Gunners boss comes clean over transfer.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that the club’s January acquisition of midfielder Kim Kallstrom was a “gamble” but decided to press ahead anyway despite being well aware of the risks, Sky Sports reports.
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Wenger pounced for the Swedish international on transfer deadline day after seeing his midfield ranks depleted by injuries to Jack Wilshire, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini.
However, the 108-cap international will not be of much use to the manager as he arrived from Russian giants Spartak Moscow with a back injury that will keep him out for the next month.
But Wenger defended his decision by claiming that he knew the risks and decided to gamble anyway.
“The earliest he could be available would be the end of February and the latest would be mid-March,” he said.
“We have to establish the real truth about this story. He arrived here and fell on his back two days before.
“First of all it’s very difficult to identify a player, who can come in, of that stature and then we made a medical (check) of his back and we found out he had a little micro-fracture.
“We have all played with micro-fractures.
“Then Spartak Moscow accepted to share the costs – as long as he’s injured they will pay – and we had a decision to make.”
Asked if he considering pulling out of the deal, the Arsenal manager said: “Yes of course it crossed my mind. I would not have signed him if we had two or three more days to do something, but it was Friday night at five o’clock, so it was [a case of] you [sign] nobody or you do it under these conditions.
“I decided to do it because we might, because of the number of games we have now in February, need the players in March or April.
“There is a possibility [that he may not play], but as well there is the possibility that he scores us the winning goal that might be vitally important.”
Wenger added: “We could have gone without, but first of all you must identify a player who has the quality to play for us in January.
“Then, because we have the number of players needed in that area, [they have to be] not locked in a deal of three or four years, where you pay the players to do nothing.
“So to find a player on a free loan, of that quality, on Wednesday morning until Friday night, is not easy.”
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