Wenger offers solution to Chelsea’s ‘small squad problems’

Date published: Friday 11th August 2017 10:23

Arsene Wenger sympathises with Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte over the size of his squad – but reckons the Blues have made their own problems by loaning out so many players.

Conte has spoken out several times during pre-season about what he perceives to be a lack of depth in his squad at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian delivered the Premier League title at the first time of asking last season.

But, despite spending in excess of £130million on fresh talent, his future has reportedly been up in the air as he is unhappy with the number of players at his disposal.

Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill echoed those sentiments after the reigning champions were beaten on penalties by Wenger’s Arsenal in the Community Shield last weekend.

Wenger has the challenge of trying to shift players from Arsenal’s bloated ranks, but he suggested Chelsea have made a rod for their own back after typically sending over 20 players on loan within England and across Europe in recent seasons.

Asked if he was surprised that Conte was complaining about his squad size, Wenger said: “Maybe, yes he has the opposite problem (to Arsenal) but if you look at the number of players that are out on loan, they can call a few back.

“I have sympathy for him. But do I feel sorry for Chelsea because they don’t have enough players? Then no.”

Chelsea have recruited Antonio Rudiger from Roma, Monaco’s Ligue 1-winning midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and also broke their transfer record to sign striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.



Wenger ready to make more signings


Wenger has spoken about the size of his squad and the need for trimming numbers – but said that does not mean the Gunners are finished recruiting.

“We are still open,” he said. “But of course at the moment I have currently 33 players and it is very difficult to manage on a daily basis such a high number.”

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