Wenger: we will get stronger

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Arsene Wenger has issued a rallying call to everyone associated with Arsenal Football Club, urging players and fans alike that it is time to focus on the future - and not to dwell on the past.

The sale of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and the imminent departure of Samir Nasri to Manchester City leaves the Gunners with considerable gaps to fill in their midfield, and Wenger has made clear his intention to make further signings before the close of the transfer window.

His immediate attention turns to tonight's Champions League play-off second leg tie in Italy against Udinese, but the frugal Frenchman is determined to reinforce his squad upon his return.

"What is at stake at the moment is for us to qualify, and we can only do it with the players we have at the moment," said Wenger. "They are good enough to achieve that and therefore after that we will see what we can do. We are working very hard on the transfer market.

"We brought in [Alex] Chamberlain - you will see that he will be a great player. Gervinho will be a great player for this club too but we want ideally more. We are short in midfield at the moment and that is where we want to strengthen.


"We lost two great players and that's the sad side of the story but at some stage it has to be over because we want to focus on the future."

Reflecting on the respective transfer sagas surrounding first Fabregas, and later Nasri, Wenger admitted he would have preferred to have resolved their futures earlier, but conceded the timing was out of his control.

"It is not naive [to think it could have happened sooner] but what you forget is that it does not depend only on us," he continued.

"We wanted to sort all these cases out very early after the summer but it wasn't possible and the pace is not only dictated by us unfortunately."

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Samir Nasri

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