Arsenal Didn’t Sign an Outfield Player, but Wenger Trusts His Strikers

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal did not pull through a deadline day move because it could not find the best attacking option in the transfer market.

Striker Danny Welbeck is out till Christmas, meaning Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are the notable figures in Wenger’s attacking arsenal to support Alexis Sanchez in banging in the goals in the early part of the season.

Aside own-goals by Damien Delaney and Fabricio Coloccini in victories away to Crystal Palace and Newcastle, only Frenchman Olivier Giroud has hit target for the FA Cup holders this season. They have also not hit target in front of their home fans after entertaining West Ham and Liverpool.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Celebrates With Team-Mates after Watching Fabricio Coloccinin Deflect His Shot for Arsenal Goal at Newcastle. Image: Getty.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Celebrates With Team-Mates after Watching Fabricio Coloccinin Deflect His Shot for Arsenal Goal at Newcastle. Image: Getty.

Speaking ahead of Stoke City’s visit to the Emirates Stadium, the Wenger reiterated his “confidence in the ability and quality” of his strikers.

“It is about the efficiency and the quality of our game, we can score goals and I am not worried about that. We have Alexis, we have Giroud and we have Walcott. It is a massive opportunity for them of course,” the Gunners boss told reporters on Friday.

“I believe that the finishing is a bit cyclical, up and down, and we are the team who has created the most chances since the start of the season, so let’s just continue to focus on the quality of our game.”

Arsenal signed goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea but failed in their reported pursuit of a handful of top European football talents this summer; however, Wenger admitted they did want to sign but could not find one who could improve the squad.

“It’s about finding an efficient solution,” he added. “They just don’t drop down from heaven.”

The Potters’ last visit to the Emirates ended in a 3-0 defeat in January, but Wenger expects the influx of talents to the Britannia Stadium over the course of the winter and summer windows, as well as the presence of Mark Hughes in the opponents’ dugout to impact on the depth of play on Saturday.

“They have Afellay, Bojan, Shaqiri, Diouf up front and Charlie Adam in midfield. They have a lot of technical players that can give you problems.
“What we want is to focus on our own performance as we want to take off at home now. We had two good away games with positive results in difficult places and we know at home we can be efficient against anybody.”

Wilshere recovering slowly

Midfielder Jack Wilshere’s recovery from injury has been “slower” than expected, according to Wenger.

The England international suffered a hairline fracture to his right ankle during training prior to last month’s FA Community Shield victor over Chelsea.

“He is progressing slowly. Unfortunately he will not be available for Saturday,” said Wenger.

The manager also revealed that defenders Per Mertesacker and Laurient Koscielny have trained with the squad, adding: “All the players who have been away on international duty have come back in good shape. We should have the same squad available.”

Wenger on Welbeck: “Yes, we got very bad news because in my mind he was almost ready to play again. He was very close but he could not tolerate the final step up in his rehab. We always wanted to try conservative rehab first under the guidance of specialists and he did get very close. We had to consult and in the end they decided to go in and see what’s wrong. He will be out certainly until Christmas.”

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