No panic from Wenger

Arsene Wenger will hold his nerve in the transfer market despite Arsenal's injury-hit squad and a daunting European draw.

Last Updated: 30/08/13 at 12:09 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: Confident of new arrivals before deadline

Arsene Wenger: Confident of new arrivals before deadline

Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal will not "panic buy" as they look to strengthen a depleted squad in the closing days of the transfer window.

With Germany forward Lukas Podolski, set for up to three months out because of a hamstring injury, joining England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mikel Arteta on the sidelines, Wenger has seen his options further reduced, despite Mathieu Flamini rejoining the club yesterday.

Arsenal, who failed in bids for Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye earlier this summer, but did complete a free transfer of France Under-21 forward Yaya Sanogo, continue to be linked with the likes of Karim Benzema, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria at Real Madrid, along with St Etienne defensive midfielder Joshua Guilavogui among others.

Wenger, though, insisted as he prepared his side for Sunday's north London derby against Tottenham, who have spent big this summer, that he was not about to embark upon a mad rush for any last-minute additions.

"We will not panic buy, that is for sure. You can believe me. It is not in my strengths to panic," said Wenger, who expects both midfielders Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey to be available this weekend.

"You need good players in every position, and especially you need an attitude and way to play the game. The players here know the way we want to play and that is important.

"If we can add players who can integrate with that style of play we will do it.

"We work very hard on that, if we cannot we will not do anything stupid just for the sake of saying that we have done something.

"We do what makes sense or not, that is simple."

France international Flamini, 29, left the Emirates Stadium in 2008 to join AC Milan when his contract expired, but was released by the Italian side and on Thursday was confirmed as Arsenal's second signing having trained at the club earlier this month.

Wenger admitted once his injury crisis deepened, the prospect of bringing Flamini back looked more appealing.

"At the start I didn't want to sign him I am completely honest about it," he said.

"I didn't envisage doing it. Circumstances and his attitude convinced me to do it.

"I didn't expect him to be in that mental state and in that physical shape.

"Our job has a great quality, it is a good teacher of humility, so you always have to be ready to change your mind, and he changed my mind."

Wenger, however, conceded the loss of Podolski was a major blow, the forward, who scored twice in the win at Fulham last weekend, limped out of the Champions League play-off win over Fenerbahce.

"[It's a] Grade Three hamstring [injury]. That means it's eight to 10 weeks. It can be more - to be fully match fit, you can count three months," the Arsenal boss said.

Arsenal's comfortable 5-0 aggregate win over the Turkish side saw them through to the group stages for the 16th succesive campaign, where they will face 2013 runners-up Dortmund, Marseille and Napoli.

Wenger said: "It is difficult, but exciting as well because it is a group of a very good level.

"We played Dortmund two years ago. We did well against them and Napoli has done well last year. Marseille we played two years ago as well.

"It is a similar group to what we knew two years ago, every game will be of a huge importance because it could be down to a point or goal difference in the end."

Wenger, however, stressed full focus must be on producing a positive performance at the Emirates Stadium once again, having lost the opening Barclays Premier League game to Aston Villa.

"What is important for us is to get on a winning run. We have now [won the last three games we have played] so it is important we continue that," said Wenger, who will have centre-back Laurent Koscielny available again following his one-match suspension after a red card against Villa.

"It is a good opportunity for us to show our strengths against Tottenham because they have as well strengthened well their team.

"I am confident that we will have a very good performance."


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