Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wenger comfortable with Ozil cost

Mesut Ozil arrived from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window
Mesut Ozil arrived from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is "comfortable" with the amount the club spent to bring in Mesut Ozil and has indicated he would be willing to splash out big money in the transfer market again.

Wenger, whose Gunners team have not won a trophy for eight years and lost the services of the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie during that period, has often faced criticism that he has not been prepared to pay out major fees for players.

Such talk has been allayed by the capture of midfielder Ozil from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day for £42.4million, a fee more than double Arsenal's previous record amount.

Germany international Ozil has been in sparkling form for the north London outfit since then, helping them to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Asked if he had been at all wary of spending so much on one player, Wenger told arsenal.com: "Of course, it's a big responsibility to spend that amount of money.

"But I feel comfortable with it because we had the money to do it.

"Before we couldn't have done it because we didn't have the money available. It's as simple as that.

"I had a huge sense of responsibility when we built the (Emirates) stadium (which opened in 2006) to get the club through it without going bankrupt.

"The first years were difficult, and also explained why we lost some players.

"Now we are in a more comfortable financial position, I - more than anyone - want the great players to play for Arsenal Football Club.

"If we have to spend the money to do that, I will spend the money."

Asked if that meant there was a new policy for Arsenal of buying big, Wenger said: "No, the policy is exactly the same - I always want to bring the best players in here, world-class players, at the best possible price.

"And I want to continue to educate 60 to 80 per cent of the squad ourselves.

"The culture of the club, the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave, comes from within.

"The (Jack) Wilsheres, the (Aaron) Ramseys, the (Kieran) Gibbs - these kind of players have to be the culture of the club.

"Then on top of that we want to bring world-class players who will help us to be even stronger."

And when then asked if Arsenal fans could expect to see one or two big-name signings following each season now, Wenger added: "If they are needed, then yes. If it's just for marketing reasons, then no.

"But for football reasons, why not?"

Press Association

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