Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger had his say on the transfer of FC Barcelona winger Pedro to Chelsea FC.
The Frenchman also gave his take on the new offside rule introduced in the Premier League, which has received much flak following Christian Benteke’s goal against Bournemouth. The 65-year-old also commented on the future of Arsenal FC forward Joel Campbell.
Arsenal FC host Liverpool FC on Monday night in a high profile clash as both sides look to gain a psychological advantage in the race for a top 4 finish. While Liverpool FC have won both their games, Arsenal FC lost at home to West Ham in their opening fixture, but recovered to win against Crystal Palace.
I thought he was landing at Manchester – Wenger on Pedro
Wenger revealed his shock at Pedro signing for Chelsea FC ahead of Manchester United, suggesting that he had expected the Spaniard to land in Manchester and not London. Speaking in the pre-match press conference, as quoted by the club’s official website, Wenger said:
“It was a surprise to me because I thought he was landing at Manchester but he finally landed in London. The story was out for such a long time that I thought he was going to go to Manchester, but then suddenly in 24 hours [he joined Chelsea]. Wea ve seen that before on the transfer market. I dona t know what happened exactly.”
When quizzed on the possibility that the Gunners were also offered the services of Pedro, who was unhappy at Camp Nou, Wenger rejected the suggestion with a straight face.
“No. We have many players on the flanks. Many, many players.”
If he stays here I am very happy – Arsene on Joel Campbell
Wenger also commented on the future of Joel Campbell. The young Costa Rican forward has not featured for Arsenal FC so far in the campaign, and has been linked with a move away from the Emirates. However, the Frenchman insisted that he would personally like to keep Campbell in North London.
a At the moment he is here and personally I would like to keep him,” he added.
a I will have to sit down with Joel because I rate him highly as a player and personally if he stays here I am very happy.a
Arsene Wenger on the new offside rule
The Arsenal FC manager also shared his views on the new offside rule introduced in the Premier League. The rule has come under heavy criticism following Christian Benteke’s goal against newly promoted Bournemouth being allowed to stand, despite Philippe Coutinho being in an offside position when the cross came in.
When asked if the new rule required the Gunners to changer their tactics, Wenger said: “Honestly no, I believe the rule is quite clear. If the guy in an offside position takes action, then he is offside.
“In fact, we have been explained the case with a similar example to Monday night. It was quite surprising. Then again, I come back to what I think should be the next step which is the use of video. Goals scored, regular or not, go upstairs, ask the opinion.
“This is a clear case where without wasting time you could make the right decision. I could understand the linesman could not see it, but you have to check the regularity of the goals because it is too important.”