Arsene Wenger has admitted he will need to strengthen his Arsenal side if they are to challenge for major honours in the future.
Arsenal boss concedes that money needs to be spent
Arsene Wenger has admitted he will need to strengthen his side if they want to challenge for honours.
The Arsenal boss saw his young side taken apart by a Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Gunners went ahead at Camp Nou as Nicklas Bendtdner made it 3-2 on aggregate and gave the English giants some hope of making it into the last four of the UEFA Champions League.
But within minutes Messi had equalised and he helped himself to another three as the match ended in a rout.
And Wenger, a huge fan of cultivating his own talent, concedes he will need to invest in the future if the Gunners are to progress.
"We have to add something, for sure, but we have some time to think about that," admitted Wenger.
"We are at a stage where we're developing players.
"[Theo] Walcott is 22; [Nicklas] Bendtner is 22; [Samir] Nasri, [Abou] Diaby and Denilson are 22 or 23. They've shown some great qualities and they'll get stronger every year.
"We were very young and what we did was very positive. We had six or seven players under 23 in the team and we had plenty of opportunities. We showed we lacked maturity in the weight of the final ball."
Wenger refused to be drawn on immediate targets, instead looking ahead to their Premier League clash with arch-rivals Tottenham next week.
"The priority now is to recover from the game," he said.
"We have played quite well, with a lot of character as ever, but we made a few too many mistakes.
"The match forces you straight away to focus because you know it's going to be a derby.
"Yes, of course, you worry about the team's needing lifting. We have to recover quickly because we cannot drop any more points to have a chance to fight for the Premier League. That's why we have to recover and focus completely on the Premier League now."
Wenger admits his side were almost helpless to prevent Messi from torturing his young guns.
"He is like a PlayStation player," Wenger said.
"He can take advantage of every mistake you make. He can make a difference at any moment.
"The defeat is difficult to handle because when you go out of the Champions League, the next day you are in front of a very empty future.
"Our dreams are involved in that but you have to address the disappointment and make sure you're ready for the next game.
"It's difficult to know how much we missed [the injured captain] Cesc Fabregas. We missed seven or eight players but I'd love to have had Fabregas."