Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had his say on the transfer dealings of Manchester United and Manchester City.
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Gunners fans across the world may be slightly envious of the teams who finished directly above and below them during the 2014-15 campaign, as United signed Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin on Monday to become their third and fourth signings of the summer.
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City have agreed an eye-watering $75 million fee with Liverpool for Raheem Sterling, and Arsenal were strongly linked with moves for both Sterling and Schneiderlin.
So, what did Arsenal’s boss think about these acquisitions by his rivals? He spoke to the media after landing in Singapore ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy, which will be shown live on NBC Sports Live Extra this week.
“All these players are top-class players. (But) on the offensive front we have many creative players, midfield as well. They are players I know well and like – Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Sterling,” Wenger said. “But offensively we have plenty of players. For me Sterling is a top-class player. It’s a good buy for Man City. An expensive one, but they can afford it. Personally I like him. I didn’t make a bid because he plays in an area where we have plenty of players. We have Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Alexis Sanchez. Jack Wilshere can play there, Serge Gnabry.”
When asked about United’s transfer dealings, Wenger was highly complimentary about the business Arsenal’s rivals have managed to do so far this summer.
“We knew Manchester United wouldn’t be happy with finishing outside the top three, they will respond. They have made some interesting signings. They came out of the season thinking they have to rebuild their midfield, and they did it by buying two important players – Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin. “They are two top-class players. One who is now coming up to the top level – Schneiderlin – and one who has done it all. It will be interesting to see how they mix with the other players.”
So, Arsenal fans, are you pleased that your manager is lauding two rivals for their pickups this summer? Sure, Arsenal addressed a big need in signing a new goalkeeper in Petr Cech this summer, but the need for a top-class central midfielder and central defender remains.
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Wenger suggested he is still keen to do business this summer but only if the deal is right for the north London club.
After a third-place finish in the PL standings last season and a second-straight FA Cup win, Wenger won’t want to add too many players this summer. But finding those quality players at the right price who are available is so tough. There is no point spending for the sake of it but there’s no doubt Arsenal need to strengthen, like their rivals are doing right now, in certain areas.