Arsene Wenger has insisted there will be no last-minute trolley dash for signings like there was two years ago when five players joined in the closing hours of the transfer window for nearly £30million.
The Arsenal manager has come in for criticism from fans over a lack of activity despite possessing vast cash reserves – and faces the prospect of having only 11 fit first-team players for the visit of Aston Villa tomorrow.
Wenger has let 17 squad member go this summer and signed only Yaya Sanogo, a 20-year-old French striker, on a free but promised there would be no repeat of the dash for Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos, and Chu Young Park in late August 2011.
Spree: Arsene Wenger spent close to £30m in the days before the August transfer deadline in 2011
Its Arsene again!!!
Panic: Andre Santos was signed for £6.8m but started just 13 league games
Wenger said: ‘The situation is completely different because a couple of seasons ago we lost two or three players in one game and we had no other option than to buy.
‘Look, the transfer market is a worry nowadays and it has always been. With every transfer market I could write a book and a very interesting one.
‘It is a worry I don’t deny that. It is maybe more different nowadays because there are more quality spenders on the market and especially France has come on the market as well and bought at a very high level. It’s a lot more difficult.’
Patience: The Arsenal manager has come in for criticism from fans over a lack of activity despite possessing vast cash reserves
Troubled time: Park Chu-Young was handed the No 9 shirt but only made fleeting League Cup appearances
North London rivals Tottenham have splashed £60m on new players, but Wenger suggested their quality and positions meant they were not considered for Arsenal.
‘They have bought players in areas that we do not need,’ he said. ‘For example in the creative front of midfield we have Wilshere, we have Chamberlain, we have Cazorla, we have Rosicky, so if some of these clubs bought a player in this area, when you have no need you don’t buy.
'We have many players who can do that.
Persisted: Wenger kept faith in Per Mertesacker after a tricky start following his £8m move from Werder Bremen
Worth it? The gamble taken on Mikel Arteta from Everton for £10m was one worth taking
‘It’s not a question of spending the money it’s about finding the right players. We are not scared to spend money but it must be the right players.’
Wenger said Theo Walcott would be fit for the season opener against Villa after the winger came off injured during the friendly with Scotland.
Just the one: Yaya Sanogo is the only player to have signed this summer
Meanwhile, following Manchester United manager David Moyes' discontent at the fixture list, Wenger said that is all part of winning the title: 'It's the hardest start Manchester United have had for 20 years.
'The coincidence of the fixtures is part of being a champion. Sometimes you have a bit of luck, sometimes you have bad fixtures. That is part of it.
'It depends how you play always. If you have a good start, if they manage to play well during these games it will be a strength for them because after that they maybe have easier games.'