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Wilshere urges Wenger to spend

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere admits the Gunners are still a few players short of mounting a sustained challenge for the Premier League crown next season.

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Arsene Wenger's side fought hard for the title in the last campaign, but came off the rails across the closing months of the season after losing to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final.

The Gunners were criticised for defensive fragility and a lack of depth in the squad as their championship challenge petered out alarmingly, and Wenger promised to address the problems during the summer window.

But so far the only major addition has been Gervinho, signed for £11 million from Lille - although reports suggest Valencia's Juan Mata and Everton's Phil Jagielka could be set to arrive.

And Wilshere, who may be without wantaway midfield partners Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas next season, has urged Wenger to spend the club's money on players of that calibre. "We are not a spending club but we still managed to stay up there with the top teams. And we have to win things this year," Wilshere told the Daily Mail.

"Maybe if we had a few more faces we could really push on. If we get a few more players we can really challenge for the title. Around March and April we have to stay really strong. We are confident we can be up and around it then so we have to remain strong at that crucial time."

Wilshere limped off injured on Sunday as Arsenal drew 1-1 with New York Red Bulls in their final match of the Emirates Cup, a game in which the home side were booed off the pitch. As dissent among fans grows, Wenger has called for patience.

"They have to put that into put that into perspective," Wenger said. "People always want to win and that I understand but I don't think we need to put any extra pressure on ourselves.

"The most important thing now is to prepare and take the pressure when the results really matter. I don't think you can compare playing friendly games with playing in the championship."

Wilshere, who is expected to miss Arsenal's friendly next weekend with Benfica, and the England match against Netherlands the following week, also outlined his praise for Arsenal target Juan Mata, who currently plies his trade at Valencia.

"He is a top quality player, we've seen that in the Under-21s and in the Spanish league last season. I think the way Arsenal play would suit his game," Wilshere told


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