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Lord Harris went overboard - Wenger

Published 24/07/2015

Arsene Wenger has a big budget to play with, according to Lord Harris
Arsene Wenger has a big budget to play with, according to Lord Harris

Arsene Wenger has dismissed comments made by Lord Harris that Arsenal could buy virtually any player in the world.

Harris, a director at the club and founder of Carpetright, was quoted as saying the club are now in a financial position to buy all but six players and backed Wenger to break the Gunners' transfer record, having brought in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the past two years.

Wenger, who has so far moved to sign goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea, insists Harris' comments were over the top, though, and is pleased with the players currently at his disposal.

"Whether his comments are helpful or not doesn't matter," the Frenchman said.

"He's gone a bit overboard. It's not true. We are in a situation where we are working hard if an opportunity comes up to do something.

"Last week I had to answer questions about what I was going to do with all the players who are available and the next week it's why don't you buy?

"Last week we scored goals without Sanchez and (Danny) Welbeck. We are in a strong position with a strong squad I am happy with. If the opportunity turns up, we could still do something.

"We built up something special last season - a good team dynamic and confidence level, a convincing and efficient style of play. We want to work on that and not expect too much from outside. The truth will come from inside the squad. We have to focus on the quality of our performance inside the group.

"Our opponents, if they really want, have that money to spend. So it is not something that is absolutely exceptional and money in the bank doesn't mean profit. We lost money the last six months.

"You can be bankrupt and have £200million in the bank. If you have £500million to spend three weeks later, you need to find £300million. I don't want to go too much into it.

"We are in a strong financial situation, a healthy one and it is down to focus on football and the quality of our players and the quality of the players we could still get in and not too much on the amount of money which looks sometimes spectacular."

With only Sanchez and Olivier Giroud reaching double figures in terms of Barclays Premier League goals last term, a striker could be seen as the main priority for Wenger if he was to return to the transfer market.

But the 65-year-old has instead called on other players in his squad to chip in with more goals - with the likes of Welbeck and Ozil needing to add more than the four apiece they managed in 2014/15.

"I think we have enough goals in the squad," Wenger added.

"What we want is some more goals from some players who are not really strikers and that was our strength traditionally. The players who were offensive and creative players scored 10 to 12 goals - that¹s what you need.

"Our target is to improve our number, but you as well have examples of teams who have scored 90 or 100 goals and have not won the championship. We want to combine good defensive efficiency with 10 more goals."

"I believe as well that part of the respect for your players is to focus on the players you have and try to improve and look at the performance.

"I can understand that it makes headlines in the media, the amount of money, but what we want is to focus on the quality of your work and players and style of play and performance. That is what football is really about."

Wenger was talking ahead of Arsenal's Emirates Cup double-header, with games against Lyon on Saturday and Wolfsburg on Sunday.

He has a strong squad available, with Roma-bound Wojciech Szczesny, the injured Welbeck and rested David Ospina and Sanchez missing.

England international Welbeck is nursing a knee injury and Wenger does not think the former Manchester United forward will be fit in time to be in contention for the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign when his side host West Ham.

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