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Wenger Opens Up On Transfers: “New Signings Unlikely Before Emirates Cup”
Arsene Wenger has opened up for the first time this summer about his ambitions in the transfer market and it’s a good news/bad news situation. The good news is the boss has admitted he wants to bring new signings in; the bad news is it looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer before we see them.
We’ve been linked with a whole host of top names in recent weeks, none more so than Luis Suarez, and it was in response to a question regarding his interest in the Uruguayan that Wenger admitted he’s ready to do quick deals, but reminded everyone it doesn’t only depend on him and warned that any new signing is unlikely before next weekends Emirates Cup.
Clearly, this is not ideal. The season kicks off in three weeks and if nobody is signed by next weekend, we’ll be down to two weeks. The earlier we can get new players in the more time they’ll have to adapt and get used to their new surroundings, so we’re playing a dangerous game in leaving it late again. Fingers crossed once we get the first signing done, the rest will quickly follow.
For those of you who were on Twitter late last night, you would probably have seen a quote going around where Wenger said we’d still be title challengers with or without new additions. Understandably there was a huge backlash to this comment with many taking it as an early hint to expect little activity before the window closes.
However, I think it’s clear the boss has ambitious plans this summer (he’s bid £40 for a player!) and we’re just going to have to be patient. Big money deals don’t happen overnight. Here’s what Wenger told the Mirror.
“We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us, but we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup (next weekend).
“We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season.”
Wenger was also asked for his response to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ comment when he said Suarez would be making a mistake joining Arsenal as we’re not a bigger club than Liverpool. In true Arsene style he deflected the question back to his counterpart but reiterated that he’s not close to signing the striker and hinted that talks have been difficult while they’ve been away on pre-season tour in the Far East. He continued:
“He [Rodgers] must explain that. I don’t know. We are not close to signing Suarez or anybody else so there’s no reason why I should talk about it.
“There is nothing to say. I have been away now for two or the weeks and it’s hard to see how things are advanced because everyone is on tour at the moment and it’s very difficult to get in touch with people.
The boss also claimed that increased competition from wealthy clubs in France (he didn’t name any names but we know he was talking about PSG and Monaco) has name life more difficult when it comes to buying players, and once again says he’s looking for ‘talent’ not a ‘name’.
Many Gooners, myself included, feel the club desperately needs another defender and a defensive midfielder but we may be left disappointed on that front as Wenger hinted that he may not strengthen those two positions; saying that there’s already a lot of competition in midfield and that Bacary Sagna has settled in very well at centre-back.
“I believe that every club competes on a very high level. What has changed recently is that in Europe some countries like France suddenly have bought some very very talented players who two or three years ago would all have come to England. It makes the chase for talent very difficult.
“What we want is not as name but as good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.
“We try to do the job and we will try to do it well. But that is in front of us. We have worked a lot but nothing has been concluded with anybody.
“Of course we want to do as many top players as we can. But we also have to focus on the players we have and develop them. We have plenty of candidates in midfield now and there is a big fight there. Bacary Sagna settles in well at centre-back with Thomas Vermaelen out.” Wenger told the Mirror.
Hmmm. If we don’t sign a ‘proper’ defensive midfielder this summer, I think we can forget about challenging for the title. It was a major weakness in our team last season. Sure, Mikel Arteta was excellent when we had the ball, but when without it, particularly when we were hit on the counter attack, the defence was left badly exposed. We need a powerful midfield terrier who can protect the back four, and a utility defender who can play in a variety of positions wouldn’t go a miss either.
The clock is ticking Arsene, let’s hope you know what you’re doing….
What do you make of Wenger’s comments? Do you think he’ll end up spending big or will we be left disappointed once again?