Wenger: Why I snubbed Barry & Alonso

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has revealed he opted not to sign either Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry as it would have stunted the progress of his talented young midfielders at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners were linked with moves for both experienced enforcers 12 month's ago, with Barry eventually remaining at Villa Park for a season before joining Manchester City, while Alonso followed suit by signing for Real Madrid for €30 million.

Wenger - for the first time during his 13-year tenure in North London - received criticism from his own club's supporters during the close-season, with fans keen to see their iconic boss add some steel to their midfield to compliment their vast ranks of unpolished starlets and win a trophy for the first time in since 2005.

However, he has since revealed that he chose not to splash out a large transfer fee on either Alonso or Barry, as the arrival of one of them would inevitably have halted the development of players such as Denilson, Alex Song and Abou Diaby - players who have excelled in Arsenal's free-scoring start to 2009/10.

"I have been criticised for not hiring Xabi Alonso or Gareth Barry. But if I signed them, I would have killed Song, Diaby and Denilson,” he said.

And Wenger's strategy has also benefited young Gunners Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey - with the latter having already featured nine times this season.

“I told the shareholders we have to trust this team. Everything is based on my own conviction," he said.

"If in two years I don't have any success, it will be my fault. It is a bet I made.”