Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: Why I’ve always loved Marouane Chamakh

Arsene Wenger speaks of his admiration for Marouane Chamakh ahead of Arsenal's clash with Crystal Palace

Arsene Wenger has spoken of his admiration for Marouane Chamakh ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Morocco international moved to the Selhurst Park club in the summer of 2013 after being limited to just 11 top-flight appearances in his final two seasons with the north London side.

The 31-year-old has been a regular fixture in the Palace first-team this season and has netted one goal in 15 Premier League games so far this term.

And Wenger insisted that he is delighted to see the former Arsenal man gaining a run of games in Alan Pardew’s side.

Speaking at a news conference at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Friday morning, Wenger told reporters: “Marouane Chamakh came here as a striker and in the first six months he did very well.

“After, [Robin] van Persie came back from injury and he was a bit a substitute [and] lost confidence. I’m happy that he went to Crystal Palace and he makes a good career now.

“He’s dropped off as well, he’s not the target man any more, he’s more a midfielder or second striker. Because he’s a real team player Marouane, that position suits him very well.”

Look, I loved him always because of his team attitude and he was a hard-working type. But in the end he didn’t play and you have to give the players a chance to go somewhere and play.

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Chamakh made 40 Premier League appearances for Arsenal between 2010 and 2013, scoring eight goals for the north London club.

Arsenal head into Saturday’s clash at Palace third in the Premier League table and 14 points behind leaders Chelsea.

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