Wenger: I won’t spend money in transfer window for the sake of it
Published 11/01/2013 | 14:21
ARSENE WENGER says Arsenal's shortcomings cannot be given a quick fix just by splashing money in the January transfer window.
Wenger is in the market for "exceptional" talent to bolster his ranks, but the Gunners boss stressed his existing squad will also be key to success in 2013.
Arsenal host Manchester City on Sunday amid increasing optimism that England forward Theo Walcott will soon agree a new contract extension at the club, and Wenger believes it is in the club's interests to get the best out of their current playing staff.
"You are always under pressure to buy in England and (the belief is) every problem has to be sorted out by buying people," said Wenger.
"But you have other ways to sort out the problems inside the club - it is about getting your injured players back, getting everybody focused and motivated.
"It is not only in buying players that you sort out problems, especially from people who live in a different country - they come at the end of January and by the time they adapt, the season is over."
Arsenal have been linked with a string of players this month, among them Barcelona forward David Villa, Atletico Madrid frontman Adrian Lopez and Wigan’s Irish international midfielder James McCarthy.
Wenger knows there is no shortage of players falling over themselves for the opportunity to head to Emirates Stadium, and that the club can afford to do a deal if they find the right man.
"We have no problem with people wanting to join us. I would like to give you my phone for 24 hours, and you would see that," Wenger said.
"Can we afford them? Most of them, yes; a few of them, no. Can you afford Lionel Messi today? Certainly not, but we can afford 90% of them."
The likes of midfield duo Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky are back in contention following injury, which will further boost Wenger's options.
"If you look at our squad, it is quite complete," he added.
"We still work on the transfer market as well, but we do not want to bring in average players.
"We only want to bring in an exceptional player, and at the moment we have not found him."
Wenger, though, cannot stress enough the need to hold on to Walcott, who has performed well in recent matches when deployed in his preferred central-striker role.
Arsenal have been in negotiations to close out terms on a lucrative extension which would make Walcott among the highest-paid players at the club with a five-year contract worth around £90,000 (€110k) a week, boosted by lucrative add-ons.
"We are on a good road, but in this situation, as long as nothing is signed, you are cautious. But I am optimistic we will get to a happy conclusion," said Wenger, who said there was no demands from Walcott's camp to play up front.
"Discussions progress smoothly, but slowly."
After tackling City on Sunday, Arsenal face Swansea in an FA Cup third-round replay, and then head to Chelsea.
Before the end of January there are also Barclays Premier League games against West Ham and Liverpool, plus a potential FA Cup trip to Brighton.
With their Champions League last-16 clash against Bayern Munich also looming on the horizon, Wenger has challenged his side to kickstart their campaign this weekend.
"We know it is a vital period for us," he said.
"We are on a positive run, but we still lack a bit of confidence in some situations.
"I feel our team will be very dangerous if we have full confidence.
"We are not far from it, but we need another positive result in a big game to be completely confident and believe in our ability to come back.
"To win the big home games will have a big impact on where we finish, we know that.
"It is important for us that we win these games at home until the end of the season."