Arsène Wenger has admitted Arsenal would almost certainly keep the same squad during the January transfer window, despite numerous reports suggesting the contrary.
The winter window opens on the 1st January, which is now less than two weeks away. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil’s potential departures have been widely discussed, but there’s also been some speculation about additions. Wenger spoke to beIN Sport about the rumours.
“You do not imagine that we will change 10 players in January,” the Arsenal boss explained. “It’s 90 per cent that it’s the same squad. If we can find some additions to strengthen our squad we will do it.
“But we have a big squad, I think we have players of quality. We need just to stick together and fight as we can until the end of the season. I believe that we have to be faithful to the players we have at the moment. Sanchez and Ozil have a contract until June, that’s it.”
Overall, it’s roughly the same thing we hear every window from the Arsenal manager. That’s not necessarily a criticism, however. It would be a poor negotiating tactic to come out and admit we’re desperate for players, or to say Özil and Sanchez are free to go. It just means we’re not much clearer on Wenger’s plans for January.
The rumours have started up regardless, of course. According to the gossip, Arsenal are interested in Nabil Fekir of Lyon, N’Zonzi of Sevilla and West Brom centre-back Jonny Evans. Sven Mislintat identified Abdou Diallo and Ohis Felix Uduokhai as a possible Per Mertesacker replacements as well.
Clearly Wenger’s comments don’t even hint at the possibility of all these transfers in January. But then, they don’t rule any individual move out either, so it looks like we’re set for another month of speculation.