Kim Kallstrom: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits 'I would not have signed him' had he known about midfielder's back injury

Microfracture could rule out new Swedish signing for another six weeks

emirates stadium

Arsène Wenger admitted on Sunday night that he would not have signed Kim Kallstrom had he known about the midfielder’s injury before the final hours of the transfer window.

Kallstrom will be out for at least one month with a back injury which Wenger learned of at 5pm on Friday, with six hours of the window remaining. Wenger conceded on Sunday – following his side’s 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace that sent them back to the top of the table – that he had no alternative but to complete the deal, because it was too late to find any fit midfielders in time.

“It crossed my mind,” Wenger said, when asked whether he had thought about pulling out of the transfer. “But I would not have signed him if we’d had two or three more days to do something. It was 5pm on Friday night, so it was sign him or nobody. We had to sign him in these conditions. We might need the players in March or April, you know, so it is difficult.”

Kallstrom will be out for one month, at the very least, with a microfracture in his vertebra, missing league games against Liverpool and Manchester United, an FA Cup tie against Liverpool and the first leg of their Champions League last-16 fixture against Bayern Munich.

“That is the best-case scenario,” Wenger said of a month’s absence. “I’m sure that, if you’ve played football, you might have played with a microfracture of a vertebrae without knowing you had it. You don’t even notice it.”

Wenger confirmed that it was a free loan from Spartak Moscow, who will be paying Kallstrom’s wages for the next six weeks. Although Wenger said that Kallstrom had been signed to plug a short-term gap, which he will now not be able to do, he was still confident about the signing.

“We will only know if we’re wrong or right at the end of the season. But I made the decision because, across midfield, we have had players who have suffered injuries. [Mathieu] Flamini, [Jack] Wilshere, [Mikel] Arteta, [Santi] Cazorla,  they have all missed, through injuries, part of the season. A few of them might miss the next part together. It’s true that we have not sorted that problem out in the next four to six weeks.”

Wenger was speaking after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had scored both goals in the win over Palace and the manager said that, after six months out with a knee injury, the midfielder was “still a bit short”.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opens the scoring for Arsenal Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opens the scoring for Arsenal Wenger insisted Arsenal have the quality to win the league. “We are today where we are,” he said, “that cannot be a coincidence. You cannot be lucky over 24 games, that is for sure.

“Today we needed to be patient, intelligent and use our opportunities that most of the time come in the second half. That is what we did.”

Arsenal still face some scepticism about their title challenge and Wenger said that was just down to habits. “In the last seven years you have engraved that in your brain. It’s hard to get out now. I can understand that.”

Tony Pulis said that the difference between the sides was the “ big moment” when Cameron Jerome could not score a free header at the far post  seconds after Arsenal had gone in front.

Watch Arsene Wenger explain the signing of Kim Kallstrom below:

 

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there