Despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin who, Wenger claims has played like a £40 million rated player since December the Gunners boss will sign a quality defensive midfielder this summer, but when grilled for a name would not answer.
“The world has changed,” Wenger said. “The appreciation today of the quality of a player is just down to the money you spend. If we had bought Coquelin at Christmas for £40m, everyone would say, ‘What a signing.’ I am sorry he didn’t cost any money. He is still a good player.”
When speaking about his thinking on new signings the Gunners both said that a goalkeeper and defensive midfielder were his main concerns.
“It hasn’t changed a lot,” Wenger said. “What is for sure is Coquelin has shown he has the capacity to play for us and play a big part in the success of the team. I think nobody would dispute that his performances have been convincing and that he is ready for a fight – even if somebody comes in. Even if somebody else comes in, he will stay here. I extended his contract [in February]. That means I believe in him.”
Coquelin now appears to be a mainstay in what is a very settled team with Wenger starting the same eleven for Arsenal’s last six league games frustrating many of Arsenal’s top players who now have to watch from the bench.
“I know our future is only bright if I can keep a cohesion and a core of players who have been educated here and play year in, year out together,” Wenger said. “That is the difficulty in the modern job. The cohesion is a very important part of the success of the team but you are always under pressure to get in … People always want new. We live in a ‘new world’. The English players will play. People underestimate the fact that when you have been out for a year [like Walcott], it is not in four weeks that you come back.”