• Premier League

Wenger: Arsenal can win title

ESPN staff
October 17, 2013
Mesut Ozil has helped propel Arsenal to the top of the league © PA Photos

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are ready to win the Premier League title this season - but hinted the £42 million signing of Mesut Ozil will not spark a future spending spree.

Wenger had previously insisted it was 'ridiculous' to suggest his side were title contenders just seven games into the campaign, but he was far more upbeat in his assessment as he addressed shareholders at the Emirates Stadium for the club's AGM.

"We have huge ambition to win the league this season," stated Wenger.

"We are top (of the table), in a very strong position, but at the end of November will give a much clearer indication of where everyone lies.

"From the end of March until now, we have lost just one match and it created a huge emotion. It was the first game of the season and we hadn't bought anyone, so I understood it. We have shown great mental strength since then.

"The Premier League is tight again this season and we need your support. We've had moments at the Emirates where we've not had that, but it's our job to also inspire you and I am confident that at the end of May, we will all be very happy."

Wenger went on to insist that the club record signing of Ozil is not an indication that he has changed his philosophy of developing young players and blending them into his starting line-up.

Outlining his vision for Arsenal moving forward, Wenger insisted the ambition to unearth world-class talent through their scouting network and their junior ranks remains a priority in the coming years.

Wenger's confident performance confirmed that the mood has changed at Arsenal since last year's AGM turned into a bruising affair for the club's hierarchy, as fans poured criticism on the club's board following the summer sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United.

Yet it was his insistence that one major signing does not change his overall plan to keep a controlled spending agenda that will intrigue supporters who may have been hoping Ozil's arrival was the sign of a change of direction for the club.

"The number of clubs with money is getting bigger, that's why I believe developing our own players is the best route," stated Wenger.

"We were restricted financially and had to be strict, but we have come out of that. However, we have to defend our style of play and values, that comes from developing our own players, with youth policy and that should be core of our club.

"The future of Arsenal will rely on the quality of work we do inside, to scout and develop. We will also look to buy proven quality. We did not need to scout to buy Ozil, it was just money. I am pleased we have shown you we are not afraid to spend."

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