Wenger: Signings may unsettle Spurs
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claims Tottenham's summer spending spree could end up destabilising the balance of the squad rather than turning them into Barclays Premier League top four contenders.
Spurs may be about to lose star man Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in a multi-million deal, but nevertheless head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday having made significant moves in the summer transfer window.
They have brought in Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and £26million striker Roberto Soldado, who has already scored twice in the Premier League, and on Friday confirmed the signing of Romanian defender Vlad Chiriches from Steaua Bucharest. They are also set to wrap up deals for Roma forward Erik Lamela and Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen.
By contrast, Wenger has so far been unable to land any of his major targets, completing only the free transfer signings of midfielder Mathieu Flamini and France Under-21 striker Yaya Sanogo.
The Arsenal manager, however, maintains just simply adding numbers is not always the answer.
"I know all the players they have bought. For the rest, we will see how well they integrate and how well they will do. It is very difficult to predict that," said Wenger, whose side again finished above Spurs in fourth place last season.
"They try very hard (to bridge the gap) of course, that is normal. In our job, there is always a technical risk when you buy more than three players because you unbalance a little bit the stability of your squad.
"I know that in England it is very well seen, but it is always difficult when you bring so many players in, how everybody will do to predict that."
Wenger added: "Your squad always has a balance. It is more of a risk (adding numbers).
"It can work fantastically well, but there is a little risk on the stability of the squad and on your technical consistency.
"However, I must confess I am not too much worried about their risk and what they do.
"I believe you win games when you focus on yourself and the quality of our game.
"It is not a special statement for Tottenham, for us it is exactly the same. It is always difficult to integrate many players together."
Wenger knows from first-hand experience what it is like to have plans disrupted by unsettled players, having seen the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and, last year, Robin van Persie all eventually sold on at the end of the transfer window.
"Yes, it is very difficult, of course. It has a negative impact when you lose your best players, always, because you are perceived as well by your fans (for) a lack of ambition, by the rest of the squad, they look for strength in their team," Wenger said.
"We have gone through that process consistently and it demands of course always a mental adjustment, again, to keep your ambition alive. It is very, very difficult."
The Gunners boss, though, is not convinced the astronomical deals such as Bale's proposed switch make much economic sense in the current climate of promoting financial fair play for clubs spending within their means.
"They (Real Madrid) are very generous," said Wenger. "Look, I don't think at all that the prices are linked with the quality of the players, during this summer especially.
"The prices today are just linked with the financial power and the desire of the buyer.
"It is impossible to assess a market where you can say that this is the normal price for this player, because that is his quality.
"That has gone completely because you go from transfers from zero to £10m and after from £30m to £80m, but it is not linked with the quality of the players at all, it is linked with the financial power of the buyer."
Asked if Real Madrid were paying over the odds for Bale, Wenger said: "Look, for me there are very, very, very, very few players who economically justify or (it) makes sense (to) pay over £50m (for)."