Football

Wenger believes in Gunners squad

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he could well head into the first game of the Barclays Premier League campaign with the squad he has now - and will "trust" his men to deliver.

With the majority of the his first-team squad away on international duty - including Theo Walcott with England and youngster Jack Wilshere in the Under-21s - Wenger is keeping his fingers crossed he will have no fresh injury concerns when the players return ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton, which is set to be closely followed by the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against Celtic in Glasgow.

The manager told Arsenal TV Online: "I am very optimistic about the season and I am very positive about this team."

He added: "Overall we have had a very positive preparation, and I believe we have shown quality in every game.

"It is unfortunate that now everybody goes away on international games, which is why we have to cross our fingers that everybody comes back in good shape. But overall, physically, everybody is ready to start."

Moves for former captain Patrick Vieira and Bordeaux's £12million-rated Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh appear no further forwards, while Arsenal have also been linked with St Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

"Not at the moment, no," said Wenger when asked if there was any imminent news on the transfer front.

"We work always, but it would be pretentious to say that we signed anybody now before the season starts."

Thomas Vermaelen is, so far, Wenger's only summer signing and the Belgian centre-half did not feature in the Gunners' final three pre-season friendlies because of a groin problem, but is expected to be available for this weekend.

"He is very close," said Wenger. "If we had wanted to take a gamble then we could have played him against Valencia, but we did not want to. He should be available for next weekend."

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Topics:
Arsenal
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Everton
Patrick Vieira
Jack Wilshere
Patrick Vieira
Theo Walcott

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