Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger defends spending strategy following Leicester stalemate

Leicester 0-0 Arsenal

By Samuel Stevens

Arsene Wenger has reacted angrily to questions about Arsenal's transfer strategy, insisting would be willing to spend £300m on new signings if he could find players worth the money.

The Frenchman came under fire from the club's supporters again following the stalemate with champions Leicester City, a match which badly exposed their lack of fire-power.

Alexis Sanchez started in a more attack-minded role but was denied, along with Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla, by an effective Leicester defensive rearguard and could have suffered another damaging defeat if not for a late succession of Petr Cech saves.

Speaking at full-time, Wenger said: "Why do you say I'm reluctant [to spend]? I don't understand that. If I buy a player for £45m, I have done well, if I listen to you, but spending money in itself is not a quality.

"I would spend £300m on a player - if I had £300m. We are a club with 600 employees who we need to have a responsible attitude [towards] as well.

"It is surprising that you come out of football games and you don't speak about football games. If we find players who can strengthen our team then we are not reluctant to spend the money."

Pressed directly on the cries from the Arsenal supporters, imploring him to sign new players this summer, Wenger replied: "They are highly influenced by the media, but we try to make the right decisions. It is as simple as that. There is a whole team working on strengthening the team and I am not the only one.

"Nobody speaks about the performance of Rob Holding today - he is English, he is 20 years old, you should be happy. But I am sorry he didn't cost £55m so it cannot be good.

"That is, for me, what is most disappointing - we don't speak about the performances of the players anymore."

Both sides are still searching for a first victory of the season but it could have been different for the hosts had Clattenburg handed them a spot-kick in either half for challenges on Danny Drinkwater and Ahmed Musa.

While Laurent Koscielny's tackle on Drinkwater appeared to comply with the rules of the game, once TV replays had been taken into account, a late flare-up between Hector Bellerin and Musa caused controversy with the home indignant that a penalty was not awarded.

LEICESTER: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mendy (King, 53 mins), Drinkwater, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa, 86 mins), Okazaki (Ulloa, 67 mins), Vardy. Unused subs: Hernandez, Amartey, Zieler, Gray

ARSENAL: Cech, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Bellerin, Coquelin, Walcott, Sanchez, Xhaka (Wilshere, 73 mins), Cazorla (Ozil, 73 mins), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Giroud, 78 mins). Unused subs: Gibbs, Ospina, Chambers, Elneny

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Gosforth)

Man of the match: Laurent Koscielny

Match rating: 6/10

Belfast Telegraph


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