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Wenger Expects To Add To Arsenal Squad

posted 23 Aug 2013, 07:38 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Aug 2013, 07:38 ]

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal need to sign new players

 LONDON COLNEY, ENGLAND, UK (AUGUST 23, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said on Friday (August 23) that he expects to add to his squad before the end of the transfer window.

Arsenal lost their opening match of the Premier League season 3-1 at home toAston Villa last week and the Frenchman has come under increasing criticism from sections of the Emirates crowd for not making any major signings this summer.

A 3-0 away win at Fenerbahce in the first-leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday will have pleased Wenger, but he admitted at a press conference on Friday that he needs to add to his squad before the transfer window closes on September 2.

"I'm very very happy with the squad we have and I think when I tell you that it's about the quality of the players I have, with the number at the moment we are short. Therefore I would be a bit worried that number wise we are not strong enough to cope with all the targets a club like that has. We will not go into the new season with only the number of players we have," he said.

Victory in Turkey puts Arsenal in a strong position to reach the lucrative group stage of the Champions League for the 16th successive season, something Wenger acknowledges is vital in their bid to lure top players to the club.

"I can guarantee you every player who wants to join us first question is 'do you play in the Champions League or not?' it's as simple as that. The players who want to come and go somewhere or not is decided on that. That's today the first requirement of top level players," he said.

Echoing recent comments from other managers such as Newcastle United's Alan Pardew and Jose Mourinho of Chelsea about the timing of the transfer window, Wenger said he felt it should close before the season starts.

"Ideally we'd rather have the squad in place at the start of the season and I'm a big fan to cancel the transfer window after the start of the season anyway. Once the season has started you should be capable to focus on the quality of your play and have everybody with the same players for the whole season, it makes sense," he said.

Arsenal next face Fulham in a tricky London derby on Saturday and Wenger is hoping that the result in Istanbul will help his team.

"We're disappointed after Saturday but I said it was under special circumstances and result did not reflect the game but it was important to respond quickly for certainly the most important game of pre-season and of the start of the season, and we did that well," he said.

"Every year they have a good team Fulham, and on top of that it's a derby. For us it's always a very very committed game. As you said they've bought well, they've bought good players, so they might even be stronger than last year," he said.