Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: ‘I’m not scared to spend money’ ahead of January transfer window
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he will not spend for the sake of it but vowed to delve into the January transfer market if the right player is available.
The Frenchman has kept a close eye on expenditure at Arsenal, particularly following the move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium, but now finances are in a good place he is prepared to buy - as long as the deal is right.
Wenger, whose side play Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, said: “I’ve said that many times, without any doubt: if we find the right player we will do (a deal).
“There’s a huge difference between the perception that people have of me: I’m not scared to spend money.
“It was periods where we had not the money. What I don’t like is to spend the money I haven’t got.
“What I fought against is to spend money that would put the future of the club in danger.
“Now I have money. No problem at all.”
Wenger has faced criticism this season after familiar defensive concerns resurfaced, with many believing he should have strengthened in defence and defensive midfield last summer.
The Frenchman maintains Arsenal’s back line is improving and knows the importance of a strong rearguard at the business end of the season.
“We are getting better,” he added.
“We have to show that in the final part of the season. Without defensive solidity you have no future.”
The Gunners boss, who has been in charge for 18 years, was jeered by a small group of Arsenal supporters following the loss at Stoke.
Asked if that was his lowest point in charge, Wenger said: “The lowest you feel is when you lose games. I felt very low because we lost a game we should not lose and the way we conceded was very disappointing. I can put it in perspective.”
Wenger has been pleased with the response of his Arsenal side since the defeat, beating Galatasaray 4-1 and Newcastle 4-0.
“We got a lot of criticism and I think we responded well, because we scored eight goals in the next two games,” Wenger added.
“It shows two things: first that the group is healthy, because it can respond to disappointment and has good unity.
“The second thing is that we have learned from that; I hope and am confident that we have learned from that.
“Even in the game against Stoke, when you look at the game again, we were poor defensively, but going forward we were not disastrous.
“We finished with 10 men when we were down 3-2. We could’ve come back and won it. We had a bad start, but the response was positive.”
Liverpool scored four times in the opening 20 minutes the last time Arsenal visited Anfield, eventually prevailing 5-1.
There have been numerous changes since, not least in personnel, with Luis Suarez leaving Liverpool for Barcelona, who sold Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal.
Sanchez has scored 14 times in his first 24 Gunners appearances, hitting the ground running to provoke comparisons with Thierry Henry, perhaps only because the former Arsenal forward announced his retirement this week.
“He has a way to go and a few goals as well,” Wenger said.
“(There are) similarities, but Thierry has shown that in a consistent way.
“I’m confident that Sanchez can do it, but I do not have that in my mind.
“What I want is just that he plays well collectively with the team. We have a special way to play and he has to integrate that.
“He has less of the stature (of Henry) to play centrally. But even centrally he can be an interesting option when the physical part doesn’t work. He is more mobile.
“When I played football I was at the back (in defence). I was at ease with a tall guy, but I didn’t like playing a smaller guy who was very mobile, turns very quickly. Sometimes he can be a different solution.”
English Premier League results & fixtures
Hull City 0 Swansea City 1
Queens Park Rangers 3 West Bromwich Albion 2
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Burnley 1
West Ham United 2 Leicester City 0
Sunday (in UAE time)
Stoke City v Chelsea, midnight
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Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM