Arsene Wenger urges Arsenal fans to back team, not seek new signings

'Support is believing in the players in the squad,' said Wenger

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has told anxious Arsenal fans that simply signing players is not a magical solution to all of their problems.

Arsenal did not sign a single outfield player in the transfer window which, given Danny Welbeck’s injury, triggered new frustration among the supporters.

Facing questions ahead of the game with Stoke City, Wenger told Arsenal fans to get behind their existing players, rather than hoping for them to be replaced by seemingly superior ones.

“I think to support the club and support the team is to stand behind the players,” chided Wenger. “It is not always expecting someone coming down from heaven to sort out all your problems. Support is believing in the players in the squad, and this is a good opportunity to do that for our supporters.”

After the signing of Petr Cech at the start of the summer, Arsenal did not buy any other players, a policy which became even less popular after the news that striker Welbeck would be out for the rest of 2015 after knee surgery.

Wenger insisted that the club could not find “an efficient solution” in the transfer market and the bad news about Welbeck did not push him into the market.

“It doesn’t change anything,” Wenger explained. “You either find someone who strengthens your squad or not. Whether we have players injured or no doesn’t change the problem.”

“The solutions we had were not convincing at all. In the end you do not buy to give one hope, you want to buy because the players who come in can help your squad to be stronger. Buying and selling is one way to strengthen your team but that’s not the only way.”

Wenger also revealed that midfielder Jack Wilshere is recovering “slower than expected” from an ankle injury which has cost him the start of this season.

Arsenal had initially hoped that Wilshere would be ready this weekend, after the September international break, following a hairline fracture to his ankle which he sustained in training on 1 August.

“I have not seen Jack in the last two or three days,” Wenger said. “He is progressing slowly. It is slower than expected as I expected him to be back and available after the break, but unfortunately he will not be available for Saturday. He had a little setback and I have to know about it, but I can’t tell you much more as I have no medical information.”