Ian Wright gives verdict on Wenger transfer policy, names four who should have started v Liverpool
By Alex Taylor
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has criticised Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy this summer and called upon the club to spend money in the final weeks of the summer window.
He has also questioned why four senior players were not in the starting line-up for Sunday’s 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.
The former Gunners striker has seen his old team make just one senior addition to their squad this summer, signing former Borussia Mönchengladbach star Granit Xhaka for a fee believed to be in the region of £30million.
The north Londoners have developed a reputation for being cautious in the transfer market in recent years that has led fans to question the club’s ambition.
“We should be talking about new faces, new challenges, maybe even a title at the end of it all,” Wright told the Sun.
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“Optimism around the Emirates already seems as hard to find as a marquee signing. I remember when they signed the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Marc Overmars and the real sense of excitement that brought to the place.
“And not just among fans. Star name arrivals get the players buzzing too because they make your job easier and you’re more likely to finish with a medal or two.”
“At Arsenal that feeling is simply not there. And I do have every sympathy for the fans who are so desperate to see them challenging at the end of the season.”
Arsenal have invested more heavily in on-field talent in recent seasons having spent £32million and £42.5million on Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil respectively.
Supporters of the Emirates outfit are now demanding a new defender be brought in before the close of the transfer window.
Wenger’s side were torn to shreds either side of half-time against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium and, despite the late comeback, Wright believes Arsenal have made it hard for themselves by overlooking four senior players were overlooked at the weekend despite not being injured.
“They will go to champions Leicester on Saturday knowing anything but victory and the pressure is already on — big time,” Wright added in the Sun column.
“That’s why I found it strange Wenger rested players on Sunday, saying they weren’t ready after the Euros.
“Well half of Liverpool’s had been in France and they certainly were. If Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny don’t hit the ground running, they will be copping it off the fans too.”
Giroud, Ozil and Koscielny were not selected in the matchday squad, while Cazorla was named on the substitute’s bench.
Arsene Wenger has said he is in the market for a new centre-back after injuries ruled out Per Mertesacker and Gabriel for the opening months of the season.
Wenger’s side, who have been linked with a move for Shkodran Mustafi in recent weeks, are now preparing for their next game against Leicester at the King Power Stadium next Saturday.