Arsenal FC
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Saturday, January 20, 2007
WENGER: LAUREN HAD TO GO

Arsene Wenger believes Lauren's departure has helped protect young Arsenal full-backs Emmanuel Eboue and Justin Hoyte.



Lauren has just returned to fitness after a long spell on the sidelines but Wenger felt it would have been wrong for him to go straight back into the Gunners side.

Wenger accepts his decision to let 30-year-old Lauren join Portsmouth was something of a 'paradox' given the Arsenal squad's lack of experience.

However, Eboue and Hoyte have both emerged over the past year and Wenger is eager for them to continue their development.

"I lost a fantastic player. I would like to pay tribute to him because he was amazing for the club," said Wenger.

"Lauren was not only a player with quality and experience, but also a fantastic guy who was mentally very strong.

"But he was out for nine months. Eboue and Hoyte played.

"Do I stop their development and play Lauren? Or do I let him go somewhere else? I had to make that kind of decision.

"If I played him I would have to lose either Hoyte or Eboue, which I did not want to do."

 

posted by Labanon @ 6:53 AM  
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