World Football

Everton vs. Arsenal: Arsene Wenger on Transfers, Louis van Gaal, More at Presser

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger points as he watches his team play against Manchester City during their English Community Shield soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal are not desperately trying to sign players ahead of the summer transfer window's closure at 11 p.m. BST on Sept. 1 but says the club will keep their eyes open for any potential deals.

The Gunners boss spoke in his pre-match press conference ahead of his side's testing trip to Everton on Saturday. He was quick to announce no offers have come in for Arsenal players, while also suggesting Manchester United's poor start to the campaign will be reversed by new boss Louis van Gaal.

Wenger has signed Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Calum Chambers this summer. He isn't panicking ahead of the transfer window's end, despite many believing the North London side need to add a defensive midfielder to their ranks.

Further additions in this area remain a possibility, although Wenger isn't losing sleep over finding potential players, as tweeted by Arsenal's official Twitter account:

Mikel Arteta sustained an injury during Tuesday's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, per Dominic Fifield of The Guardian. This could force Wenger into finding a quick fix, particularly as Aaron Ramsey is suspended for the second leg after being sent off for two bookings against Besiktas, but the manager appears calm when discussing his squad.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on August 18, 2014 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

One potential signing who passed Arsenal by this summer was former captain Cesc Fabregas, who impressed with two assists during his Chelsea debut on Monday night.

The Gunners were said to have first option on the player when he became available for transfer from Barcelona, per Tom Sheen of The Independent, but Wenger has "no regret" over missing out on the Spaniard, per ESPN.  

Despite Sheen suggesting Wenger's decision not to sign Fabregas could be "the biggest mistake of the summer," the manager believes Ramsey has what it takes to influence as tellingly and often as the Spanish star used to:

Arsenal's squad possesses a number of exciting young players, many of whom are waiting for their chance to impress. At the front of the queue is Joel Campbell, who enjoyed an excellent 2013-14 stint at Olympiacos and World Cup with Costa Rica.

He scored for Arsenal during their Emirates Cup win against Benfica, but question marks still remain over his long-term future at the club. Wenger confirmed he is yet to receive bids for any of his players, while noting Campbell hasn't been given ample time in the first team:

Arsenal are expected to challenge for the title this season and will be hoping to improve upon last year's lack of form after Christmas. Wenger's men will likely go toe-to-toe with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool for the top prize, but the manager hasn't ruled out the threat of Manchester United.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Manchester United Manager Louis van Gaal speaks with Assistant Ryan Giggs (L) prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on August 16, 2014 in Manchester, England
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Red Devils slumped to an opening-day defeat against Swansea, a result which highlighted exactly why they finished seventh last campaign. Van Gaal's competitive-match debut was fraught with uncertainty, a lack of confidence and quality, the same pitfalls witnessed during David Moyes' tenure.

Wenger expects the Dutchman to turn things around, per the Gunners' Twitter account:

Arsenal fans will be glad to see Wenger in relaxed mood at the onset of the new season. His squad needs a quality defensive midfielder and an additional striker, but the Frenchman appears content with his team's prospects.

The manager's decision to secure Kim Kallstrom's loan was a panic move in January, but there's no sense of such mistakes repeating themselves. Wenger's confident, self-assured air underlines a team that has the capability of going from strength to strength after last season's FA Cup triumph, as right now, he's only looking for signings who can significantly improve the squad.

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