Bournemouth vs. Arsenal: Arsene Wenger's Key Comments from Pre-Match Presser

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2016

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the English Premier League soccer match between Stoke City and Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke on Trent, England, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggested the Chinese Super League could be a major power in the transfer market when he addressed the media before Sunday's trip to face Bournemouth at Dean Court.

Clubs from China have pulled off big-money deals for former Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez and Brazilian duo Alex Teixeira and Ramires in recent weeks. Wenger admitted it is a concern, per the Mirror's Hamish Mackay:

China looks to have the financial power to move the whole European league to China. We know it is a consequence of economic power. Will they sustain their interest? I don’t know how deep the desire is. If the political desire is there we should worry.

Earlier this week, Shakhtar Donetsk confirmed that Teixeira completed a €50 million (£38.5 million) move to Jiangsu Suning just days after Martinez joined Guangzhou Evergrande for £31 million. Earlier in January, former Chelsea midfielder Ramires also joined Jiangsu Suning for £25 million.

The Guardian's Sachin Nakrani suggested players who opt to play in a less-revered division such as the Chinese Super League only have monetary gains in sight:

As a Premier League manager, Wenger has a right to be concerned about the pulling power of China, which could come to see his side struggle to lure top talents, with bigger offers available in the Far East.

China's recruitment strategy has changed in the last year or so. While past-their-prime players such as Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka used to be the division's bigger draws, their clubs are now attracting younger stars, such as Gervinho (Hebei China Fortune) and Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande).

The topic of money and major spending also arose after Wenger was quizzed on Arsenal's season ticket prices. Mackay noted that a press officer deflected that topic as being out of bounds.

Wenger was prevented from answering a question on season-ticket prices at Arsenal.
Wenger was prevented from answering a question on season-ticket prices at Arsenal.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

After a journalist rephrased the question to refer to the general ticket prices in the Premier League and why the new television deal money can't be used to reduce the cost of watching football, Wenger replied:

"We are a company who on one side people want you to buy more players, the prices of players goes up so we need to supplement the ability to buy new players. The pressure on spending will become greater and you can not always distribute the money to other people.”

Following the announcement Guardiola will take over at Manchester City this summer, Wenger was also asked if the Spaniard would have been a good Arsenal manager. Per James Olley of the London Evening Standard, Wenger said he'd have no hand in choosing who replaces him at the helm:

Olley also quoted Wenger, who added that Tomas Rosicky will be absent for "two to three months" after a partial rupture of a tendon, meaning his season, perhaps even his Arsenal career, could be over.

The Gunners are without a win in their last four Premier League games and have failed to score in their last three, a run of bad form they're hoping to end when they travel to Bournemouth on Sunday.


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