Speculation was rife towards the end of 2014-15 and through the off-season that the England global would depart, with the switch finally completed last month for a reported fee of £49million.
He told reporters: “I personally rate Raheem Sterling”. The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is a target for the Gunners and the club believe a deal can be completed before the transfer window closes on September 2.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers’ side have opened the season with consecutive 1-0 victories over Stoke City and Bournemouth, and are available at 4/1 (5.00) to make it nine points from nine in this one.
Indeed, Arsenal still seem a few key components short of a title-winning side when compared to the quality on display at Manchester City and Chelsea’s superlative team ethic. “They produce more than us and we have to look at ourselves and see how we can correct that”.
Midfield: Wenger restored Santi Cazorla alongside Francis Coquelin last Sunday and I expect we’ll see that partnership again in the middle of the park. He is similar to [Arsenal striker Olivier[ Giroud, they are players who live from crosses.
But Wenger does acknowledge the scale of Rodgers’ challenge, saying: “Let’s remember two years ago with Suarez, (Daniel) Sturridge and Sterling, Liverpool scored over 100 goals. To score more than a hundred goals in the Premier League, you need special quality, and Sterling was part of that”.
“That notion hasn’t changed but as you evolve as a manager and a coach, you understand and recognise that at times there are different ways to win a game of football”.
The north Londoners have also struggled to cope with big strikers such as Didier Drogba and Andy Carroll in the past.
The first goal was scored from a set-piece by 6ft 4in Cheikou Kouyate.
He said: “When Suarez went to Barcelona I thought the obvious deal was for him to go one way and Sanchez go the other way”.
“I’ve had players like that before – but not with his style”.
“Benteke, he has the stature, he is good in the air, he protects the ball well in that way”.
And even if he did think Sterling did something wrong, he slyly remarked that because we didn’t sell them Luis Suarez in 2013, he had no sympathy.
They will, he plans, be reminded of the TWO that got away.