Arsene Wenger admits he must sell before he can buy at Arsenal.
The Gunners have only added two players this summer – Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette – and their shortcomings, particularly defensively, were exposed as Arsenal lost 1-0 at Stoke on Saturday evening.
Wenger has not ruled out more signings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but his immediate priority is to move out unwanted players rather than add new ones
I expect to sell players first,” he said. “We have too many players. It is not manageable. Many clubs are in this situation – that is why the transfer market is quiet. We have 33 players at the moment. We have too many players.”
Regarding arrivals, Wenger said he could not get into “transfer mode” in the immediate aftermath of the loss at the bet365 Stadium.
Arsenal outplayed Stoke for long spells and were aggrieved not to gain at least a point after a strong penalty appeal was rejected and a goal disallowed. They spurned a host of other chances.
Hector Bellerin felt he should have been awarded the spot-kick after being brought down by Mame Biram Diouf in the first half. Jese Rodriguez compounded their frustration by scoring a superb debut goal for the Potters early in the second period.
Arsenal finished strongly with Alexandre Lacazette rifling home a fierce shot but he was ruled marginally offside.
Wenger conceded his side, who despite their dominance were vulnerable to counter-attacks, were caught out, but dismissed the general criticism of the defence that has grown since last week’s frantic 4-3 win over Leicester.
“Last week we conceded two goals on corners and they only had three shots on goal, so I don’t believe we defended so badly,” he said. “On set-pieces, yes. But here I say we could look at ourselves and, on the goal we conceded, we were 100 per cent guilty.