As the January transfer window approaches, Arsene Wenger needs to find proven quality and top quality. There’s little time to talk about the great hope of Financial Fair Play and all the rewards it will bring Arsenal. At this stage, it’s nothing more than a fool’s dream and there’s been worryingly little to indicate it would allow the club to finally take off. The club’s main aim is money driven, with the Champions League providing the means that take them from one day to the next. It does appear that we’re talking about a team who could crumble if a wrong (or ambitious) move is made. But that’s not the case for Arsenal, or at least we’re led to believe. The club are sitting pretty on a chamber full of cash reserves, the CEO brings home a reported £2 million-a-year, for what I’m not entirely sure, while the manager is one of the highest paid in Europe.
The time for serious action in the transfer market has come, and it wasn’t just the loss to Swansea on the weekend that forced the floodgates to open for ambitious moves. Those gates creaked open in 2008 when Arsenal needed reinforcements for their charge on the league title. They opened a little wider in the summer of that year when the club needed to build rather than replace; Xabi Alonso was spoken about as a target but the club decided to stick with the internal option of Denilson. That year and each following the club have been able to rely on Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie. Those players aren’t around anymore, and the decline will continue unless the club recognise the need to play their cards as a football club rather than a business.