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Oct 21, 2013

Arsene Wenger not focused on transfers

Arsene Wenger says he is not thinking about transfers at present, and instead is "spoilt for choice" with the players he has had to leave out during Arsenal's rich run of form.

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Wenger was asked whether it was a blessing in disguise that he missed out on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez in the summer, but denied that he wanted a striker ahead of Olivier Giroud, who has been so central to the club's surge.

"We were not out there to replace Olivier Giroud," he said. "In our mind [Nicklas] Bendtner was leaving and therefore we were a bit short up front and that's why we were out there for strikers, but overall Bendtner has stayed and is now coming back to good form and Giroud is doing exceptionally well. He is one of the players who always improves and looks to become better. He is showing that in every single game.

"I'm honestly not focused on any transfer policy at all. When you look at it at the moment, I am spoilt for choice -- and look at the players who are still out. There is no [Theo] Walcott, no [Alex Oxlade] Chamberlain, no [Lukas] Podolski, who are all out, and I don't even speak about the players like [Abou] Diaby, who is out, so we have plenty of players when everybody's back so we don't need to go on the transfer market too much."

 

Meanwhile, Wenger, who will celebrate his 64th birthday on Tuesday, was being tipped to sign an extension to his current deal that expires next summer imminently, but it seems as if he is still weighing up his future at Arsenal despite his side’s impressive start to the season.

"I will make a decision [on his future] halfway through the season," he is quoted in the Daily Mirror. "Deep down, I have an idea what I want to do, but give me a bit of time. What interests me above all is to always meet the expectations of our fans."

Wenger’s comments may cast some doubt over his future at the club beyond this season, but his ambition to build another trophy winning team at Arsenal appears to be burning as brightly as ever.

"I can build another new team, but I haven’t got 17 years that’s for sure," he added. "I can build another team because in 17 years I had a few teams, but at the minute I’m looking at the short-term. I will make a decision about the longer term later.

"We to focus on now, the next game. You have always had teams who played good football, but you can play very well for 37 championship games and lose the decisive 38th game. You will then forget the 37 games you played well.

"What's important in your life is that you have happy moments and for me the games are a succession of possible happy moments. Of course afterwards you want people to look back and say ‘that was a fantastic season’ but that will be decided in May. Before that let’s experience some quality."

Speaking on the eve of the Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund, Wenger said Arsenal have improved significantly since they helped eliminate the German side during the group stage of the 2011-12 season, and that exceptional goals like Jack Wilshere's against Norwich on Saturday only help that process.

"I believe we are much better," he said. "The young players have gained experience and maturity, and the consistency of our results since Jan. 1, 2013, shows that. We are capable of being consistent and consistency is always a sign of quality, especially in the Premier League. If you are capable of being consistent in the Premier League that's a sign of quality.

"The feel-good factor is down to the quality of the spirit of the team, the solidarity of the players, and their desire to do well. We know we are a team that looks for being of course successful -- for that you need a special hunger and I believe these players have a special hunger."

Speaking of the impressively fluent move that led to Wilshere's goal on Saturday, Wenger insisted the team can still get better.

"I don't know -- what is for sure is that it's good for our confidence. That we know. We have room for improvement, and being in the position we are in at the moment and knowing we have room for improvement is of course a good feeling."

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