Arsene Wenger believes that it is “nearly
The Gunners chief made a single major signing for the club with the deadline day capture of Nacho Monreal from Spanish outfit Malaga for £8.3m, despite Wenger claiming at the start of the month that he intended to be active when trying to bring players to North London.
He said: “The teams at the top didn’t buy at all. The teams at the bottom did buy. This is explainable by the fact that strengthening the teams at the top at this stage of the season is nearly impossible. Teams today are so scared to go out of the Premier League that they will do anything not to go down.
“We were close to one more signing. It didn’t happen because of the desires of the clubs to sell or not to sell. It was not a money problem, but a desire from other clubs. Football looks to be an exception in our society [when it comes to spending]. I always say it cannot last much longer, but I am always proved wrong on that.”
The Frenchman did, however, take the time to express his delight at the signing of Monreal, while admitting that the decision to make a move for the versatile 26-year-old was made relatively last minute following the news of a lengthy layoff for England international Kieran Gibbs.
Wenger said: “Our scouts have followed his progress for a while. We had a blow with Gibbs’ injury as he may now be out for four-six weeks, so we had to make a quick decision and that explains our buy. We bought him as a left back, but he can also play as a left sided midfielder.
“He can adapt to our style of play quickly. He has a good left foot, very mobile, good combination play. That is vital to how we play. He is available for the game against Stoke [on Saturday].”
Monreal made 45 appearances for Malaga, netting a single goal. He has also won seven caps for world champions Spain, having made his debut when coming on as a substitute for Joan Capdevila in a 2009 friendly with Macedonia.
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