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Arsene Wenger on rotation and Abou Diaby's importance


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the players who featured on Tuesday in the League Cup should not be criticised for a below-par performance.

The Frenchman rotated his squad with the Gunners suffering a 2-1 defeat at home against Southampton but he insists that it's not easy for players who sit on the bench to deliver when called into action.

"It's difficult for the players who do not have a lot of competition to come in and be at their best.

"You're always tempted to be a bit harsh on the judgement of the players who lack a bit of continuity in the competition.

"You have more look at the young players and, on that front, I believe that players like Isaac Hayden and Hector Bellerin have shown that they have the quality to be here and I believe overall David Ospina had a good game as well."

Midfielder Abou Diaby is expected to be in the squad to feature against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and Wenger believes he can be a big asset for the Gunners this season.

"[I don't regret not buying a defensive midfielder]. Abou Diaby is a natural resource that I have because he's a top-quality player.

"If you look to find better quality players than Diaby on the market you will have big problems.

"He has not played for one and a half years and I tried to find a solution that suits him and us.

"What's happening is that he's not at his best at the moment because he needs competition.

"He has not got that change of pace and the power in his challenges that are his strengths, but if I can maintain him without any injuries he will come back and it could be a very satisfying solution for him and us."

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Abou Diaby, Arsene Wenger