Wenger ‘happy’ with squad but not with director’s comments

Striker could be Arsenal’s main priority if club returns to transfer market

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “We are in a strong financial situation, a healthy one, and it is down to focus on football and the quality of our players”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “We are in a strong financial situation, a healthy one, and it is down to focus on football and the quality of our players”

 

Arsene Wenger has dismissed comments by Lord Harris that Arsenal could buy virtually any player in the world.

Harris, a director at the club and founder of Carpetright, was quoted as saying the club was now in a financial position to buy all but six players, and backed Wenger to break the Gunners’ transfer record, having brought in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the past two years.

Wenger, who has so far moved to sign goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea, insists Harris’s comments were over the top, and is pleased with the players at his disposal.

“Whether his comments are helpful or not doesn’t matter,” the Frenchman said. “He’s gone a bit overboard. It’s not true. We are in a situation where we are working hard if an opportunity comes up to do something.

Strong position

“Last week we scored goals without Sanchez and [Danny] Welbeck. We are in a strong position, with a strong squad I am happy with. If the opportunity turns up, we could still do something.

“We built up something special last season – a good team dynamic and confidence level, a convincing and efficient style of play. We want to work on that and not expect too much from outside. The truth will come from inside the squad. We have to focus on the quality of our performance inside the group.

“Our opponents, if they really want, have that money to spend. So it is not something that is absolutely exceptional and money in the bank doesn’t mean profit. We lost money the last six months.

“You can be bankrupt and have £200 million in the bank. If you have £500 million to spend three weeks later, you need to find £300million. I don’t want to go too much into it.

“We are in a strong financial situation, a healthy one, and it is down to focus on football and the quality of our players, and the quality of the players we could still get in and not too much on the amount of money which looks sometimes spectacular.”

With only Sanchez and Olivier Giroud reaching double figures in terms of Barclays Premier League goals last term, a striker could be seen as the main priority for Wenger if he was to return to the transfer market.

However, he has instead called on other players in his squad to chip in with more goals – with the likes of Welbeck and Ozil needing to add more than the four apiece they managed in 2014/15.

“I think we have enough goals in the squad. What we want is some more goals from some players who are not really strikers and that was our strength traditionally.”

Double-header

He has a strong squad available, with Roma-bound Wojciech Szczesny, the injured Welbeck and rested David Ospina and Sanchez missing.

England international Welbeck is nursing a knee injury and Wenger does not think the former Manchester United forward will be fit in time to be in contention for the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign when his side host West Ham.

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