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The Gunners boss believes that his young guns have learned to cope without their instrumental playmaking midfielder...

Francesc Fabregas is expected to make his long awaited return to Arsenal's first team after the international break, some three months after initially suffering an injury to his knee ligament following a clash with international team-mate Xabi Alonso during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Since then, Arsenal have gone on an impressive streak recording zero losses in domestic competition, although they have recorded a lengthy list of draws in the process.

Arsene Wenger also bolstered his midfield with the signing of Andrey Arshavin - arguably the finest player available during the winter window - and the Russian attacker has given the north London outfit fresh impetus going forward, and is not shy of taking the initiative when it comes to the more creative aspects of the game.

Wenger today told Arsenal TV Online, that the team have had to find alternative routes to goal, is pleased that they have done so, but is eager to welcome his talismanic captain back to the fold.

"I believe we will all be happy when Cesc comes back but we had to cope without him and of course, I believe it will be a big lift for everybody when he’s back. But we had to do without him," the Frenchman explained.

"When he’s there, everything goes through him but when he’s not it can take a while to adapt because the game goes through different ways – it’s plural.

"When it’s Fabregas it is more one-way traffic at the start of the build-up."

In Fabregas' absence, squad players such as Alexandre Song and Abou Diaby have had to deputise, partnering Denilson in central midfield.

Alan Dawson, Goal.com

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