Read on for quotes from Arsene Wenger as he discusses his approach to the transfer market in the final weeks of the window:
on if Sunday shows Arsenal need a centre back…It was important before the game already. You do not sign players because you think it is important or not. I believe it is very difficult to identify people and find them. We have many examples in England of teams that spend a huge amount of money looking for central defenders. That is why everyone is in the market for the same players and very few players as well.
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on Mustafi…I believe it is better I don’t speak about any individual player. We are working very hard. You are absolutely convinced that I don’t want to spend the money, but I would like to reassure you that we are ready to spend the money we have. As always, not the money we haven’t got [because] it is not my money.
on if fans will be happy to hear that…Buying calms the fans down, but it is important to spend but even more important to spend it the right way.
on whether English clubs are being priced out with transfers…You could say that today in Europe you have two markets. One for the English clubs and one for the rest of Europe. The danger of the English situation at the moment is that the English clubs can suffocate themselves in the long term. Why? Because they buy players at a very high price. That means there are very high wages linked with it and if they are wrong, they will have these players with high wages who cannot move anywhere else. You start the first period now of English clubs having to pay massive wages. Even when the players go out, they have to pay their wages. In the long term, that will mean that the financial advantage the English clubs have will drop because they will be on their wage list. They pay for 10 or 12 players who have gone somewhere else because the clubs they go to cannot pay their wages.
on transfer market setbacks…If you look at the whole transfer market, very little happens on the whole. It is about the availability of players. There is a huge amount of money for average players - there are plenty available. But to find the players that will strengthen your squad is much more difficult.
on Lacazette…We do not talk about individual players. I told you already what the are the criteria for the price of a player but you could add one more: the identity of the buyer. When the buyer is English, it is true that it multiplies the transfer by two or three or sometimes by 10 because if for the same player an English club does not come in, he is worth five million. But if an English club comes he is worth 35 or 40 or 50.
on whether it’s more difficult to attract players…No. We have plenty of players who want to join us and I would say that even with the players who left, 99.5 per cent of the players have asked to come back even when they left. [Thierry] is one of them. It’s not so difficult to attract players.
on paying over the odds…Look, first of all you always have to be convinced by the quality of the player. Before you pay over the odds you have to be convinced that the player is good enough to strengthen your squad and you then have to make the decision as to how much you pay over the odds. That is not a problem but you must then have the money available to pay because we’ve already invested, people forget that, at a very high price and we will do it again.
on identifying a target to pay over the odds for…Look, we work very hard and I cannot tell you much more. What I fight against is to think that the only way in football to deal with is to buy. It is right when you need the players and you identify the players and we are not scared to spend money, but to buy in itself is not a quality but to buy the good players is a quality and I think this club has been built on that. We had great success in the last 20 years in improving our structures and the main thing is based on a transfer policy. From that we have built a club. I know that everybody questions that at the moment because we haven’t done as much as people wish but we are out there and I believe I have made 400 transfers in my life approximately and I know that every transfer has a ritual. You are not the only one to decide.
More quizzes coming soon!
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