London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has risked angering frustrated fans by saying the under-performing London club do not need any January signings if everyone in the current squad stays fit.
The Frenchman has come under mounting criticism in recent weeks as Arsenal`s title challenge has faltered at an early stage again with a 3-2 Premier League defeat to Stoke City last weekend provoking an angry reaction from some supporters.
The Arsenal boss was subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse from fans at a railway station after Saturday`s reverse.
Club officials also blocked unhappy supporters from displaying banners calling for Wenger to be sacked ahead of Arsenal`s 4-1 victory at Galatasaray on Tuesday.
Yet with Arsenal trailing league leaders Chelsea by 13 points, Wenger, who has reputation for keeping his powder dry in the transfer market, said there was no immediate need for January reinforcements unless injuries forced his hand.
"There will be very little activity," he told reporters on Friday. "Quiet in first three weeks, frenetic in last few days. Usually the market is not busy in January.
"If everybody is fit and available, we don`t need to go into transfer market."
Wenger said he may have to rethink his plans if defender Laurent Koscielny fails to recover from a calf injury he suffered in their victory over Southampton on Dec. 3.
The French centre back joins Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Nacho Monreal (foot) on the sidelines for Saturday`s game against Newcastle United, along with the suspended Calum Chambers.
Wenger has found an unlikely ally in Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who the Frenchman once shoved in a touchline skirmish.
Pardew described the incident at the train station as `totally disrespectful` and told Arsenal fans they should be grateful to Wenger for all he has achieved at the club.
"We had a problem once but we sorted it out," Wenger responded.
"I am very thankful for compliments but all I want is to do well for my club."