Wright urges Wenger to spend big

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger should spend big on international players such as Michael Essien in order to send a strong message to their Premier League rivals.

The North London outfit are setting themselves up for a busy summer with both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri believed to be close to joining Gael Clichy, who recently joined Manchester City, through the Emirates Stadium exit door.

Although the Highbury legend refused to criticise the Frenchman’s transfer tactics, he has urged the 61-year-old to make some ‘bullish’ signings and take a dip in the English transfer market instead of signing unknown youngsters.

"Arsenal are being left behind. And the trouble is, when all the top-class players have gone, it becomes extremely difficult to lure other top players to your club,” Wright said in his column in The Sun.

"Wenger has put his faith in picking up little gems from abroad, little-known players who he can nurture and develop.

"What I'd like to see are some bullish signings," he added. "Go out and chase the likes of Michael Essien. Get him back on top form and he's a fabulous player.

"Make the rest of English football sit up and take notice for once – not just Arsenal fans who can see the lights going out on their club."

By Matt Maltby