Date: 4th January 2013 at 9:45am
Written by:

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has candidly spoken out about the pressure he is under in the transfer market, as well as the more competitive nature of scouting on the continent.

Speaking about signings, Wenger said, ‘It’s very difficult because the level of expectation is very high. People want to see Lionel Messi. They don’t want to see a promising guy.’

“First of all the name gives hope. When a guy has no name people are already sceptical. So it’s much more difficult for us.”

With specific reference to Sunday’s opponents Swansea and their capture of Michu for a paltry £2m, Arsene expanded, ‘We have some clubs who are doing very well and sometimes when you are at a big club your scouts are a bit more cautious because they think, ‘Oh, it is Arsenal so it has to be a top-four player’,” the manager said.

“Naturally they look less at players who play at smaller clubs, which Swansea can afford to do. You`re always scared that if he [turns out to be] a player who does not do well, the scouts are looked at as responsible.’

The Arsenal manager has recruited Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Eisfeld in the last 18 months and he suggested that Germany, along with Spain, is a bigger hotbed of talent than France, one of Arsenal’s scouting strongholds.

‘The competition is high on the scouting front. The country where we were really, really competitive was France. They produce less players than they did 10, 15 years ago at top, top, top level in France.

“The emerging countries that are producing players look to be Germany and Spain and they have many good young players. They have taken over.”

But he did suggest that one of his previous countries of residence, Japan, was becoming a burgeoning market for talent, ‘We are trying to diversify much more where we are looking,” he said. “In England you are a bit limited.

“I find that a new market that is very interesting and very competitive is the Japanese market. Look at the number of Japanese players who play now in Germany for example.”

So, when are we signing Messi then?