Arsene Wenger says Arsenal 'need stability and to strengthen in the summer' after qualifying for Champions League
Arsenal manager says club must spend funds from Europe but fears a lack of available talent
Arsène Wenger admitted Arsenal need to become major players in the transfer market after securing the final Champions League qualification place with victory at Newcastle.
Wenger's side completed the successful overhaul of a one-time seven point deficit to rivals Tottenham for a victory that is estimated to be worth up to £30m if they now qualify for the group stage of the competition.
However Wenger, who completed a 16th successive top-four finish, also conceded that he faces an uphill battle to land the talent that would make Arsenal a significant force in the Premier League title race once more.
Arsenal have become a selling club in recent seasons, despite repeated suggestions of significant funds available to reinvest in his squad. That message was repeated again following the 1-0 victory at St James' Park.
"We need stability and to strengthen in our group, if possible," he said. "There are many clubs with a lot of money and competition is very hard. There is not as many talents as money today in football.
"We want to have additions to the squad but keep first the structure and the spirit and the quality of the team we have now.
"Let's not forget there are many clubs with big money and maybe there is not enough talent to strengthen all the teams but we will be out there proactively.
"Finishing in the top four means we are capable of playing with the top teams in Europe. That is what you want. It means as well it is easier to bring in players when you have a chance to be in the Champions League. Let us not forget, we are not in yet. We have to qualify. That is always a very tricky round for us. At least we have a chance."
Wenger could not have offered much higher praise to his players for achieving that goal.
"Since the first of February we have taken more points than anybody else in the league," he added. "I don't believe that is just down to coincidence. The fact is the group has grown. This team has grown through the season. We lacked belief for long periods because we couldn't win a big game. The Bayern game, away from home, changed our season.
"I had many groups in my life and this is one on that front that has been absolutely outstanding. They have shown a combination of quality and attitude. In the modern day I always admired the way they behaved and their focus on every day training.
"Sometimes as a manager you feel that when the group is so dedicated and faced so many storms as well –we had some big lows, with Bradford, Blackburn, Bayern at home – never you could say the players could dismantle or that the group was not united. That is not easy in the modern game.
"In the last three months we have been remarkably consistent. We have won every away game. It is a good springboard for next season to transfer that belief into the start of next season.
"We continued to believe when we were seven points behind Tottenham in March that we had no room for error any more. You could never see any sign of giving in. That is why the exceptional mental attitude of the playershas been rewarded."
Defeat for Newcastle meant they finished the season fifth from bottom of the Premier League, 12 months after finishing fifth from top.
"In terms of the season we know we should have done better," said their manager Alan Pardew. "It's been the toughest season in terms of workload because of the Europa League campaign and the stress it had on the squad and the staff.
"I'm pretty confident I'll be manager here; I love it here, I will speak to Derek [Llambias] and Mike [Ashley] this week to make sure we get the right response."
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