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Wenger on Jenkinson, Per and transfers

Arsene Wenger faced the media on Thursday and was asked about a variety of subjects, including Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker and the transfer window.

This is what he told the press:

on Bellerin’s return allowing Jenkinson to leave…It is not necessarily linked with that. Jenkinson is a possibility to go to Palace, yes, but it has not been finalised. It is basically down to him to find an agreement with them.

on whether that would affect Debuchy’s position…Not really, because recently I have played Gabriel and I am very happy with him in this position.

on Mertesacker’s contract…He has an option that we have taken. There was no negotiation, there was just an option that we took up.

on the effect of having him back before the end of the season…Look, with the number of games we have, it’s important that we have all our experienced players back. Everybody is focused on doing well - we are going into the moment of truth now, January until May. There are five months to go and ideally you want all your players with big experience back in the squad.

on the coincidence of captains being injured in recent seasons…It’s completely accidental. With Arteta, it’s true that he struggled with muscular problems, but Per was accidental.

on if we’ll be busy in the transfer window…I expect it to be a very quiet period because we have Welbeck coming back. Offensively we are very strong, we have many players who can come in and overall I don’t expect to do anything special.

on if Wenger would like Payet…I don’t need Payet because we have so many creative players. I rate Payet as a player of course, but it’s not an area where we look for players. We have many players offensively who can play in this position. You’re interested by the quality of the player but there has to be a need as well, and we have no need in this domain.

on whether it’s harder than ever to keep top players happy…Not really. Not really. In every club every problem is different. When you have a problem with one player, it doesn’t mean the whole squad isn’t happy. Sometimes it’s because of one problem. The players have everything today to be happier than 20 years or 40 years ago. They are treated very well, they have fantastic income, they can go everywhere internationally and have the freedom of movement which we didn’t have when we played. I remember the time when you signed somewhere and you were linked with that club for your whole career because you couldn’t move. Today, there’s much more freedom on that front.

on this period being ‘the moment of truth’…That’s why I say that every game is important and we just can focus on the next one. As you said, people speak always about big games but the big games are only important if you do well in what is so-called games where there is a bit less interest.