Wenger splashes cash to bolster defence

Ben Rumsby

ARSENAL have been linked with further signings on transfer deadline day after swooping for defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos.

The Gunners were expected to formalise the acquisitions of Germany centre-back Mertesacker and Brazil left-back Santos today after both flew into London to undergo medicals.

The pair's arrival cannot come quickly enough for an Arsenal side who have endured one of their most miserable starts to a season in recent memory.

Manager Arsene Wenger has been urged by disgruntled fans to splash the cash to get them out of trouble and there is no shortage of money to spend today, even after the reported £8m and £6.2m fees for Mertesacker and Santos are paid to Werder Bremen and Fenerbahce respectively.

Wenger yesterday completed the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-young, who penned what is thought to be a two-year contract.

Park, who snubbed a move to Lille at the 11th hour after deciding to leave Monaco, will leave the Gunners -- possibly temporarily -- in 2013 to undertake military service in his homeland.

But he said: "I don't feel rushed. I just feel really proud to have two-and-a-half years at Arsenal.

"They are the last team I will be with before I go back to Korea. I will do my best to show what I can do in the next two-and-a-half years."


"I'm honoured and I feel happy to be at Arsenal. They are a team I dreamed about when I was young. I got a phone call from my club and they told me that Arsenal were interested. At first, I didn't believe it and I needed to check that it really was Arsenal."

Park underwent a medical at Lille before Arsenal moved to gazump the French champions on Saturday.

"A lot has happened in two days and it feels like a big step up," said Park.

"But that doesn't mean that I won't be able to perform. I will work hard, I will train hard, and I will show that I am able to be part of this Arsenal team."

Park is a cousin of Manchester United star Park Ji-sung, who preceded him as South Korea captain.

"He has experience in the Premier League, so I will ask how he settled in on and off the pitch," added the Arsenal newcomer.