Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he's under no illusions about the defensive deficiencies in his current squad, sharing plans to target a key signing in that position when the January transfer window opens.
Wenger addressed Arsenal fans at the club's annual general meeting today and conceded that he could have justified spending on a centre-back in the summer, but simply didn't identify a player he felt could improve his squad considerably.
The Gunners boss fielded questions along chairman Sir Chips Keswick and chief executive Ivan Gazidis, while majority shareholder Stan Kroenke even offered a statement in a meeting which has become a must-follow event for the Arsenal faithful.
Wenger admitted he also places great importance on the AGM, because it gives him the chance to convince 'skeptical' supporters he's still the right man to take the club forward.
English core now central to Wenger's vision
Early on in a passionate message the Gunners boss insisted: "I know I don't always please you like I'd love to. Every season, there's an apprehension we may not fulfil your expectations. But we give it everything to please you."
"We have done remarkably well in transfer window. We tried to buy one more, a defender, but we didn't find one. But we will try to rectify that in January.
"We have developed a more English team. We wanted to make a more English team. We have a good core of young English players and overall we are going in the right direction."
There's no question that Wenger has made a concerted to put homegrown talent at the centre of a long-term plan to keep Arsenal fighting for the Premier League title, with summer deals for Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck a prime example of that shift.
The lack of cover in defence remains a huge concern for Gunners fans despite those encouraging signings though, particularly given Laurent Koscielny's continued struggles with tendinitis in both Achilles tendons.
Plenty of interesting developments beyond transfer policy
Arsenal fans have a lot of information to digest after the latest interaction with fairly aloof senior figures at the club, but Josh Kroenke is a name that they will not want to keep a close eye on.
Silent Stan's son had his election to the board rubber-stamped today, with the 34-year-old formally invited to continue work with Arsenal that he actually began last December.
Kroenke junior's position is a strong indication that his family intend to stay at the Emirates for the long-term, one that will back Wenger to the hilt for better or worse.