Date: 26th January 2017 at 10:03pm
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Manager Arsene Wenger has been in front of the media to discuss our upcoming FA Cup fourth round opponents Southampton.

With the Saints booking their place in the League Cup Final with a two legged victory over Liverpool on Wednesday evening, they are familiar opponents this season and Wenger knew they would come into our clash on a high from their success.

Wenger also had praise for the side as he spoke to the Official Site in his pre game press conference and not only did he praise their production line – we’ve benefited from Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers – whilst you can also include Gareth Bale and Adam Lallana to name two more, he praised his former player Claude Puel for the job he’s doing with them.

‘They are on a high. They produced a fantastic performance at Liverpool, so overall that makes the game even more interesting and more difficult as well. They are not short of confidence at the moment and will certainly have a big support, but it`s an FA Cup game and we want to qualify.’

With Southampton’s rise from League One and darker days into the Premier League and the Europa League, Wenger went on to say.

‘They are certainly a football club who have done one of the best jobs in producing young players, on keeping the quality high despite losing big players. Overall, I think they`ve done a remarkable job, because they were punished quite harshly because they went down to League One, but they came up and since they`ve produced consistent results and quality games. I think it is a club where you can say ‘really well done` because what they`ve done is remarkable.’

Asked if our opposition could consider themselves a top 10 side thesedays, he added.

‘I think they have the quality to do that. When you look they produced Walcott, Bale, Oxlade-Chamberlain, plus all the players that have left them since. Last year they lost Wanyama, they lost Mane, and people thought they would suffer this year. Again, they have really top quality – they lost Lallana, they lost many top players. Overall what they have managed to do is absolutely remarkable. I think it`s the club in England that has produced and developed the most players in the last 10 years and that`s absolutely remarkable.’

As every press conference with Wenger does, the subjects bounced around a little and the January transfer window featured especially as it related to Mathieu Debuchy’s future and the often speculated loan for Carl Jenkinson.

For Debuchy he said.

‘It has gone quiet because I didn`t close the door because there`s a lot of competition on the right flank. Now Gabriel has been convincing on the right side as well, so I don`t close the door. What I just want to say is that he`s fully fit now and so he is available to play and maybe even to have an experience somewhere else.’

And Jenkinson.

‘As I said in the last press conference, only he has to agree personal terms. But at the moment, he has not managed to do that.’

Questioned about potential incomings before the end of the month, Wenger ruled them out.

‘We are not on the verge of signing anyone.’

Ending with team news and the potential to rest anybody for the game, he explained that Santi Cazorla was the only one not in full training ahead of the match.

‘We have Theo Walcott back in the squad and of course we lose Granit Xhaka because he will be suspended. Mohamed Elneny is at the Africa Cup of Nations and that`s it. The good news is that Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy are back in full training from Friday, so the squad is quite big, but we are a bit short in midfield at the moment.’

Adding about the potential to rest people.

‘We`ll put out a team with first-team experience. Maybe there will be one or two younger players, but no more. Overall, it`s the squad that will play. I have not yet completely decided who will play and who will not play. It`s a first-team squad that will be involved.’

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