Arsenal were inactive as the transfer window close and, despite rumours all summer, didn’t end up signing a senior outfield player.
Petr Čech joined from Chelsea for around £10m but the Gunners were otherwise quiet, with Wenger stressing the importance of “cohesion” all summer long.
As the season began the Arsenal boss explained that there are very few top players available, and feels that Manchester United’s big money deal to sign 19-year-old Anthony Martial vindicated his decision not to delve into the market.
“Martial scored 11 goals in the French championship – that sums it up well,” the Arsenal boss said to beIN Sports.
“That means it’s not the money that’s missing at the moment, it’s not the desire of investment that is missing, it’s the number of players available who can strengthen the big clubs.
“The problem at the moment is finding the players that guarantees you are a better team after, and that example last night [the Martial deal] shows you very well.”
When questioned about signing Karim Benzema weeks ago, Wenger stressed a desire to spend but only when the right players are available. Spending €80m on unproven potential is not the answer when fans want signings who will immediately improve the team.
That’s not even to say that the Martial deal will turn out to be a bad one. Even if he is a huge success in the coming years, he is unlikely to have a defining impact on this coming season. When fans demand signings they want them to improve the team instantly. As for prospects, Arsenal have plenty already – Jeff Reine-Adelaide is our very own Frenchman signed for that exact reason this summer.
“Martial is a huge talent – he’s 19-years-old,” Wenger added. “The investment is absolutely huge as well. It shows you that there’s not many players in the world who can strengthen these teams.”
The Arsenal boss has been heavily criticised and labelled as unwilling to spend, but he has undeniably brought quality that can instantly improve the team into the club in recent windows.
“So am I happy with the investment I make? Yes, every time. I bought Sanchez, I bought Özil, I bought Cech, I bought Gabriel last year.”
Are there really many more players who are attainable that would have built on what Arsenal already have as those previous signings did? Arguing yes isn’t the easiest of sales, and Wenger certainly wouldn’t buy it.