Football Football

Pragmatic Wenger won’t spend big

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

LONDON, June 2- Arsenal ended their season by lifting the FA Cup on Saturday but, with the transfer window about to open, manager Arsene Wenger says he will remain cautious in the market.

The Gunners thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 at Wembley to claim a second FA Cup title in as many years and wrap up an impressive spell since the new year.

While recent form saw them finish third in the Premier League and provided hope that they could challenge for the league title next season, Wenger insists that he won’t get sucked into overpriced transfers.

“We would not get involved at that level for financial reasons,” he said. “People forget that for years we had to sell our best players and that was a very difficult period. That is the reality.

“Since we are buying again, we are slowly coming back to a more competitive level. You speak maybe about stratospheric numbers where we will not be involved.

“I am not against spending money, I have shown that recently. But I want a good rapport between price and quality. I’m always more focused on quality.”

While that approach to the market will rule out many of Europe’s most highly-rated and highly-priced players, Wenger insists that it is possible to recruit quality for more modest amounts.

“Santi Cazorla was voted man of the match in the final. I think he has not cost £150m. [Francis] Coquelin was one of the best players on the pitch. You have to always look at the real quality of people.”

Although the French manager will need to strengthen certain areas of his squad ahead of the next campaign, he thinks the team as a whole have matured this season, making them better prepared to be champions this time next year.

“Mentally, we are stronger,” he said. “I think we have seen that since January. We have made progress on the mental side and on mastering our games and on being less naive and better balanced and knowing what to do. It is intelligence.

“I feel that we have moved forward and people think always it’s about buying but it’s as well about cohesion and cohesion is a very important factor that is usually a bit underrated by people. We have to keep that cohesion and maybe add quality.

“But the quality we have to add is in short numbers. But the other teams – how good will Chelsea be? Who will they buy? I don’t know. Man City, Liverpool will buy. Tottenham will buy. I don’t know how good these teams will be.”