Wenger laments striker troubles

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Arsene Wenger has admitted that Jeremie Aliadiere will be out for around a month after damaging knee ligaments on Saturday.

The French forward has shown glimpses of why Wenger has so much faith in his ability, but his progress has been halted by a knee injury picked up against Middlesbrough.

The youngster slipped on the Highbury turf and his knee twisted under the pressure, prompting Arsenal to withdraw him from action.

Scans have revealed damage to the medial ligament which will in all probability keep him out for a month.

"He has injured his medial knee ligament and will be out for three to four weeks," said a downbeat Wenger.

The news could not have come at a worse time for Wenger, as Aliadiere joins Sylvain Wiltord, Dennis Bergkamp and Kanu on the sidelines.

"We have lost a player where we can't afford to lose anyone," added Wenger. "Bergkamp and Wiltord are out while Kanu will be going to the African Nations Cup so this is a blow to us."

Wenger has decisions to make whether or not to raid the transfer market or attempt to recall Francis Jeffers from his loan spell at Everton.

Jeffers is reportedly attracting admiring glances from Portsmouth, but he could emerge as an option for Wenger if he decides not to raid the market.

"You could see why I do not want to buy," Wenger said of the win over Boro. "We have good young players at this club and at some stage you have got to give them a chance.

"I am glad I did give Jeremie Aliadiere a chance today because he showed he has talent and he can play.

"I hope we will recover Sylvain Wiltord and Dennis Bergkamp in the next 10 days. But there is money there."