Arsene Wenger on three new signings, Campbell’s work permit and goalkeepers
Written by Jeffrey on August 27, 2011 4:45
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has yet again admitted that his squad is currently short of players adding that his team is working hard to find new faces to strengthen the squad.
Speaking on Friday, the manager did however explain that the midfield – one of the areas missing key players at the moment – is suffering from injury concerns as England’s Jack Wilshere and France’s Abou Diaby are both unavailable with young Welshman Aaron Ramsey enjoying a regular run in the first team after spending months on the sidelines last season.
The Arsenal boss again insisted that the players signed so far will show that they are quality with Ivory Coast’s Gervinho producing a fantastic game against Udinese in the Champions League and Carl Jenkinson also showing that he is indeed good enough to play for Arsenal.
On the future of Nicklas Bendtner, the manager again said that the Denmark International will probably leave the Club during the summer transfer window adding that a new striker is required also ahead of January’s African Cup of Nations which will see Marouane Chamakh featuring for his country, Morocco.
Asked if Joel Campbell is the striker the Gunners need to fill the void, Wenger concluded by saying that the Costa Rican is yet to be allowed a work permit and the Club is not yet sure if this will be obtained this season with the manager also giving an update on his goalkeepers, saying that he currently has four top-class goalkeepers available at his disposal meaning that the “crisis in goal” is finally over.
On Friday, Wenger said:
We are a bit short at the moment and we try to strengthen the squad but I believe as well that people forget two things: We have [Jack] Wilshere at the moment who is not available, we have [Abou] Diaby at the moment who is not available, we have a player like [Aaron] Ramsey who did not play at all last season who will be a very important for us and I’m convinced of that.
We have brought Gervinho who people start to realise will be a very important player for us as well so it is not like players have gone out and we’ve done nothing, we have brought [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, [Carl] Jenkinson who has shown on Tuesday night that he has the calibre to play for us. We still want to do but it’s not like people have left and we have done nothing at all, we have bought players.
[Signing a player with Premier League experience?] If it’s possible yes but it’s not easy because in England teams who have good players want to keep them and sometimes you have to take a gamble. I took a gamble on Gervinho, he has no Premier League experience but it didn’t take him a long time to show that he’s a good player so I first focus on the quality of the player.
It’s ideal [to make business early] and I would have liked to do Chamberlain in June, I worked on that case for five or six months, believe me, but you are not the only one who dictates the pace. We were on [Phil] Jones’ case, we were ready, we had agreed with Blackburn but it was down to the player to make the decision.
We tried to do them all very early but it was a very difficult summer and we cannot only dictate the pace of how things go.
[If Nicklas Bendtner will leave?] I told you it is possible, many times. [If he's in my plans?] No, [he's not], we are looking for one more striker because we know he will leave. We will be short because we have [Marouane] Chamakh who will go as well during the African Nations Cup this season so we are a bit short.
[If Joel Campbell is an option?] We don’t have a work permit at the moment and we are not in a position where we can be sure we will get it, we’ll see.
[Reaching the end of the market window without any signings?] There is a chance, because it’s a game where we depend on the desire of the people who have the players to sell the players. [If I am confident with this squad?] I’m very confident, I know that if I read you or listen to you I have not any reason to be but I’m very confident. [But] I try to strengthen the squad, in depth, because at the moment we are a bit short, number-wise.
It is important [to strengthen] because we will lose players in January with players going to the African Nations Cup. We lose Gervinho and Chamakh together so, first of all, it is important to strengthen up front. It is important that we find one midfielder and one defender as well. So we are still short of three bodies.
My time has been taken up [by players going out] and it was a very difficult summer on that front because we had to face adversity, negativity, but it had to be done. Overall, we tried to do as well as we could.
No, we don’t have anymore [a goalkeeping crisis anymore], we have I believe top four keepers with [Manuel] Almunia, with [Lukasz] Fabianski, with [Vito] Mannone and with Wojciech [Szczesny], all of them are top class so I don’t believe we have any goalkeeping problem.