Sunday, December 4, 2022

Wenger on summer plans, recruitment and losing some players

Arsene Wenger says that the Arsenal squad at the moment is ‘heavy’ and has suggested that the club need to lose some players ahead of next season.

There are many issues on the playing front, with the futures of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top priority. However, it’s not those players who the club would envisage moving on: instead fringe players and those who rarely feature are the main candidates for departure.

Speaking to Arsenal Player in the wake of official confirmation of his new two year deal, the Arsenal manager was asked about his summer plans and admitted there would some squad turnover.

“First of all, we have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players,” he said.

“We want to keep the strength we have and build on that. We will work very hard to find the additions of top, top quality.

“I believe that our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now.

“The basis is there so we need the additions who will make a real difference.”

The likes of Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Jack Wilshere, Lucas Perez and others could be deemed surplus to requirements, freeing up money to be used better across the wage bill.

As for where we might specifically be looking for players, Wenger was not that forthcoming.

“First of all, we look at the top, top quality available,” he said. “We have seen in the recent games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United that we are a very strong team.

“For us it’s very important that we only consider the players who can really make a difference, no matter where it is.”

It is understood that Arsenal are actively seeking a central midfield player with Schalke’s Leon Goretzka high on the list.

It’s also reported that the club are close to finalising the signing of Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru, which would suggest at least one departure from the forward line-up at the moment.

Olivier Giroud has been linked with Marseille and Lyon in recent days, while Perez’s time in England will more that likely end with a move back to Spain. Sevilla are said to be interested in the former Deportivo man.

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Would be great to get lots of new names in but we need them to gel, like the team did in the FA Cup Final, and need some players OK to work their way up from the bench.

Too many changes is not good. Anyway, busy summer.


We need a clearance of some dead wood in my opinion, lots of players who aren’t up to it or not good enough for the club.

Seems to me that the lack of CL money has already beeen pointed out to Wenger and he’s been told to cut the wage bill, especially if we make mega offers to Ozil and Sanchez to try and keep them

Clive St Helmet

I’m pretty sure Arsenal are able to financially absorb loss of CL money for a season, particularly in the wake of the latest PL TV deal. Obviously the CL money would help but I don’t think it’s as important as it once was.

Having said that, I think it is important to actually compete for the title next year. None of this top 4 nonsense; if we truly want to attract the best players, we need to be showing ambition to win probably the biggest league competition in world football.

Third Plebeian

Indeed, the CL money is paltry compared to our sponsorship and television revenues. Qualification for the group stages gets you about £12m. That doesn’t buy much in football these days.

Faisal Narrage

Not that simple.
CL also provides greater brand value, meaning Arsenal can charge more commercial sponsorships, let alone ticket sales.

It’s gonna be a lot more than just £12mil in the end.

uncle D

Theme song for this occasion! Daddy cool ?


I’ve lost count of how many times Arsene has said that ‘we are looking for top top quality,’ then we practically immediately go and sign some random teenager from some small European club who then subsequently never even see the first team bar a few league cup appearances.

This could be another repeat of that horrific summer when everyone left – I would be so surprised if we hold onto Alexis and Ozil in this window. Nor can I see us actually have the ability to go and sign any big name players whatsoever.


Agree this does not look good. When he says one or two in, it generally means no movement. When he says we need to lighten, I shudder to think of what is in store.

Fine, sell if you must, but if there aren’t solid additions before the sales, there’ll be hell to pay. The club can afford the downsides of a slightly bloated wage bill, it cannot afford another season not challenging for the title.


Sadly, I fear your comment is spot on


‘hold on to’? What is this narrative everyone is peddling, as if it’s the player’s choice. They are under contract for another year. If they don’t sign (and I have a feeling they both will) we are within our rights to insist that they see out their contracts. We probably won’t, even though we should, but that is besides the point.


@Jdog You do realize that if we keep them into their final year of their current contracts, six months into the new season they can negotiate terms of signing with any club in the world? So basically Chelsea, City, United, Spurs, Liverpool can all come in and talk to them and that’s fair game. We can’t do anything to stop it. And that’s exactly what their agents want to happen because the player and his representatives get the biggest pay day of their careers when the player moves on a free transfer or ‘Bosman.’ This is down to the fact… Read more »


It is not a problem if he continously saying that. The problem is if…
1. He has responsibility in not to be able to sing a player like that or
2. He uses this phrase for a mediocre player he eventually buys

Me personally only remember 1 time when he said it – after signing a given player and that was Ozil…

I think when Wenger says “top, top quality” he is thinking in the dimension of Ozil, and Sanchez


Exactly . wenger saying that arsenals squad is good enough and he is only looking to sign only the players that will improve the team eerily sounds similar to the season where we ended up buying only cech and no outfield players even though we had so many holes in the squad. So glad to know nothing has changes at arsenal . two more years


Its just the usual bolox that is sprouted every year. Read what gazidis said too. Same things as in previous worthless statements.
Its just going to be simply another 2 years of the same except this time we have the excuse of saying to fans that we cant attract the top quality because we dont have CL football.
Wash rinse repeat.


The irony of those who believe that only when we win EPL and CL are we a successful club while complaining about always seeking the rare players that facilitate those goals is laughable. Imagine one of the most loyal managers in history who has used that loyalty to attract great young players…” We need winners, we didn’t win, I am going to go buy winners and replace some of these flops and keep the fans happy. ” That, folks, is not going to happen. We defeated the winners of the EPL twice this year, finished second last year and yet… Read more »

Matt @ BrewCityGunners

All of this hinges on the (unlikely?) re-signing of Ozil and Alexis, though, doesn’t it? Adding the “one or two” we need to the existing squad is an entirely different story when we take them out of the equation. Replacing like for like seems a nearly impossible task.


I think we’ll keep Ozil and lose Sanchez, just hope we can flog him to PSG and not Chelski

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

Swap deal for Morata + £££ with Real Madrid


i am not sure if paying for ticket to watch arsenal play entitles any one for a refund if the team loses, I think it is time for the keyboard worriers to give it a rest and stand behind the team and the managers because they were part of last season failure with their demoralizing antics and they can still drive a away what valuable assets we have (Ozil, Sanchez) if the kept on doing the same.


That is pure bullshit reasoning. Why should you invest emotions in something that doesn’t offer anything back? Have you ever been in love m8? Have you gone through the passions and ended up in mediocrity because the communication went to hell? Well that is basically because one of you or both wouldn’t evolve and embrace what love is, so you had to separate, to depart. This is what it’s coming to very soon. Fuck this. I’m fed up, I’ll go shag someone else. I do love this club, but it’s breaking my heart to hear the lies, those god damn… Read more »


This is pure emotional rant

Arsene\'s Nose

Theo will be sold.

Third Plebeian

You’re dreaming. Wenger loves Walcott.


Agreed, he’s a Wenger favorite and won’t be moved. That would be an admission of failure. I like Walcott too, he’s a proven goalscorer, but if Arsenal is going to be more reliant on three at the back he’s going to become an expensive squad player. Perez might not be as fast but is a better all rounder, is also a proven goalscorer and could probably have a role in both formations. Too bad Wenger doesn’t like him. I wonder if he was forced on Wenger by Gazidis or something.

Runcorn Gooner

He may love TW14 but I think he is coming round to the fact he can only use him in certain matches and at certain times in other matches.He is way too lightweight for the way AW now wants to get his team to play. Exactly the same as Giroud

Bob\'s Mexican Cousin

We should go ahead and make Alexis the best payed player in English football; he already is the best player are all.


I don’t think that anyone has said that the quality of the squad was the problem this year. I think we have one of the strongest squads in the league (if we can keep it together, which is questionable).

The question that really needs answering is: Can the manager lead the squad to its potential?


I think that question has been answered in seasons past unfortunately.


I agree in principle, but as long as…

City has Aguero and Jesus
United – Ibrahimovic
Chelsea – Costa
Spurs – Kane

there is room for us to improve.
(but again: I agree that your question is at least as important)

Tasmanian Jesus

Arsenal – Sanchez

Godfrey Twatsloch

Stoke – Arnautovic

Sorry, forgot he’s not likely to set foot on a pitch for some time due to our boy Rob. Oops! 🙂


I think we all were worried (and still are) that we didn’t have a world class striker. I also think this squad just doesn’t have the mental toughness and street smarts to win the league (as evidenced by our annual brain fart in Jan/Feb).

There’s a lot of crap that Wenger brought in that now needs to be swept out le door, I worry that he may not be the man to do that part anymore


Busy summer ahead.

Third Plebeian

Well, that’s the hope. The reality, if history tells us anything, will be a busy few days in late August!


No indication in the announcements of a “high” budget. To even get 2 players of similar quality to Ozil and Sanchez is going to cost close to £100 million. Getting like for like replacements for those two will cost at least another £120 million. Probably get around £40 million for outgoing, more if Ox goes. Still, we’re looking at £200 million to bring the squad up to scratch.


It’s not that easy to replace them, they both already become the backbone of our squad, should build the team around them.
If we lose both, it’s like we build our squad from 0.

Make Arsenal Great Again

£200M doesn’t go as much as it used to. If you want to go all out and improve this team with 3 super quality signings, you can easily spend that. Mbape for £100M-110M, Donnarumma for £40M, and Isco as a replacement for Santi for another £40M. That budget is gone without even factoring in the salaries and agent fees

Alexis Oxlivier-Chambellerin

I think it is only slightly less crucial than Alexis and Mesut that we keep Ox

David O\'lairy

I’d love to see Perez stick around and be given the games to show his value to the team, his goals to minutes ratio are fantastic. The signings of last summer have been a success for me, all coming good by the end of the season even if they wavered a bit in the middle, but Mustafi, Holding and Xhaka could well form a solid base in front of the GK for many years to come. Trimming the Debuchy, Jenkinson, Ospina/Szezney, Sanogo, Wilshire, Campbell wages from the bill won’t hurt us in appearance terms, especially with Chambers coming back. If… Read more »


Don.t forget Theo.s 120k/week

King Sudeiys.

K are used in kenya and some neighbouring country @Dennis. They use £ instead ?.


I genuinely hope Wenger has learned from his failings the past decade and gets the business done early this year and does enough of it. It’s time to support the team and hope that Big Sam humiliating him flipped the switch to how bad things had gotten. That said if we do not challenge for the PL the next 2 years its time to stop living off memories and move on.


While I hope for the same, I don’t think for one minute that we’ll change our dithering approach

Oooh Ahhh Ray Parlour

Big ask knowing us, but please get it all wrapped up before the season starts. I wish the transfer deadline was a week before the opening weekend, I’m sick of being unprepared when it starts & this season has to have been the last time that happens. COYG!!

Niall Shannon

We should try and sign Mbappe. He looks like the real deal

Wright on the money

I would too but no chance has he only wants to play for a world class team that is in the champions league and we are neither.


Do you know what Mbappe wants personally? One season of no CL has hardly been a dealbreaker for others has it? He may have a special connection to Arsenal, or not…but if we compete financially we have as good as chance as any.


He didn’t join Arsenal last season when we were still in the Champions League and Wenger personally going to his house to try and sway him.

Do you honestly think that after this season we have somehow changed his mind? There is a point where unbridled optimism and support becomes simply delusional.

On top of that given the hype around Mbappe it would take our whole so called $100nm war chest to buy him. Do you really think that this is going to happen?

a different George

He wanted to stay where he was. That is entirely different to convincing him to move somewhere once he has decided to leave. My guess is Madrid–whose business/sporting model needs constant new stars and who have the only coach who is a greater attraction for a French player than Wenger.

If I am right, the question will be: where will Gareth Bale play next year?


Yeah and quick, before anyone else notices.


I think we WILL sign M’bappe.


Wenger said he was in Mbappe’s house last year trying to convince him to join and Mbappe turned him down. Not sure why he would want to join now when he wasn’t interested last year.


Because he wanted to be loyal to Monaco and see how well they did in their CL campaign perhaps?
Wenger wanting to work with him before anyone else and his history of persuasion could work in our favour.
If we did it would hopefully silence the fans.

Faisal Narrage

And Monaco went further than we did and didn’t embarrass themselves like we did.
Now we’re not in it and Mbappe’s profile is so high all the top teams want him.

And Wenger’s pull is imo diminishing with young players. You have to remember Mbappe is so young he barely remembers the glory years of Wenger. We’ve lost out to a lot of young talents in recent years.


Bigger guarantee he would get 1st team football with us now than last season


“we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now.” – proceeds to singing a 19 year old striker from the Belgian league. Christ this fairground ride is getting a bit boring now, I want to get off.


Come on, man. While we do hunt big talent, it doesn’t make sense to abandon potential stars of the future. How much did Kane cost Spuds? We have got to keep betting on youth while we fulfill our need of star players. Even 1 hit in 10 will be investment recouped.

Henry of Belgium isn’t yet a full international so he’s clearly a bet for the future.


I would agree if a signing like that was an ‘in addition of’ rather than a ‘instead of’. He just said that the squad is too big – you think he will sign young prospects AND proven players for the same position. Has everyone forgotten the past 10 years all of a sudden?


Well, it’s early days. It’s unwise to assume this is “an instead of” signing. Might as well wait.


And Henry might have given Arsene the heads up!


I love it, right on

I hate when someone complains about not finding Mbappe before he became “Mbappe”. Same with Greizeman, Auba, Bale, Saurez so on and so on. Why take a gamble on prospects when you can buy Mbappe now then 3 years ago. Thats what I am saying.

I’m with you on this. Only buy complete players that are finished. Stop wasting on prospects. Let the others do that.


“Top top quality”. Heard this all before. Broken record.

Wright on the money

For me Wenger needs to get Ox,Ozil and Sanchez to sign new contracts before looking who to buy.

We have already got a LB, so I feel we need a winger of quality,CDM and we should be playing Sanchez up front play Carzola and Ozil behind him for me.


You’re being very optimistic if you think Sanchez will be an Arsenal player next summer.

And Cazorla is now out to Christmas at the earliers.


The Ox must go. Pay whoever wants to take him what they want.

Mein Bergkampf

The most frustrating world to live in right now is being a labour voter and an Arsenal fan. Believe me…


Hope for nothing.

Spanish Gooner

We really need to get our wage bill down. Jack is on £110k a week, Cazorla (as much as I love him) Debuchy, Perez, Gibbs, Elneny are all on around £60k without adding much value whatsoever last season, for differing reasons. I would rather sell them for below market value than hold onto those wages, and also selling them forces Wenger to no longer see them as options on which he can rely


Totally agree with you. I would have up-voted your comment, but for some reason it’s not working on my browser. I fear that Jack won’t fulfill his potential. Cazorla is a wonderful player, but when’s the last time he had a full season? Debuchy will be done. Perez deserves/deserved more of a chance. And if we really did sign that Serbian LB, Gibbo will move on.

Gideon Agbebi

For me,I would like Lucas Perez to stay, Gibbs, Jack,Carzola, Elenny, Xhaka ,Ozil,Sanchez, Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ramsey,Welbeck are still top quality players. Giroud should go because he is just an opportunistic striker who is only very good on using head to score goals. Perez is more a foot player than him. With addition of five to six world class players,Arsenal will be on cloud 9 any day anytime.


Right, I really want Preze to stay at Arsenal. Has looked good every time he’s been on. Makes things happen.


Perez, obviously.


I take it you are the person who puts the wages in the players bank accounts, seeing as you know so much, but isn’t that information confidential?


if you think they are waste of money don’t you think other clubs would think the same thing? you can’t just sell a player without the player consenting to the deal. No player is going to take a cut in wages and top of the fact that they also get a cut of the transfer fee.


Hahaha wow! The scam begins in earnest again. The contract has barely been minted Arsene. At least let us have some hope for a little while. In all honesty I will be the first and happiest to eat crow if he pulls off a major summer and actually buys what we need to be successful. That is my greatest dream for this team and for Arsene. That being said, you could have pulled those quotes from any of his interviews the last five seasons. I am preparing for the “We couldn’t find top quality in the market” speech in July… Read more »

just Orange

meh… same sound bites, same mentality, same attitude, same stubbornness. I see no indications anything is going to change yet
… and I predict same torturous season ahead
Wenger apologists forget he on ~£20m pa. On that salary achieving minimal success means he is only doing his job (not to be praised), anywhere else he would be gone ages ago
I would really LIKE to be proved wrong, but sadly I doubt it

Indian Gooner

Been a strong supporter of Wenger but what he has got to understand is this his last chance. Maybe he could have avoided the risk of staying for two more.. I am pretty sure he must thought about it as well.. maybe wants to stay and prove every single one wrong.. if he does that.. it would be a glorious.. one that would be etched in history.. I am sure even the most staunch Wenger-out would go mental if that happens.. but if it doesn’t.. I really don’t know what to say.. I am just concerned for him.. trust me… Read more »

Red beard

I’m happy to support him, and yes transfers of top top quality are only worthwhile, if we keep alexis and mesut. We dont it’s a different story. Whats just as important is we really need to look at the medical and training regime to do our best to eliminate these injuries that happen year after year. Let’s get together and push on together


Nigerian teenager? Check.

Cliff Bastin

Boom Harry Kane. And in the press conference us says “7 semi losses in a row FFS and you guys win it in a bad season. I hope to replicate the success of the legend Sol Campbell.”


How many of our players can you say cannot realistically be improved upon? Kos, Sanchez, Ozil? 2 of which will will probably be leaving. This attitude sums up the clubs ambition. Same old.


All this talk about only signing players that will improve the squad, but pretty hard to sell that Henry Onyekuru will be an upgrade (in 2017-18) as our plan B striker over Giroud.


One for the future methinks


You forgot to add Theo and ox to the list.
What’s the latest on Cazola?


The old elusive top top quality again

Doctor Who

What have I missed about Lucas Perez? Why he is no good for Arsenal?


Not quite top top enough


Typical copy n paste sound bite…….. i actually cant be bothered to write anything else. Blogs how do you do it every day. Kudos my friend.


Same old. One step forward, two steps back. Always selling better players than we bring in.


I am proud of the club in that they have made the correct decision to keep him……

I am proud of Wenger in that he still wants to stay despite some of the shenanigans of our “supporters”……

Now I hope that the fanbase make me even prouder by sticking together no matter what and actually “supporting” OUR manager, OUR team and OUR club…..

I sense something special is coming from the Arsenal ……. COYG!!!!!!!!!


Optimism is in short supply so thanks for this. I’m with you. COYG!


what worries me is how he’s saying “we will work hard to FIND top players..”

top players are “found” during the season, you should already have your targets before the summer. Look at City, they obviously had a plan ready before the season even ended.

this is why we’re always second into negotiations witt clubs for top players.


Personally, I think it’s less about finding top players than a dogged resistance to seeing that what are construed as inflated transfer fees are actually going market-value costs.


Yeah I’m not saying we should pay anything for anyone. But Wenger is like that old lady who takes two minutes to look for her wallet in her big hand bag when she’s reached the cashier. While everyone else already have their card ready when it’s their turn.

It’s not a coincidence we seem to lose every season opener. We’re never ready for the new season cause we’re so damn slow in june


I expect nothing from this club any more.


This the same top, top bullshit we’ve heard from him in the last 5-8 years.
2019 seems so far away…

Zombie Gooner

I’m not on board with keeping Ozil. He’s not worth the money it would take. Our midfield can’t thrive with a one-dimensional player.

That said, make sure we keep Sanchez and build the rest of the team around collective effort and ambition.


I would have agreed with you anytine over the past 2 seasons but i have more hope for Ozil in this new formation which i feel could bring the best out of him whilst covering his defesive deficiencies better


Be ruthless in the market let’s not for once just change 2 or 3. We have a big enough squad that I can count up to probably over 10 players we could move on.
Keep. Cech, Szczęsny, Martinez, Bellerin, Ox, Holding, Kos,BFG, Mustafi,Chambers,Monreal,Xhaka,Ramsey,Santi,Ozil, Iwobi, sanchez, welbeck, Perez
Out. Ospina, Debuchy, jenko,Gibbs, Gabriel,Coq,Elneny,Wilshere,Walcott, Giroud,

I’m sure alot of people would change a couple here and there.

Uba Ngenegbo

Keep Coquelin, sell Ramsey


Goodbye Theo

Original Paul

From the Guardian:
Thanks to the spotlight available to armchair pundits on Twitter and YouTube, some supporters have become fans of themselves more than they are fans of the club. For them, a match seems to now be about hoping for attention as much as it is hoping for three points. Although these clowns are small in number, they have made such a racket that it has lowered the tone across the fanbase. People feel compelled to take extreme, noisy positions, which does little to help the confidence of the players on the field.


Same ol same ol


“Top, top quality only..” now where did I hear that before, and how many times?


There’s nobody better equip than Wenger to fix the squad at the moment…granted his failings this season in league. Wenger is one of the best operators in the market. He did not need a Director of Football or David Dein to identify Rob Holding. Nacho Monreal, Koscielny, Santi, Cech, he has been spot on with Ozil, Alexis (both of whom would have been easily coveted by any top team). Mustafi has had a a fantastic season considering he had to come straight in, remember Koscielny’s first season? Granit is a superb acquisition never mind what the banal media would obviously… Read more »


As far as what we need in the squad, I think we need 3 to 4 players You can always guess what we actually need to what Wenger believes we need by adding one or two more. What we lack IMO is creative/technical players to regain some of the advantages now eroded by oil rich entrants over the years and the TV money redistribution which has allowed much of the league to creep up in technical standard. As Wenger is slave to his own ideology of minimal intervention (and his timing is sometimes poor), he does himself and the team… Read more »

Wenger\'s Pony

Sead, Jack Butland, Leon, One LW/CF.


Get your own blog


Out: wojo, ospina, debuchy, jenko, chambers, gibbs, walcott, wilshere, lucas, campbell,


I would actually be quite happy if we signed noone new but keep “those questionable three”. Plus I would like Gibbs and Lucas to stay too.


You can all forget about top 4 for the next 2 seasons.

Runcorn Gooner

Based on what? You have no idea what the next few months will bring. None of us have.

Godfrey Twatsloch

Trez just likes to moan. You could bring God Almighty himself to manage us with the combined budget of China, USA and the EU states and Trez would still moan because we weren’t champions of the galaxy or something.


Who gives a fuck about top 4 anymore we need to win the PL we have to !

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