Speaking to the media after Arsenal’s defeat of Newcastle United on Saturday, Arsène Wenger was inevitably asked about transfers.
A deal for Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny is expected to be completed soon, and the manager said he is interested in doing more business over the course of the next month.
However, he will only sign players who can make a real difference, rather than adding squad depth for the sake of it.
“More than quantity I think it’s about quality, because our players will not stay out forever,” the manager said in his press conference, suggesting that certain players may be back soon. “We have Coquelin starting to run, Cazorla hopefully in mid-February. [Mikel] Arteta is back now, so hopefully we can add one, if needed two maximum [in the transfer window].”
So we may sign a second player, but that’s the maximum, and we are only really targeting one signing before seeing how other players progress with their injuries. It makes sense, and the return of Coquelin would be seen as reason not to sign another more defensive midfielder.
The line on Cazorla appears to have been altered and misinterpreted by some. After saying Coquelin is starting to run, it seems to me that Wenger believes Cazorla will ‘hopefully’ be running in mid-February. However, some outlets have twisted his words to suggest Cazorla will be back in mid-February.
Having had an operation on his knee just a month ago, after which he was reportedly set to miss three months or so, it seems incredibly unlikely that he’ll now be back before February is over. It would be helpful if the media didn’t alter the quotes of the manager to raise expectations, and we shouldn’t expect Cazorla back within the next six weeks.