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Arsenal boss has no plans to follow Sanchez and Debuchy deals by signing striker

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger before the pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger before the pre-season friendly at Boreham Wood

Ben Kosky
Monday, July 21, 2014
7:05 AM

Arsene Wenger has indicated that he does not plan to add another centre-forward to his squad ahead of the new season.

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The Arsenal boss was frequently urged to bring in a recognised striker to take the pressure off top scorer Olivier Giroud last year, but preferred to rely on Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner as back-up.

Wenger has already splashed out approximately £45m this summer to sign attacking midfielder Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and Newcastle right-back Mathieu Debuchy.

But, although he is considering adding another central defender and a new back-up goalkeeper to his squad, the Frenchman is not intending to pursue any other attacking options.

Asked about his immediate transfer plans, Wenger said: “It depends whether our midfielders get through now until the start of the season without injuries.

“Up front we don’t need any more, maybe I will still bring in one centre-back. I will bring in a goalkeeper for sure and we are still out there to strengthen our squad.

“You do the deals when it’s possible, this time we could do it early and I am very happy with what I have done until now. It’s easier to prepare, but we are not the only club who have done business.

“Some other clubs have also done business – Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have bought great players and the competition should be interesting again next season.”

Aside from all the Arsenal players who took part in this summer’s World Cup, Wenger gave most of his first-team squad a run-out in Saturday’s 2-0 pre-season victory at Boreham Wood.

Wojciech Szczesny, Aaron Ramsey, Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson and Sanogo all featured in the first 45 minutes, with Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini and Abou Diaby appearing after the break.

The Gunners’ best opportunities in the first half fell to Sanogo, who was twice denied by home goalkeeper James Russell, while Ramsey and Jon Toral also went close to breaking the deadlock.

Wenger fielded a completely different side for the second period and Diaby’s drive was clawed over by Russell, while the lively Chuba Akpom also had a shot blocked.

It took Arsenal until the 67th minute to find a way through when Rosicky set up Swedish midfielder Kris Olsson to clip his finish neatly over Russell.

And the visitors grabbed a second goal five minutes from time as Akpom played a ball towards Benik Afobe, who was held back by Wood’s Luke Garrard, but got up to convert the resulting spot-kick.

The Gunners continue their preparation for the new season on Saturday when they travel to face former captain Thierry Henry and his New York Red Bulls team-mates, kick-off 10pm (UK time).

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