Saturday 18 November 2017

Wenger has no sympathy for Liverpool over loss of top players

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can offer little sympathy for Liverpool having to deal with the loss from their squad of Luis Suarez and then Raheem Sterling as he looks to get his own team firing again tonight against Brendan Rodgers's new-look team.

Sterling moved to Manchester City this summer in acrimonious circumstances which followed the transfer of Suarez to Barcelona last year.

Wenger accepts losing key men inevitably leaves a massive hole in the squad, something he has experienced over the years with the exit of talismanic players like Cesc Fabregas, the Frenchman has enough concerns of his own preparing to tackle Liverpool, a team which has won both of their matches so far.

"Liverpool is in a position they can make their own decisions. They refused to sell us Suarez, so I cannot feel too much sympathy for them," said Wenger, who saw the club's £40millon+£1 bid rejected in August 2013, the Uruguay forward eventually joining Barcelona a year later.

Wenger continued: "Let's remember two years ago with Suarez, (Daniel) Sturridge and Sterling, Liverpool scored over a hundred goals, you need special quality to do that, and Sterling was part of that.

"I personally rate Raheem Sterling. We will see that in the longer term."

Wenger believes Arsenal have learnt from their shortcomings in their opening defeat against West Ham and will not be vulnerable to the potent aerial threat of new Liverpool striker Christian Benteke.

"We played a (FA) Cup final against Benteke (for Aston Villa) and we managed to deal with it," said Wenger.

Wenger accepts Arsenal cannot afford too many more poor displays at the Emirates Stadium if they want to mount a serious title challenge. "If you want to win the championship you need to win your home games," he said.

"Overall you need home strength."

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