X

West Ham vs. Arsenal: Arsene Wenger's Key Pre-Match Press Conference Comments

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal gives instructions during the EFL Cup quarter final match between Arsenal and Southampton at the Emirates Stadium on November 30, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will not enter the transfer market in January to try to find a replacement for Santi Cazorla despite the Spaniard being set for three further months on the sidelines. 

The Gunners boss also revealed ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium that striker Olivier Giroud could be absent through injury and Mathieu Debuchy is potentially out for six weeks with a hamstring problem.

Cazorla has not played for Arsenal since October and is now set to undergo an ankle operation that will see him absent into next year, per BBC Sport.

Wenger bemoaned the loss of one of his key midfielders ahead of the meeting with the Hammers but said he won't be forced into the transfer market as a result, per the Evening Standard's James Olley:

James Olley @JamesOlley

At Colney. Wenger on Cazorla: "For me it is very bad news, You have the date of the surgery but not when he will play again."

James Olley @JamesOlley

Wenger says Cazorla injury won't force #afc into the transfer market. "You will not necessarily find a Cazorla, even if you wanted to."

Wenger is confident he has enough depth in his squad to cover for Cazorla, per ESPN FC's Mattias Karen:

Mattias Karén @MattiasKaren

Wenger says he will not look to buy a new player in January to replace Cazorla: "In midfield, we have many players."

Debuchy made his first Gunners appearance since November 2015 in Arsenal's 3-1 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Sunday but was forced off after just 16 minutes.

Wenger revealed that the defender also faces a long spell on the sidelines, while Giroud is in a race against time to be fit for Saturday, per ESPN FC's Ben Dinnery:

Ben Dinnery @BenDinnery

Mathieu Debuchy suffered a "severe" hamstring injury on his return against Bournemouth. Likely to miss around "six weeks, I think." #AFC

Ben Dinnery @BenDinnery

Olivier Giroud is struggling to make the game: "I thought he would be available, but he might not be, for Tuesday he will be." #AFC

Frenchman Debuchy returned to the side to cover for injured first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin.

Wenger now has a slight selection issue on his hands and will likely have to rely on Carl Jenkinson to fill in on the right of his defence against West Ham.

Arsenal have not been beaten in the league since the opening day of the season, but their impressive unbeaten run in all competitions came to an end on Wednesday as they lost 2-0 to Southampton in a poor EFL Cup quarter-final display.

Wenger will be eager to see his side bounce back with a victory in east London, but he will have memories of last season's fixture in their minds when the Gunners conceded an eight-minute Andy Carroll hat-trick at Upton Park in a 3-3 draw.

Arsenal have the better form going into the weekend, though, as West Ham have not won a match since October and sit 16th in the Premier League—although they did claim a point against Manchester United at Old Trafford last time out in the league. 

Given the quality Arsenal boast even without the likes of Cazorla, Giroud and Bellerin, the Gunners will not be happy with anything other than all three points on Saturday as they look to stay in touch near the top of the table.