herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Arsenal won't panic and buy stupid – Wenger

PLAYING IT SAFE: Arsene Wenger
PLAYING IT SAFE: Arsene Wenger

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger is determined not to make any "stupid" last-minute signings just for the sake of it as the closure of the transfer window draws near.

Wenger has seen his squad depleted by injury to key men Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and now Germany forward Lukas Podolski, who looks set for up to three months out with a torn hamstring suffered in the midweek Champions League play-off win over Fenerbahce.

Although the return of midfielder Mathieu Flamini, signed on a free transfer from AC Milan, has boosted options ahead of tomorrow's showdown with north London rivals Tottenham, Wenger insists he will only bring in further additions he believes can bring something to the squad and not just to make up the numbers.

"We work very hard on that (transfers), (but) if we cannot, we will not do anything stupid just for the sake of saying that we have done something," said Wenger, whose only other confirmed summer signing has been France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo, also on a free transfer.

"We do what makes sense or not, that is simple. We will not panic buy, that is for sure. You can believe me. It is not in my strengths to panic," said Wenger, who expects both midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey to be available against a Tottenham squad further boosted by the signing of Romania defender Vlad Chiriches from Steaua Bucharest.

Despite all of the headlines surrounding the lack of signings at Arsenal and on how many players Spurs have managed to bring in ahead of the expected departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Wenger stressed full focus must be on producing a positive performance at the Emirates Stadium once again after his side lost their opening Premier League game at home to Aston Villa.

"I can understand that it is very interesting for people to read the newspapers and see who goes in and out, but there is only one thing that matters if you really love football – and that is what happens on the pitch," said Wenger.

"We have a way to play, good players and let's focus on that."

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