x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Arsene Wenger: Chelsea are back in business

The Arsenal manager believes the transfer deadline day signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz shows Chelsea are back in the title race.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, believes the transfer deadline day signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz shows that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich means business again — and expects the Blues to spend big once more in the summer.

Chelsea shelled out more than £70 million (Dh415m) to secure two signings as Carlo Ancelotti looks to get his men back in the title race and stay on course for European glory in the Champions League.

Wenger, who made no major transfer moves in January, feels it is a signal of intent from the Blues’ Russian benefactor.

“For a while, Abramovich was a bit in no man’s land where nobody could really guess whether he wanted to still invest or not. Certainly, that has changed,” the Arsenal manager said.

“He has decided to put big money in again, and that tells you that certainly in the summer more will come. He is back to full investment.

“If you don’t invest for a while, it looks as if maybe he is not as involved in it any more, doesn’t like it as much — but when you invest £75m it means more will come.

“It looks Chelsea are back on the market, which they were not for a while.”

Chelsea’s spending comes despite the forthcoming Uefa Financial Fair Play Rules, and also came on the day the Stamford Bridge club announced significant losses again.

“Chelsea supported the financial fair play,” Wenger said. “In the morning they announce a £70m loss and in the afternoon buy £75m worth of players. Where’s the logic in that? It is very difficult to guess.

“Officially they vote for the financial fair play, so they can explain much better than I why they do that.”

Meanwhile, Wenger is in no doubt his young Arsenal side are showing the heart of champions after coming from behind to beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium, where Cesc Fabregas, the Gunners captain, found himself at the centre of another row.

David Moyes, the Everton manager, though, was left less than impressed by Fabregas, whom he claimed should have been sent off for alleged abuse at the officials when the teams went off down the tunnel at half-time following controversey over Louis Saha’s opening goal, which should have been ruled offside.

“I think it was offside, but it was not Everton who made the decision,” Moyes said. “If the linesman does not give offside, we have to take the chance.

“Fabregas’ comments to the officials when he was coming down the tunnel warranted a sending off. If you had said it on the pitch, you should have been off like that, so what is the difference when you are coming down the tunnel?

Wenger, however, rejected those claims and believes Arsenal have again displayed the courage needed to last the distance this season.

“I was next to Fabregas at half-time and I can’t see why David Moyes is furious with him,” Wenger said.

“Fabregas didn’t speak to the referee at half-time, I did.”

Arsenal staged an impresive second-half comeback through substitute Andriy Arshavin and a Laurent Koscielny header which leaves Arsenal five points adrift of leaders Manchester United.

“It was more a victory of a team with fantastic spirit and a never-say-die attitude than our usual game, but that of course is needed in the championship,” Wenger said.

“This is maybe the aspect of the team which has been questioned the most, and recently that’s where we have been the most convincing.

“Every time we have shown, even when football-wise our level dropped a little bit, we have always shown fantastic attitude.”