Arsene Wenger insists he’s looking to do some business this January, but only if he is able to find the right bargain. When asked about Black Friday, Wenger responded in jovial fashion, insisting that he, along with everyone else, is constantly on the lookout for a bargain, as reported by the Express.
The Frenchman is known for his frugal nature, and is oft criticised for his unwillingness (or inability) to spend big in the transfer market. This was never evident more than last summer, when he failed to sign a single outfield player – despite our obvious need for a new defensive midfielder and a striker.
With Francis Coquelin’s recent injury set to keep him out of action for at least three months (via Arsenal.com), our need for a defensive midfielder has only increased. Wenger needs to move for a backup this January, regardless of whether he can find a bargain or not.
“I love a bargain, who doesn’t,” he said.
“There are not many people who don’t like a bargain.
“What is for us a bargain is to buy a player of top quality because only top quality strengthens our squad.
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“I bought Patrick Vieira for example for £2.5m. He was a top bargain because he was a top quality player.
“We spent nearly £40m on [Mesut] Özil and I still consider him a bargain because the player is top quality. What has to be a priority is the quality of the player.
“We are in a position where we want to do something. If I find the right quality I will do something.”
Unfortunately, you rarely find a bargain in the ilk of Patrick Vieira in football nowadays, and with the modern scouting network and agents today very few truly promising players escape the eye of the media. All the big clubs now chase the same players, and more often than not it’s a matter of financial firepower.
Wenger doesn’t seem to have come to terms with this yet, and still refuses to pay over the odds for a player he doesn’t believe is worth it. It’s something he has to change though, or he’ll continue to miss out on the majority of players.
It’s excellent to hear the manager class Özil as a bargain however, and suggests that regardless of price he’d be willing to splash the cash if the right player comes along.
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There aren’t always a huge amount of players available in January, and clubs especially aren’t willing to let their top talent go cheaply. We can’t afford to miss out on those that are available, so Wenger needs to get his chequebook out.