Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out the possibility of selling players in January to boost their World Cup hopes.
A number of Gunners players could be axed from their countries’ rosters for Russia if they aren’t given more playing time.
Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott (England) and Olivier Giroud (France) are just three examples of Arsenal players who could boost their World Cup chances with more game time.
France assistant Guy Stephane warned Giroud earlier in the week that he needed to find more playing time to assure himself a spot on Les Bleus’ roster this summer.
“It’s clear that he is not getting enough playing time and Didier (France manager Didier Deschamps) has already spoken to him about it,” Stephan told TF1. “He has to find a solution in the coming weeks.”
But Wenger says he can’t allow individual players’ World Cup hopes to dictate his transfer strategy.
“I want to keep the squad. We qualified now for the Europa League and that means we do not want to reduce the squad,” Wenger said.
“We have the League Cup, still we are in it. The FA Cup still to come, the Europa League to come, we have the Premier League where we have a big fight to be in the top four. You do not want to become weaker.
“I have to consider the interest of the player but dominant of that will be the interests of the club and if you can combine the two it is even better, but first is what is important for the club.
“They have to make their decisions, I have to make mine. I cannot consider too much the interest of the national team.”‘
Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud have all been linked with a January move away from Arsenal, and all three are likely to start in the Europa League against BATE on Thursday.