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Wenger regrets ´forgotten´ boy Rhodes

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is sorry that Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes was allowed to become the Premier League’s ‘forgotten’ talent.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is sorry that Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes was allowed to become the Premier League’s ‘forgotten’ talent.

The Gunners boss added the Rovers forward to a list of stars including Southampton’s Rickie Lambert and Norwich’s Grant Holt, who both enhanced their reputations by helping their respective sides gain promotion to the top flight of English football.

“When you look at his record it is quite impressive,” Wenger said of Rhodes.

“Let’s not forget that English football has also forgotten people like Rickie Lambert at Southampton, for example.

“You wonder today what kind of career this boy (Rhodes), would have had if he had gone to a big club at 18 or 19.

“Maybe the fact that we had the money to only buy foreign meant we forget a few people who could make it.

“You have Grant Holt at Norwich, like Lambert. People who, when they come up to the Premier League, have made it, have had an impact but nobody bought them. They just came up there in the Premier League with their club and showed that they had the level. Maybe there are a few missed as we do not pay too much attention to the lower leagues.”

With the two clubs meeting on Saturday in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Wenger pinpointed Rhodes as Blackburn’s main threat.

“Rhodes has scored 20 goals in 25 games so he must have something special and a big intelligence in the box,” the Gunners boss said.

“He has a big level of anticipation and he is a skilful finisher. You don’t see him too much outside the box in participation but when you look at his record it is impressive. He can prove (his talent), yes, but I hope not against us.

“They are still in contention for a playoff place and if you look at the names on the list, if they can get into the playoffs, they will be a major threat as they have a lot of experienced players.”

Sat 16 February, 2013
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