Gunners following a free transfer from Bordeaux, and scored 11 goals in his first season.

However, given the prolific form of captain Robin van Persie, the 27-year-old has now found chances limited - with just one start in the Barclays Premier League and a single strike in the 4-3 defeat at Blackburn in mid-September.

Chamakh is, along with Arsenal's Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, set to head to the African Nations Cup in January, which could see him unavailable for the best part of two months.

While the 6ft 2ins striker remains part of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger's long-term plans, Chamakh accepts sooner or later he has to get more game time.

"I am 27. I need to play. I cannot stay like this forever," Chamakh told French TV station TF1's 'Telefoot'.

"If I played more, of course I would have more confidence and score more goals."

Chamakh revealed he would have an "important decision" to make in the summer, and indicated if he were to return to France one day in his career, Bordeaux would be the preferred destination.

Arsenal have turned their campaign around, reaching the last 16 of the Champions League while seven wins out of eight have seen them climb into the top four of the Premier League following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Everton, which was settled by a stunning volley from Van Persie.

Wenger admits his back-up attacking options will be stretched during the African Nations Cup, but has ruled out bringing in any more forwards during the transfer window, preferring instead to give South Korea captain Park Ju-young and Russian Andrey Arshavin the opportunity to impress.

The Arsenal manager has also appeared to rule out a move for Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff.

Wenger told Canal+: "He is a player I like a lot and I believe people have been very critical towards him in France. However, we won't be in the winter market for any midfield positions considering that our players are back from injuries."

Arsenal are, meanwhile, currently exploring all options for next summer's pre-season campaign following the decision to postpone the Emirates Cup because of a clash of dates with the London Olympic Games.

A delegation from the club is understood to have arrived in Lagos, Nigeria as they examine several potential destinations ahead of a final decision in due course.