Transfers were high on the agenda when Arsene Wenger faced the press ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against Liverpool. This is what he said:
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on if the fee for John Stones has inflated the market…Well yes, we know that in England the transfers are very high because there’s an influx of money. When you go outside England, it’s very high because you’re English. So you’re not too surprised about the transfer amount because the clubs don’t need the money in England and maybe that’s why they only weaken if the price is high.
on if it’s becoming harder to find bargains…Not so much, but I think it’s harder than ever to convince people that you can buy good players at a reasonable price, and that the quality is necessarily linked with the amount of money today is in everybody’s mind. Most of the time it’s true - good players cost a lot of money - but you can still find players of top quality at a reasonable price sometimes.
on what he can say on possible Arsenal signings…Look, today my focus is not too much on that, because we play a very important game in 48 hours. Transfers will not help us now to do well in this game because we have a strong squad. We have to deal with the game on Sunday with the squad we have available. But of course we lost basically three centre backs, because we have [lost] Mertesacker and Gabriel and Koscielny, who is not ready. Most of the time, the injuries happen in the same sector. But I believe we are equipped to do well and I’m confident we can do well. Transfer-wise, as soon as we do something, we will inform you.
on Shkodran Mustafi…
No, I cannot tell you [anything].
on how many players he needs to add…I don’t count in numbers because otherwise our squad will be too big. Like many teams, if we find the top quality then we will still strengthen our squad.
on which other areas he’s looking at other than defence…There’s no other specific area that we need. It will depend on the quality we find. If we find somebody who strengthens our team in any position, who gives us a superior quality, we’ll do it.
on whether he gets tired with the inflated prices…It’s not so tiring, it’s just surprising more than tiring. We knew that would happen. It was not difficult to anticipate that. Of course it was difficult to imagine five or 10 years ago that it would go to that level, but maybe that’s the consequence of the success and popularity of the Premier League. After that you can discuss. I said the other day that the price of a player normally depends on his talent, on his expected strengthening of the team, on his age and on his resale value. After that, we are in a system where we are in competition as well and if your opponent pays £40million, then if you want the player you have to pay £45million.
on the big clubs buying big players…You focus on your squad and your quality and you try to strengthen where you can. We were not specifically [competing] with Man United on a player, so we have done what we wanted and we want to do more. We try to compete at our level with all the assets we have and we try to compete with them. We showed that last Sunday [against Man City].
More quizzes coming soon!
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