Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have found it difficult to identify quality players to add to their squad in the transfer market.
The Gunners have only added Granit Xhaka, Takuma Asano and Rob Holding, despite having seven first-team players out injured, with key trio Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil also short of match fitness after they were given an extended break following Euro 2016.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a number of defenders – including Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi – with only two weeks remaining until the transfer window closes.
Wenger understands frustrations of Arsenal fans, who turned on him during last Sunday’s 4-3 home defeat to Liverpool, but insists he will not pay too highly for “average players”.
“Buying calms the fans of course but we have to make sure we spend it the right way,” he said at his pre-match media conference ahead of the match at Leicester City.
“I think it’s very difficult to find players and identify them. That’s why everyone is on the market for the same players and the deals.
“On the whole transfer market there is very little happening because of the availability of players.
“You can play huge amounts of money for average players – there are plenty of those – but to find the ones who will strengthen your squad, that is more difficult.
“It’s not my money and it’s important to spend money the right way.”
Arsenal have also pursued Alexandre Lacazette, but have found Lyon stubborn in negotiations for the France striker.
Wenger explained: “We are not scared to spend money but to buy in itself is not a quality – to buy good players is. This club has been built on that.
“The transfer policy we have had here has helped build the club. I know we haven’t done as much as many people but we are out there. I have made 400 transfers in my life and I know everyone has a rhythm that you are not the only one to decide on it.
“It’s better for me not to speak about any player. But I would like to reassure you that we are not afraid to spend the money we have and we are working very hard.
“Fans today are better informed, have stronger opinions. It’s more difficult but you still have to be strong enough to do the things you feel are right.
“Before you pay over the odds you have to be convinced by the player. Can he strengthen your squad? Then you must have the money available to pay, because we already invested at a very high price. And we will do so again.
“We work very hard and I cannot tell you much more. What I fight against is to tell the only way is to buy.”