Wenger’s £20m gamble?

The Samir Nasri transfer saga rolls on. This week Wenger has declared that Nasri will be staying at the Emirates and has ensured fans that he will be not be sold at any price. Could this be a risk worth taking, giving themselves 12 more months to prove their potential to Samir? It would seem a better solution than taking a risk of losing Nasri, Fabregas and Clichy over one summer.

The 24-year-old wants a move away to fulfil ambition of winning some silverware in England, something he has not yet managed to achieve at Arsenal, unless you count the Emirates Cup. He is unlikely to extend his contract in the current situation and it was thought Arsenal were keen to cash in on the French playmaker.

Instead Nasri, who still has 12 months to run on his contract, has travelled to Asia with the team and was a second half substitute in their convincing 4-0 friendly win over a Malaysia XI. It looks that Wenger is keeping the player at the club at any risk. He said yesterday: “I’m willing to keep him for another year, even if it means we risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time. I think the board agrees with me as it is a technical decision.”

Wenger knows that to sell Nasri now would net him around £20 millions but his loss could have an irreversible effect on the side. If the seemingly inevitable transfer of captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona transpires this summer then Wenger could be faced with the dilemma of losing two of his elite players.

Having to compete against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and a resurgent looking Liverpool for a Champions League spot is going to be hard enough with their current team, imagine trying it without them. Not something that Arsenal can afford to do with Champions League football earning them around £30m a season. Not selling Nasri now is a calculated risk by the Professor Wenger as he realises that the club can re-coup the money lost through a higher placed finish. He seems confident that the board will back his decision to keep the creative play-maker, who netted 15 times in 45 games last season, and he knows Nasri owes a lot to Arsenal, who took a chance on the young midfielder, and that he should repay them by seeing out the rest of his contract.

It must be frustrating for Wenger who thought he had secured Nasri on a new four-year deal before their season turned into its disastrous end, losing to Barcelona in the Champions League, Manchester United in the FA Cup and to Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final.

Of course they would have to replace him but who would they find for £20m to replace his quality and with the departure of the unsettled Fabregas, Nasri knows he would take a much bigger role next season in his favoured position of central midfield, is this enough to make him stay?

I think Wenger’s insistence to keep Nasri at the club despite the obvious risks shows that he has given up trying to keep Fabregas. If Cesc was staying put in North London, why would Wenger be trying so hard to keep Nasri and even be taking the gamble of losing him for nothing?

Not only will Wenger’s stance have pleased the Gunners fan’s but it has also shown himself to be in control of the situation and nothing like the sinking ship some for the media have portrayed at the Emirates.

This is a transfer yarn that will not go away with the transfer window is open with speculation continuing of a move away from the club. If Nasri does indeed honour his last year of his contract he can leave for next to nothing in 12 months costing Arsenal £20m in the process.

If Arsenal can perform on the pitch and finally win the silverware Samir so craves, then maybe it would be a sensible gamble to take but if there is yet another season of disappointment, he will be leaving for next to nothing in the summer costing Arsenal around £20m in the process. It is a big gamble but one worth taking to ensure some success this season.

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