Wenger: More to come from Benayoun

Arsene Wenger believes Yossi Benayoun is ready to play a key part for Arsenal as they chase Champions League qualification in the vital last weeks of the season.

Arsenal's third goal...

The Israeli midfielder has made 16 league appearances for Arsenal and scored two goals in a season in which he has been hampered by injury.

Wenger, however, has seen signs the creative playmaker, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, is back to his best.

Wenger said: "He has been very patient and very professional.

"He came here with lack of competition and it took him a while to become really sharp.

"He kept working and waited for his place. We kept faith in him and put him in for big games because he is an intelligent and talented player. He has a good team attitude.

"The problem with Yossi was more physical because he is a guy who plays on his sharpness and quick movement.

"He had a big injury don't forget and it took him some time to come back. After that, when you do not play big games it takes you time to find the confidence again. Now he is there."

With Abou Diaby and Brazilian Gervinho still recovering from hamstring injuries Benayoun gives Wenger options in midfield as he attempts to keep the Gunners' fine run - one defeat in nine matches - going with victory against revitalised Wigan on Monday.

Wenger is confident Arsenal can finish in third place and is buoyant that next season the Gunners can challenge the two Manchester clubs, United and City, for the title.

The Arsenal boss has been criticised in the past for not spending but he insists the ambitions at the Emirates Stadium remain high.

He said: "What has not changed at all is our policy that we will be as ambitious as ever and spend the money we have available, if possible in an intelligent and a wise way.

"We have always spent money because we are ambitious for top-class players and if you look at the history of our last 15 years, we have always had top-class players."

Wenger believes that even if Arsenal are outbid in the transfer market by the Premier League's big-money clubs they are still capable of winning the title for a fourth time under his guidance.

Wenger said: "There are two basic trophies for me that are the sign of the quality of a team, the Premier League and the Champions League.

"The Champions League is prestigious and it is half league and half cup. The teams who win this show real quality. All the rest of the trophies are important, but they do not really reflect the deep quality of a team.

"The championship does, and we want to win it. People forget we had a terrible start (this season) because we had injuries and transfers and after seven games we had lost four.

"But our ambition is intact to win the championship. It depends on how we finish the season to decide how much we need to buy to have a chance to win the championship next season."

Full-back Kieran Gibbs and midfielder Gervinho could be available against Wigan after recovering from groin and ankle injuries respectively. Laurent Koscielny is suspended.

Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, is making slow progress from his serious ankle injury after undergoing an operation in September and Wenger hinted this weekend the England midfielder might not make it in time for Euro 2012.

Wilshere, 20, has spent the entire season on the sidelines and has yet to train with the first team. He is still confined to training by himself in the gym.

Wenger said: "I will not take any risks with him. He is making slow progress so we still have to monitor the situation a little bit at the moment.

"We are now in mid-April, the Euros start in the middle of June. Jack has not played for the whole season and anyone who knows what is required at the top level, in terms of intensity, it's getting short now."



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