By Richard Clarke

The quality of any new signing is more important than their Champions League eligibility, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Arsenal manager is optimistic about adding to his squad in January. However, one of the main problems of buying in the mid-season break is that most of your potential targets will be cup-tied in Europe’s top competition.

Ideally, Wenger wants any acquisition available in all competitions but it is not a deal-breaker.

“I would like to think longer term,” said the Frenchman. “If the right player comes in, even if he is not available for the Champions League, his class is more important for me.”

Top class at that. Speaking after the win over Plymouth, he re-iterated once more that all of his targets must be significantly better than the young talent he already has at his disposal.

“That’s a problem,” he said. “At the moment I feel that if we do add somebody, we need to add somebody who has a special class because we have good players.

“[For example] take a player like Ramsey. They show that they grow. Of course they still show lapses, a lack of experience, but they have quality and they can grow quickly.”

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5 Jan 2009