By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger expects the return of Arsenal’s injured players to help the Club in their bid for a top-four place this season.

The Gunners currently have 10 first-team players ruled out but the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere are all expected to return soon.

Wenger is considering his options before the January transfer window closes but he knows that finding the right solution will not be easy - so he needs his injured stars back.

“If the players come back, we are strong enough [to make the top four]. If we do not have the players back we will struggle,” he said.

“Football is not a supermarket where you go in there and say give me a left back please, and a right back and a centre back. We have to find players better than what we have.

“You cannot buy a player every time you have an injury: where do you finish? England is bankrupt, the whole of Europe is bankrupt and everyone continues to spend like nothing happened.

“Arsenal are not bankrupt. We manage in a sensible way and that’s why we are not bankrupt.

“Everybody spends irrespective of whether they make money or not. It’s normal. But we try to spend the money we have.”

Wenger says the pressure exerted by clubs with wealthy benefactors is making it increasingly tough for the rest of the Premier League to compete.

“What is unfair is that the pressure on our wages is higher, because the other clubs - who do not look at the way they manage - pay huge wages,” he said.

“For us just to keep our players, we are pushed to the limit with our wages. That’s why the financial fair play is needed. It’s not only for the clubs to manage well, but it is the fact that the pressure they put on the smaller clubs, who have less resources, is not sustainable.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
20 Jan 2012