Pires has high hopes for Chamakh

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has heaped praise upon striker Marouane Chamakh, claiming that he will be a star at Emirates Stadium.

It’s a case of so far so good for the Moroccan international who has found the net on eight occasions in all competitions for the Gunners.

Former French international Pires – who is on the verge of signing for Aston Villa – said in The Mirror:

"Marouane will be a big success at Arsenal, I am sure of that.

 It’s difficult when a player arrives from a league like the French Championnat.

"It is so different to English football. It can take you by surprise.

 The most difficult thing is the speed of the game, but then there is the physical side. You have to give people time to adapt."

Pires added: "I’ve got to know him as I’ve been training with Arsenal. He has all the qualities that are needed to be a success in England.

"He has character, an excellent touch and technique and he’s already shown that he can score goals.

 He knows he has to defend at times as well as attack and he is willing to do that.

"That is why I am certain that he will be a big success at Arsenal."

During his time at Arsenal, Pires established himself as a popular figure amongst the Gunners' faithful, before ending his six-year stay in London with a move to Spanish side Villarreal in 2006.

By Elliott Binks