Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal will be able to challenge Manchester United for the Premier League title if they make two or three signings before the close of the transfer window.
Accepting that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have started with more vigour than usual and maintaining that they are the outright favourites for the season ahead, the Frenchman stressed that he still had utmost confidence in his own young squad to be a competitive force on the domestic scene.
“They [United] have regenerated quite well compared to last year. There are still some good, experienced weapons on the bench.
“Last Monday [against Spurs] when they made the changes there was still Berbatov and Giggs coming on, Carrick and Park. I would not be surprised if all these players start against us.
“They are the favourites because they won it last year and do not look weaker. It’s up to us to make sure they do not win it.
“I try to strengthen the squad in depth because at the moment we are a bit short numbers wise. If we get two or three players in, we have the quality to challenge them.
Asked if he was worried about the clock counting down on the transfer window, Wenger, who also expressed a specific desire to sign a striker, confirmed it was an unavoidable concern:
“Am I anxious? Yes, because I want to do it [make signings]. I am confident as well because we have some good young players who can make a step up very quickly.
One player who looks unlikely to be a member of the Gunners squad in the near future is 19-year-old Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell. Although the teenager has represented his national team at both youth and full level Wenger confirmed he has yet to seal the necessary paperwork which would allow him to play in England:
“We don’t have a work permit for Joel Campbell at the moment and we’re not in the position where we know if we’ll get one.”