- Premier League
Wenger: No more financial restrictions at Arsenal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has assured fans they can look forward to a brighter future with greater transfer activity at the club.
Wenger was in upbeat mood following Monday's 5-2 Premier League victory against Reading, a result that put to bed some of the negative attention the club had received following last week's shock Capital One Cup exit at the hands of League Two side Bradford City.
The Frenchman revealed that the club are finally in position to spend significantly in the transfer market, after overcoming the difficult financial transition to a new stadium.
Wenger is hopeful the club will be able to attract the biggest stars in the future, and prevent the Gunners' brightest talents leaving for more lucrative contracts at rival sides.
"We have gone through a period where we had restricted potential, financially," Wenger said. "[That happens] when you move into the new stadium, but we have come over that period and now hopefully can be a bit more convincing [with transfers and contracts]."
With the club reportedly set to announce long-term deals for five first-team players - including midfielder Jack Wilshere - at the start of 2013, Wenger underlined his hope that a core of English talent will propel the north Londoners back towards Premier League title contention over the next few years.
However, he had a word of warning for stars like Wilshere - saying it is they who must provide the ardent desire to win everything in the game if the club are to ever have a chance of winning football's biggest prizes.
"I believe we have a good core of young English players," Wenger added. "I hope we will be capable of building a team around all these young English players, who will hopefully be capable of achieving something."
He added: "I believe as well when a club gives a chance to young players, somewhere the players must say 'Let's do it together'. Because if you educate players, at some stage fate is in their hands - and they must want to win together."
One player who might not be around for Arsenal's long-term future, however, is Theo Walcott - with negotiations over a contract extension still ongoing.
Wenger stressed that a new deal would be a mere formality if the decision was solely up to him, but other factors are in play.
Wenger said: "It's not my decision - it's Theo's decision as well, you know? If it is my decision then it [an extension] is quickly done."