Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted of a major change in his transfer market strategy by saying that he might use his entire transfer kitty on a few world class players instead of just buying talented youngsters like he usually does.
While he rubbished media reports that he has already wrapped up the signing of German international Lukas Podolski from FC Koln, he did admit that he will be loosening up his purse strings in the next transfer window if any high-quality players become available in the market.
Wenger said: “Quantity-wise we will not do a lot. Quality-wise certainly, and we will take a gamble if we find top, top quality of course. The number of the squad is 25. We have many players out on loan and we have not had Jack Wilshere or Abou Diaby for the whole season.
“These players will be back and that means number and quality wise we are strong because we are now in the position we are in without these players.”
Not for the first time, the Frenchman seemed reluctant to divulge too much information about the much talked about Podolski deal. He simply said: “Nothing is done. It could happen soon, it could happen later, I don’t know. Last year was terrible for us because we finished on the 31st August at 11.55pm and we do not want to repeat that.”
He then talked in detail about former Gunner Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest last weekend while representing his current club Bolton Wanderers in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur. The Congo-born defensive midfielder was on Arsenal’s books for five years, although he managed only two League Cup appearances for them during this time.
In spite of being clinically dead for 78 minutes, Muamba has made incredible recovery in the past few days and surprised many who had feared the worst. But Wenger says that the 23-year-old’s incredible determination and fighting spirit is something he was already aware of.
The Arsenal boss explained: “Over the years we have stayed in touch with Fabrice. Against us, he was always very keen to prove that we made a mistake in letting him go. He was always outstanding against us and I hope he will do that again soon. Hopefully one day we will have the joy to see him on the football pitch again.
“It was obvious he was a fighter. Technically he was behind when he arrived here. But when you looked at him, you would think ‘oh, there is something to work on here’ and that was his huge determination and desire.
“I let him go for two reasons. The first one is that he had big players in front of him and it was very difficult to take them out and put Fabrice in at the time. And the second reason is that he is so highly motivated that I felt he was ready to play and needed to play. There always comes a moment in the career of a player that you play him now or you let him go. I let him go for his benefit. He understood that very well.”