Wenger to consider move for Dacourt

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger has admitted that Olivier Dacourt could be a "short-term solution" to the problems in his midfield caused by the summer departures of Patrick Vieira and Edu.

With the January transfer window opening in six days' time, the Arsenal manager could be tempted by a move for the former Leeds United and France midfielder, who is currently with Roma in Serie A.

Wenger has been criticised for relying too heavily on the inexperienced Cesc Fabregas and Mathieu Flamini as back-up to Gilberto Silva in the centre of midfield as the Gunners have slumped to eighth in the Premiership.

The 2004 Premiership champions are now 20 points behind the leaders, Chelsea, and, going into today's fixture at Charlton, Wenger admitted that he may yet look to the 31-year-old Dacourt to strengthen his side.

He said: "Dacourt is a good player but it will only be a short-term solution."

Another potential target to fill the gap left by Vieira is the Ivory Coast international Didier Zokora, but Wenger has denied any interest in the St-Etienne 25-year-old. "I know Zakora for a long time," he said. "He comes from the same school of football as Kolo Touré and Emmaneul Eboué and we are not after him."

With his left-back position weakened by the injuries to Ashley Cole and Gaël Clichy, and with fellow defenders Touré and Eboué set to play in the African Nations' Cup next month, Wenger's defence will be severely under-strength in the next few weeks.

However, Wenger, who has roughly £15m to spend next month, refuses to be pushed into buying players for the sake of it.

"When Kolo and Eboué go to the African Nations' Cup, on 15 January approximately, I hope to have Ashley Cole back. Clichy will not be back but if we find a player then we will buy. I won't necessarily go into the transfer market in January - it would be good to find one, but not just for the sake of it."

In search of a pick-me-up, Wenger takes his team today to face a Charlton side who have lost seven of their last eight games.

Wenger, who admits his team are in something of a slump after three consecutive League defeats, believes that his side can make up the ground on everyone bar Chelsea.

"I don't know the last time I lost three games in a row in my career," he said. "By the high standards we set here at Arsenal it is a pretty bad spell, I don't deny that.

"But it is about me rolling my sleeves up with the players to turn things around and not to make too much of a fuss of it.

"It's a bit of a transition period for us because it is a team that has been changed. Dennis Bergkamp plays less, Robert Pires plays less - these players have made our team for years.

"The transition period can take three games - it is over now. I am surprised we are in eighth. But you have to look at the gap. It is very big with Chelsea but not the other teams."

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