Frenchman dismisses talk of a spending spree next month.
Arsene Wenger has opened himself up to a fresh fans’ backlash by dropping his first major hint that he will NOT spend big in January.
Arsenal boss Wenger says he is only in the market for an “exceptional” player as he began his semi-annual game of dampening down supporters’ hopes of major buys in the transfer window.
Although Wenger has serious money to spend, he may now wait until the summer after three straight wins in the Premier League put the Gunners back into the top four for Christmas.
He said: “We are in the market, but only if we find players who will really strengthen us because we have a good squad. But if we find an exceptional player then we will take him.
“We lacked fluidity in our attacks (in the weekend’s 1-0 victory at Wigan) and continuity in our attacking play, but we won because of our will to win, and with the way things are now I won’t turn my nose up at that.”
SOURCE: Daily Mirror
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It’s common knowledge that Wenger is naturally cautious and particularly dislikes the January transfer window.
But judging by Arsenal’s inconsistent start to the season, the Frenchman needs to strengthen at least 3 or 4 positions in January if his side are to finish in the top four – the minimum requirement, surely, if the 63-year-old is to extend his 16-year stay in North London beyond next summer.
The Gunners desperately need a new centre-forward and have been linked with a host of top strikers, from David Villa to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
But Wenger’s reluctance to commit to a deal already appears to be damaging the club, with Huntelaar signing a new deal at Schalke this week and another target, Fernando Llorente, reportedly in advanced talks with Juventus.
With Abou Diaby no closer to a return, the Emirates Stadium outfit also need a holding midfielder. West Ham’s Mohamed Diame has been mentioned but, with respect, the Senegalese does not fall into the ‘exceptional’ category, which could see Wenger decide against pursuing him.
Mikel Arteta has been clinical from the penalty spot of late but the Spaniard is not at his creative best when sitting in front of the back four, so Wenger needs a traditional enforcer in January – even if he is not world-class.
A proven goalkeeper should also be on the Frenchman’s list, while a defender to cover at left-back wouldn’t go a miss, with Kieran Gibbs often unfit and Andre Santos woeful.
Wenger is right not to promise spending for the sake of spending but the tactician has money to spend and should also recognise that Arsenal’s squad, and not just their first eleven, needs strengthening.
If he fails to do so next month, the club are in very real danger of missing out on the top four, which could be disastrous – not least for Wenger.
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