London (AFP) – Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s squad strength means he has no need to make any last-ditch signings in the January transfer window.
A sign of their strength in depth was that veteran French manager Wenger, in charge of Arsenal since September 1996, was able to make several changes to his starting line-up against the Saints.
Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick against his former club, with Danny Welbeck adding the Gunners’ other two goals as Wenger rested the likes of Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Those four players are all set to return for Tuesday’s league match against Watford, where Arsenal will look to close an eight-point gap to leaders Chelsea.
Wenger, who will be serving the second of a four-match touchline ban against the Hornets at the Emirates, told Arsenal fans not to expect any new arrivals between now and Tuesday’s 2300 GMT transfer deadline.
“It’s not only to buy players, you have to have a need in your squad first of all,” said Wenger. “I believe that number-wise and quality-wise, we have what is required to do well.
“Now it’s down to us to perform and to produce with the quality of our focus, the quality of our ambition and desire to produce the performance in every single game.”
The only player Arsenal have brought in during the transfer window is 20-year-old defender Cohen Bramall, who joined from non-league Hednesford Town for £40,000 (46,000 euros, $48,500).
And Wenger forecast there would be few moves elsewhere before the transfer window shut.
“(It will be) very quiet. On our front, we have a big squad,” he said. “We are not in need of buying.
“On a general front it has been very quiet. That shows that there are not many players available who can strengthen English teams.
“It also shows that all the teams in England, especially the big teams, have big squads. That’s why not a lot happened.”
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been linked with a move to north London side Arsenal but only “because he is French,” said Wenger.
“And maybe there are some noises that he would leave Madrid, but as I just told you, there is no need for us to buy any strikers,” he added.