herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Wenger urges Arsenal fans to trust his judgment

Arsene Wenger has called on Arsenal fans to continue to trust his judgment as he looks to strengthen the squad this summer.

Wenger accepts one or two additions are needed to ensure the Gunners -- who lost key men like Robin van Persie and captain Cesc Fàbregas to injury this season -- can last the distance in the next campaign, and is keen to get any business done sooner rather than later.

Arsenal are expected to confirm the arrival of Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer once the Morocco striker's contract with Bordeaux expires ahead of the World Cup. While Wenger has a sizeable budget for new additions -- still having not spent the majority of last summer's income from the £37m sales of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to Manchester City -- the Arsenal boss called for supporters to be patient as the Gunners are linked with a string of names. "They have to trust us. Historically we have done well on the transfer market," said Wenger, who takes his side to Blackburn this afternoon.

"Last summer we bought Thomas Vermaelen, nobody knew about him and now he is in the team of the year, so they just have to keep faith in what we do.

"As always we will try to be intelligent, sensible and take care of this club in the right way."

Wenger also reiterated his determination not to break up the squad, with Fabregas continually linked with a move to Spain.

"One or two will go out, which happens every year, but the first target is to keep the squad together," he said.

"This team has a future. I believe the players want to have a future together and that is why it is my job to keep them together." Arsenal are set to finish third after seeing their title and European challenges fade after successive away defeats at Barcelona, Tottenham and Wigan.

Wenger added: "You are never happy when you do not win the championship, but I believe it was a massive handicap to have so many players out going into the final sprint. But still for us it is not good enough because we want to win the champion-ship."

Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin has an outside chance of returning from a calf problem at Ewood Park and Wenger is expecting a "interesting" encounter against Sam Allardyce's men.

"Blackburn have played good football this season so it promises to be an interesting and exciting game because they will go for the win as they have nothing to lose anymore," he said.

BLACKBURN v ARSENAL, LIVE ESPN (KO 5.0)

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