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Wenger: Arsenal can challenge for title without signings

ESPN staff
August 1, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Arsene Wenger is aiming higher than last season's fourth-placed finish © PA Photos
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Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal are still working on improving their squad but insists his side can challenge for the Premier League title regardless of making any new additions.

The only signing Arsenal have made this summer is Yaya Sanogo, a France Under-20 international striker brought in on a free.

While the club have made efforts to break their transfer record, bids for both Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez have been turned down.

Higuain opted to join Napoli after Wenger refused to meet Real Madrid's asking price of £34.5 million, while Arsenal bid £40,000,001 for Suarez last week in a bid to activate a release clause that allowed them to talk to the player.

But Liverpool rebuffed the offer, insisting they will only entertain bids of £50m.

ESPN Comment

  • Sadly, Arsene, Arsenal fans have heard it all before. If Arsenal do not make a major signing then the supporters will be right to think that the club have been stringing them along all summer. While Wenger is right in suggesting some of his younger players will be better this season, the argument that his current squad will be able to aim any higher than fourth place will worry the Emirates faithful.

    Nick Atkin

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis made reference to Arsenal's "financial firepower" at the end of last season. However nothing has materialised of rumoured interest in Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar and Swansea defender Ashley Williams.

Wenger has urged Arsenal supporters to stay calm, reassuring them that every effort is being made to add more quality to a squad that narrowly finished fourth last season. However if no new faces arrive, the Frenchman is confident his side will still be stronger.

Speaking during the Emirates Google+ Hangout, Wenger said: "We are still working on improving our squad, but we have a base of young players who get a chance here, who started in the Premier League, like [Wojciech] Szczesny, [Carl] Jenkinson, [Alex Oxlade-] Chamberlain, [Jack] Wilshere, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Theo] Walcott - that is unique, nobody else has done that.

"These players can have a special bond and they are on the way upwards, they are not over the hill. They will be better next year and that is why I am confident we will be stronger next season.

"We had a fantastic end to the season, because we won eight of the last ten [league] games.

"We have had a good pre-season and for the first time in recent seasons we have not lost [sold] any player.

"Our target now is to transfer that confidence into the start of the new season and it is vital for us to have a good start."

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