Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was on the lookout for a new striker last summer, but says that the price vs quality of players available didn’t tempt him to splash out.
The Gunners only made one signing, £10m Petr Cech from Chelsea, and the Arsenal manager says one of the key tasks for any manager is maintain a competitive environment in his squad.
Speaking about the summer transfer flirtations, with a £50m bid for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema mooted in many quarters, he said, “When I looked at the market there were players you had to spend a huge amount of money on and were they better than those four players? I don’t know.
“Firstly the demand for new signings is most of the time to calm anxiety for the fans. It is reassuring to have a big name come in and, secondly, the media put you under pressure to get a new name.”
Wenger then discussed the need to have a squad where everybody feels involved to the point where it’s a benefit to the team, not the other way around.
“You need competition and competition exists if the numbers are not too short or not too big. When the number is too big, there is no competition any more and it goes against the interests of the team.
“If a player is No26 in the squad, he needs three players to die before he has a real chance to play.
“That has an impact when he comes in every morning. He is down and he takes something away from the team. When the number is too short, he thinks: ‘No matter how I am, I play.’ And that is not good as well.
“I felt we have the right number.”
So far the decision not to spend on a striker has been more or less justified with Theo Walcott making strides in that position and Olivier Giroud with 15 goals to his name this season.
So the chances of a striker signing this January are slim, but it’s fair to say our needs lie elsewhere with two central midfielders strongly linked over the last couple of days.