Arsene Wenger believes it is inevitable that his players were tapped up over the summer.
The Arsenal boss lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool on deadline day after the England international had made it clear he wanted to leave the Emirates.
And Alexis Sanchez was also at the centre of a summer long transfer saga involving Manchester City, with the Chile international almost following Oxlade-Chamberlain out the door a matter of hours before the window shut.
Sanchez did remain, however, after his move to the Etihad collapsed due to Arsenal failing to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.
But despite keeping hold of the former Barcelona man, Wenger is far from happy with how the final weeks of the window played out and he believes it is a clear example of why the rules around the transfer window needed to be changed.
“Have they been tapped up? Of course,” said Wenger. “It’s inevitable.
“France played against Holland on the last day of the transfer window. Do you really think that not one Dutch player or French player had phone calls on the afternoon about whether they move or not?
“You are not naive enough to be believe that. That’s why they need to scrap it before the season starts.”
Asked specificality whether he believed Oxlade-Chamberlain had been spoken to by a rival club on the day Arsenal were beaten at Anfield, Wenger added: “On the day of the game? I hope not.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance during the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool drew lots of criticism from supporters, as did Wenger’s decision to play the England international against a team it was clear he wanted to join.
But the Arsenal boss wouldn’t be drawn on whether he regretted starting the former Southampton man.
“I don’t want to go into individual cases,” he said.
“If I’m a football player, I can perform – even if Liverpool is in my head.
“I don’t think that should stop you performing. I think he was not worse than any other player on the football pitch.”