Wenger will only sign ‘special’ players for Arsenal

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: PA
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: PA
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Arsene Wenger will recruit only “special” players for Arsenal before the transfer window closes.

Arsenal will play Fenerbahce tonight, bidding to complete qualification for the group stages of the Champions League for a 16th successive year against a side they beat 3-0 in Istanbul last week. It will be the Gunners’ first return to the Emirates Stadium since a 3-1 defeat by Aston Villa on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season which provoked the fans’ ire.

Supporters expressed frustration over Arsenal’s perceived dithering in the transfer market, missing out on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, who moved from Real Madrid to Napoli.

“I still am optimistic and I hope I will not disappoint you,” said Wenger, who believes the transfer window should close before the season starts, but recognises Arsenal’s need to augment the squad.

“We have not a fixed number (of signings in mind). I just think we are a bit short at the moment. I’m guided by my conscience to do as well as I can for this club and by the vision of the game I want to play.

“I feel with the players I have I can play the football we want to play. I’m a great admirer of the spirit, the attitude of these players. They are special and if I want to add something it has to be special.”

Wenger has already ruled out another bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, but he would not comment further on names after a number of Premier League managers have disagreed publicly over comments on transfers.

Wenger, who himself has been criticised by Alan Pardew for pursuing Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye, added: “I will not give you any names, because it would be unfair for the players who play at another club. It could, as well, create some wrong hopes. You could see that many of the disputes you have all over the country is because the coaches or the managers speak about the players. In our job, just be discreet and try to make things happen. That’s what we try to do. You can come back to me and say ‘yes, but you don’t make things happen’. But it’s still only most important in our job is what happens on the football pitch and how well you play football. The rest we work very hard on.”

In an illustration of Arsenal’s existing quality, Jack Wilshere will return to the starting line-up against Fenerbahce, even though the north London derby with Tottenham takes place on Sunday.