Wenger: Foreign market to blame for Premier League clubs overlooking Jordan Rhodes

The Arsenal manager feels that top teams in England are too tempted to seek bargains from elsewhere rather than take a chance on "forgotten" talents like the Blackburn striker
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed regret that Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes was allowed to become a "forgotten" talent that the Premier League failed to recognise.

The Gunners boss added the Rovers forward to a list of stars including Southampton's Rickie Lambert and Norwich's Grant Holt, who both enhanced their reputations by helping their respective sides gain promotion to the top flight of English football.


Wenger told the press of Rhodes: "When you look at his record it is quite impressive.

"Let's not forget that English football has also forgotten people like Rickie Lambert at Southampton, for example.

"You wonder today what kind of career this boy [Rhodes], would have had if he had gone to a big club at 18 or 19.

"Maybe the fact that we had the money to only buy foreign meant we forget a few people who could make it.

"You have Grant Holt at Norwich, like Lambert. People who, when they come up to the Premier League, have made it, have had an impact but nobody bought them. They just came up there in the Premier League with their club and showed that they had the level. Maybe there are a few missed as we do not pay too much attention to the lower leagues.

19/10 Jordan Rhodes is 19/10 with BetVictor to score anytime against Arsenal
With the two clubs meeting on Saturday in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Wenger pinpointed Rhodes as Blackburn's main threat.

"Rhodes has scored 20 goals in 25 games so he must have something special and a big intelligence in the box," the Gunners boss observed.

"He has a big level of anticipation and he is a skilful finisher. You don't see him too much outside the box in participation but when you look at his record it is impressive. He can prove [his talent], yes, but I hope not against us!

"They are still in contention for a play-off place and if you look at the names on the list, if they can get into the play-offs, they will be a major threat as they have a lot of experienced players."