Adebayor returns to Arsenal squad

13/01/2007
Adebayor returns to Arsenal squad

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has recovered from a thigh injury and is available for Saturday's Premier League game at Blackburn Rovers.

Manager Arsene Wenger said the Togo captain, who has been out for two weeks, was likely to start on the bench as he juggled with his squad following two emphatic victories in two successive cup ties at Liverpool. 

"I have five strikers available and I can only play two, or maybe only one," said Wenger. "It's good for me, I think."

 

Arsenal won 3-1 at Liverpool in the FA Cup last Saturday before recording a 6-3 rout at Anfield three days later in the quarterfinals of the League Cup.

 

Wenger confirmed he was still without injured defenders William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue plus midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.

 

Ljungberg, who has been linked with a move to West Ham, has a hamstring injury but Wenger stressed the Swedish international would not be allowed to leave and expects him to see out the rest of his two-year contract.

 

"He is an important part of my squad and will continue to be important," said Wenger.

 

Arsenal have scored 13 goals in winning their last three games. The Londoners also thrashed Blackburn 6-2 when the teams met at the Emirates Stadium last month.

 

"They have improved a lot since then," said Wenger. "We were flattered by that score. This will be more difficult."

 

Blackburn are seeking a fourth successive league win which would be a record under manager Mark Hughes.

 

Meanwhile, Arsenal will allow experienced Cameroon full-back Lauren to leave if he finds a new club during the January transfer window.

 

Lauren is fit again after a year out with a knee injury and Wenger admitted he was unlikely to be able to force his way back into the Gunners' first team.

 

"The problem is that since Lauren got injured I have Justin Hoyte who got promoted, I have Emmanuel Eboue who got promoted and I have Johan Djourou who can play in there too.

 

"It's always the same. You make room for young players and then it is difficult to leave them out again. I feel we have too many players in that position now."

 

Wenger added: "Lauren is free to talk to anyone because it is the end of his contract but frankly I don't know if he has spoken to anybody. He doesn't have to inform me if he wants to speak to anyone."

 

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