Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Gazidis: Wenger is targeting new recruits for the Arsenal defence

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping to add a new defender to his playing staff chief executive Ivan Gazidis has revealed.

After news broke 30 minutes before the CEO was due to meet members of the Arsenal Independent Supporters Association (AISA) that the Gunners had signed 17-year-old Alex Chamberlain, Gazidis was keen to point out the Frenchman was still in the market for additional players to boost his squad.

Chamberlain becomes the third Arsenal signing of the summer joining fellow teenager Carl Jenkinson and Ivory Coast international Gervinho in north London.

An AISA member asked the CEO: "Why aren't we aggressively going after a couple of centre halves?"

To which Gazidis replied: "How do you know we're not?"

The chief executive added:
"I have not had an evening off - and I'm leaving here to do some more work - we are working extremely hard on this but it's not a supermarket where you go in and pick good players off the shelf. That's not the way it works.
"I'm sorry but it's much much more complex than that."
He went on:
"Arsene recognises we need to have additions and addition or additions in our defence. He recognises there has been an issue there.
"And he will take steps to do that. Now they haven't been taken yet and I can't give you the whole inside story on every reason why that isn't the case.
"Of course ideally what you'd really want to do is sign players early. Manchester United have been successful in doing that this window. They're not successful every window in doing that. They've been successful this window.
"Other clubs haven't been that successful in doing that this window.
"We've also got a slightly different challenge than some of the other clubs.
"Some of the other clubs - our major competitors - have older squads where they've got players who's future they need to look at and they need to bring players in to replace those players.
"Our challenge is a little bit different. We've got a young squad and so we're actually looking the other way round. They're looking to sign young players to come in. We need a little bit more know-how and experience to supplement some of the young players that we have."
Gazidis concluded:
"We do have money to spend. We're in a financially healthy situation but we don't have the kind of money to go out and spend £50m on a player. I don't think that is what our fans are asking for."

Wenger has been continuously linked with moves for Bolton's Gary Cahill, Everton's Phil Jagielka and Blackburn's Chris Samba throughout the summer. However with five days to go before Arsenal take to the field at St James Park, it is up in the air whether the club will conclude a deal within the time frame before the start of the season.

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