Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires has leapt to the defence of manager Arsene Wenger following criticisms of the club’s activities during the transfer window.
Arsenal recruited Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez, Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding ahead of last Wednesday’s deadline, but there is a sense of frustration emanating from sections of the club’s support, who watched Premier League rivals spend big on established stars and exciting prospects.
But Pires, who won two league titles during his time playing under Wenger, believes there is cause for optimism this season.
“I believe in this team, this squad, and of course in Arsene Wenger,” he said.
“I know a lot of fans are critical about Arsene. But this is our philosophy, to spend not a lot of money, compared to [Manchester] United, [Manchester] City or Chelsea.
“I think the quality is there. This is my opinion, but when you see all the names at Arsenal, the quality is unbelievable. Because sometimes I am training with the guys and the team is very, very good.
“We need maybe luck for this season and let’s hope and cross our fingers.”
Fellow Arsenal alumnus Nwankwo Kanu added: “You know the problem with Arsenal, when you need them, they let you down.
“I believe they have learned from that. It doesn’t matter how good you play football, you need to get the points when it’s needed.”
Arsenal’s season resumes when they host Southampton on Saturday.