Wenger eyes new recruits as troubled Arsenal faces Chelsea
LONDON – Agence France-Presse
Wenger’s side suffered one of the most chastening defeats of his increasingly tarnished reign on Jan. 7 as second tier Nottingham Forest won 4-2 in the FA Cup third round.
It was the first time Wenger had crashed out at that stage of the competition since arriving at the north London club in 1996.
Wenger’s decision to make nine changes backfired, with the understudies delivering a listless display at the City Ground.
The Frenchman prioritized the League Cup showdown with Chelsea by keeping his main men fresh for the first leg clash at Stamford Bridge means he can ill-afford a damaging defeat against Antonio Conte’s men.
But regardless of Arsenal’s League Cup fortunes, Wenger has clearly had enough of another underachieving season which sees his team in danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive year.
Wenger insists the Gunners, who last week signed Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, will do further business during the transfer window in an effort to turn things around.
Unsettled Chile forward Alexis Sanchez could be sold to Manchester City and Wenger wants several fresh faces to arrival as soon as possible.
Asked whether there could be developments this week, Wenger said: “Yes, because we are in the second week of January and, after that, it passes quickly.
“We signed a Greek boy [Mavropanos] who looks quite good in training but apart from that, we have not done anything. Will we be out there to do something? Yes we will.”
But the Gunners, who drew both Premier League encounters with Chelsea this season, haven’t won at their London rival since 2011.
“When you play every three days and you have to play many games, it means you are facing every competition,” Conte said.
“Now on Wednesday we have to play a semi-final against Arsenal. I think we deserved to reach this target.
“It’s very important in this moment of the season to have all the squad in the best physical form, because you have to play a lot of games and everyone must be ready.”
Chelsea is bidding to reach the League Cup final for the first time since it last won the tournament in 2015.