As the August transfer deadline approached, Arsene Wenger was keeping his cards close to his chest when it came to the future of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, although the Frenchman’s most recent comments suggest there was an air of inevitability about the duo leaving.
In his most frank admission since the season began, the Arsenal manager has revealed that ‘half the dressing room’ wanted to leave the club during the summer, something which has contributed to the Gunners’ slow start to the season.
Wenger claims that key injuries to the likes of Thomas Vermaelen and Jack Wilshere has made things doubly as difficult.
“It was a very difficult summer because half the dressing room wanted to leave,” Wenger said in comments made on French radio station RTL.
“You’re preparing for a season where you don’t know who’s going to come in, the players who are staying are asking themselves what’s going on at the club, you’ve got a pre-season tour of Asia.
“It was extraordinarily difficult. What saved us is that we’re a club that are extremely solid and united. Other clubs would surely have gone to pieces in those circumstances.
“What people forget is that we lost three key players because we’ve also lost [Jack] Wilshere. Three who were important in our midfield. Nasri, Fabregas and Wilshere have all been lost and they were the basis of our midfield last season”.