Chamakh fresh again following break

Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh insists he is unfazed by the lack of first team opportunities he has enjoyed since the turn of the year.

Up until now, the Moroccan international has been leading the line for Arsene Wenger’s side having made a seemingly effortless transition into the Premier League following a summer move to the Gunners from Girondins Bordeaux.

Chamakh made a flying start to his Arsenal career with a series of impressive performances that saw him bag seven goals in his first 15 league appearances for the Emirates Stadium outfit.

However, since the end of November, the Arsenal forward has endured a barren spell and struggled to add to his current tally of 10 goals in all competitions.

His flailing performances in front of goal have not gone unnoticed, and Wenger has limited his first team outings since the 2-2 draw with Wigan at the end of December to a 68-minute appearance in the FA Cup against Leeds and a second-half substitute outing in the Carling Cup semi-final.

Speculation surfaced that the striker has fallen out of favour with Wenger due to his poor form throughout December. But Chamakh insists his omission from the team has been due an agreed rest.

"As the coach said, I played a lot earlier this season so I was a little exhausted. It's logical, I'm not worried. It allowed me to have a short break." he told L'Equipe.

"Now I feel fine and I hope to be back in the team soon.”

Arsenal have a tricky FA Cup Third Round replay against Leeds on Wednesday evening. The game presents an opportunity for both Arsenal and Chamakh to offset their recent poor form by booking a place in the next round.

By Killian Woods