Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been financially constrained over the last decade because of the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates Stadium. But many argue that it is now time for the Gunners to splash some cash in order to take them onto the next step.
Do Arsenal need to make some big money transfers to become serious challengers for silverware, or will the fitness of players like Robin van Persie determine Arsenal’s success next year?
The north London side’s fans were left to rue van Persie’s injury woes of last season and left to speculate on what might have been if the Dutchman had stayed healthy. Van Persie got injured on Novermber 14 2009 whilst on international duty with the Netherlands and did not return until the 2-1 loss against Tottenham at White Hart Lane…not even Serbian therapist Mariana Kovacevic’s miracle horse placenta cure was enough to get him fit sooner.
Last season the 26-year-old only played 16 games in the Premier League, but still managed to score nine goals in that time whilst creating seven goals via assists.
That season Arsenal faltered during a so-called ‘easy run’ when they were billed as Manchester United’s biggest threat to the title after Chelsea blew a big lead and seemed spent after their 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Ewood Park. But Arsenal failed to capitalise on their kind run of fixtures and dropped points against the likes of Birmingham, Tottenham, Wigan, Manchester City and Blackburn.
The poor run left Arsenal 11 points behind eventual Premier League champions Chelsea, but many Gunners fans argue that if van Persie and captain Cesc Fabregas (picked up an injury near end of season) would have stayed fit they could have achieved so much more.
As it is the Emirates outfit have not won any silverware since the 2005 FA Cup and if truth be told you cannot rely on the fitness of someone as injury prone as van Persie. This is why Arsenal must increase their squad’s depth this summer, so that when RvP decides to take his customary mid to late season holiday they may have a 15-20 striker in reserve this time.
Their fans will argue that a goalkeeper and the defence will have to be addressed as a matter of priority, but surely a big name striker could also work wonders?
Should they decide to cash in on Fabregas then Arsene Wenger would have more funds at his disposal and could even go some way to replace his captain for free if he wins the race to sign out of contract star Joe Cole.
The press has reported that Arsenal are set to spend a total of £30m on the likes of Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar, Mark Schwarzer and Laurent Koscielny. Whilst these are all good players and would fill some of the squad’s deficiencies, are they good enough or big enough names for a club like Arsenal?
I doubt whether they will be enough to usurp the rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, whilst Manchester City and Tottenham also seek to improve.
What do the Arsenal fans think? Do you want some changes at the club, or are the current squad good enough if they stay fit?