Arsene Wenger insisted that he is not scared to spend big on a ‘quality’ player this summer.
Arsenal’s 2016/17 season began with a disappointing home defeat against Liverpool. A Gunners side bereft of a number of key players due to injuries and lack of match sharpness were outplayed. After the full-time whistle, the fans in attendance booed Arsene Wenger due to his inability to compete in the transfer window with Europe’s elite clubs. However, in the buildup to Saturday’s mouth-watering encounter against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, Wenger indicated he wasn’t scared to spend.
“Before you pay over the odds you have to be convinced by the player. Can he strengthen your squad? Then you must have the money available to pay, because we already invested at a very high price. And we will do so again. We are not scared to spend the money. It is about the quality,” said Wenger in the pre-match press conference.
Asrenal defender Per Mertesacker suffered a knee injury which will see him spend a lengthy spell out on the sidelines. Lauren Koscielny, who missed the first game of the season, is unavailable for the Leicester game as he still recovering from an extended run at Euro 2016. Given their severe injury concerns at the back, the Gunners have been linked to a host of defenders in the summer.
Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi has been long linked to the club, but it seems that the Spanish side are demanding a hefty sum for his services – something Wenger is unwilling to comply with. When asked about a possible move for the defender, the Arsenal manager chose to remain coy about the situation.
“I believe it’s better I don’t talk about any individual player. We are ready to spend the money we have. It’s not my money. It’s important to spend money the right way,” explained Wenger.
“It was important [to add a defender] before the game. You do not sign players because you think it’s very important or not. I think it’s very difficult to find players and identify them. That’s why everyone is on the market for the same players and the deals.”