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Wenger fires warning to rivals

ESPN staff
July 18, 2014 « Ballance century rescues England | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Arsene Wenger wants to build on last season's FA Cup success © Getty Images
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned the rest of the Premier League his side are hungry for more success next season.

The Frenchman's side start their build up to the new campaign with a friendly at Boreham Wood on Saturday, a match which will see some of those players who were not on international duty at the World Cup involved.

Wenger used his time well working as a media pundit in Brazil for French television, helping put the final touches to deals which brought Chile forward Alexis Sanchez and France right-back Mathieu Debuchy to the Emirates Stadium.

More new additions are expected before the FA Cup winners return to Wembley to tackle champions Manchester City on August 10, with the Press Association reporting that Arsenal are close to a £3 million deal for Colombia and Nice goalkeeper David Ospina.

Wenger would like to also bring in another defensive midfielder, although a big-money deal for Real Madrid's German World Cup winner Sami Khedira now appears unlikely as Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin has emerged as another possible target.

Whatever transpires before the transfer window closes, the Arsenal manager is confident now the squad have experienced what it is like to enjoy the feel of silverware, more will follow.

"We have the ambition, we have the desire, we should have the confidence from last season - so we have a good basis. It's now up to us to make sure we have the right attitude and the right hunger to go for more," Wenger said on the club's official website.

"In the Premier League [last season] we were not far away, we got 79 points and with what happened to us with injuries, I feel that we did quite well.

"On top of that we won the FA Cup so I think it's a good platform to go for more. But in the Premier League everybody tries to improve the team and it's very difficult to predict what will happen this year.

"What we can be sure about and what we can make certain of is that we are ready for a fight and we are better than last season - that's our target."

Sanchez is unlikely to be involved until after Arsenal return from their tour match in the USA against the New York Red Bulls, while German trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski have been given additional time off until after the Emirates Cup.

Wenger is confident Sanchez can hit the ground running following his £30m move from Barcelona.

"He can play through the middle, he can play on both flanks and he has the qualities that I think are needed in England," Wenger said.

"He is efficient, the fact that he is good off the ball, runs at people with the ball and he's a very versatile striker.

"That is why he is a major signing for us [and] that's why we spend a lot of money on him -- he has the quality to be efficient everywhere he plays."

Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is "progressing well" on his recovery from the serious knee injury he suffered in January which ruled him out of the World Cup.

"Theo has worked very hard during the summer and we expect him to be back in full training at the end of August," Wenger said.

"Once he's back in full training, it [his return] can be very quick. Theo has a good basis, which is what he's working on now."

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