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Wenger reveals left leaning

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will dip into the loan market to source a new left-back after Thomas Vermaelen’s calf injury on Saturday.

The Belgian defender had been deputising on the left side of defence with regular options Andre Santos (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (groin) on the sidelines.

But Vermaelen left the field after 54 minutes in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over QPR in the English Premier League with his calf problem and Wenger said it would be ‘stupid’ if he did not look for a short-term fix.

“We lost Vermaelen for two or three weeks, so I have to look if I can find somebody (but) only a loan,” Wenger said.

“It (Vermaelen’s injury) is serious enough for him not to play on Monday against Fulham or against Leeds (on January 9).”

“We now have three left-backs out. Francis Coquelin came on in this position and did quite well, but he is a central midfielder. It would be stupid for us to drop points because we don’t have a left-back.”

Arsenal’s win came thanks to a Robin van Persie strike on the hour mark, with the Dutchman wrapping up a sensational 2011 with his 50th goal in all competitions and his 35th in the Premier League.

The Gunners moved up to fourth with the win, a remarkable achievement for a side who lost four of their first seven matches of the season, including a 8-2 humiliation at Manchester United.

“We were 17th after five games, now we’re fourth after 19,” Wenger said.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for the players who have come in, been under a lot of pressure and gelled well together. We keep going and try to become stronger.”

QPR boss Neil Warnock pointed the finger at the Arsenal captain after the match, insisting he was not happy with his tactics.

“He gets away with murder does van Persie,” Warnock said.

“I wish we had him. His arms are everywhere. He gets away with it because he’s van Persie but we need to educate our players a little bit more because he gets away with it.”

Warnock’s side slipped to 17th after the defeat and he feels QPR need several new signings to strengthen in the January transfer window.

“We’ve learned quickly but we need some new additions and we’re working on that,” he said.

“I’m hoping to get one in for Monday and then three or four before the end of the window – hopefully before our next game at Newcastle.”

Sat 31 December, 2011
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