Wenger takes 'massive gamble'
Gunners boss confident Giroud and Podolski can fill Van Persie void
Last Updated: August 17, 2012 10:34am
Arsene Wenger: Confident Arsenal 'have what is needed to be ambitious'
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger concedes the club have taken a massive risk in selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United and understands why fans feel betrayed.
The former Gunners captain is set to complete a £24million move to Old Trafford later on Friday morning and is currently undergoing the final elements of his medical in Manchester.
Arsenal fans have been devastated by the loss of last season's Premier League top scorer, Van Persie, who had only 12 months left on his contract and did not want to sign a new deal.
And ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Sunderland at Emirates Stadium, Wenger understands the frustration of supporters who have in past seasons watched the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry depart the club in their prime.
"We have lost world-class players before and we have always survived"
Arsene Wenger Quotes of the week
Wenger said at a press conference of Van Persie: "I know it is a massive gamble but I feel we have the quality to deal with that. I can understand people are hurt."
But the Arsenal boss is confident the summer signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla can compensate for the loss of Van Persie to fierce rivals United.
The Londoners could yet also lose Alex Song to Barcelona and are lining up Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin as a replacement but they have also already invested almost £40m in transfers.
And Wenger added on the Van Persie situation: "We anticipated this might happen so we bought Giroud and Podolski.
"If you look at the number of players, we have a massive squad. We have what is needed to be ambitious.
"We bought players who can provide, we bought players who can score.
"We have lost world-class players before and we have always survived."