Ivan Gazidis has really dug Arsenal and Arsene Wenger into a hole. It really is the point of no return for the club now following the CEO’s comments on financial strength. Well that’s if you’re quick to forget the many, many times Gazidis has talked the club up in the past. This could all be a lot of spin, simple throwaway comments that are put forward in an attempt to appease the masses.
The goal for Arsenal, according to Gazidis, is to create a level footing with clubs like Bayern Munich. Arsenal want to bridge the financial gap between themselves and Real Madrid and Manchester United. It’s the whole thing about spending money to make money, and part of that build is reportedly set to start with the signings of Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini.
There’s far too much of a divide on Rooney these days, with some still under the impression that he’s one of Europe’s best, while others see past all the hype and to the inconsistencies and little return for what Manchester United are paying in wages.
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Based on what we’ve seen from Rooney in the recent past, how much can he really do for Arsenal? I have no reservations in saying that he is better than all the forwards currently in Wenger’s squad, but how much better is he really if he only contributes in various chunks, either during a season or every other? It’s the matter of his fitness and the meagre return of goals. He’s one of the highest paid players in the Premier League and yet he hasn’t fully been able to justify it.
The last season of note for Rooney was 2011-12. Rooney’s numbers were outstanding that year, even off the back of those comments about him wanting to leave the year prior. The player got exactly what he wanted and Manchester United had absolutely no choice other than to do all they could to keep him. The tables have turned now. Doesn’t it say something about the player if United aren’t scrambling to keep hold of him? They’ve invested in Robin van Persie and the Dutchman led the charge in retrieving the league title from their city rivals. A club like United are extremely unlikely to rest of the successes of the previous season.
Rooney, for now, is a device for those who wish to make a statement. It’s not too hard to imagine him lining up for PSG next season, perhaps even Monaco. Those clubs are trying to build a reputation that they never had before. The money is endless and the gamble factor doesn’t really come into play for them. For Arsenal, however, it makes very little sense. If the club are equipped with the means to go out and acquire some of the very best, what makes Rooney the standout candidate? Many are quick to rubbish the links between Rooney and Arsenal, but predominantly because it seems so otherworldly and not because, from a football perspective, it doesn’t really add up.
And what can be said about Fellaini? He’s England’s favourite type of player. Forget the small, crafty technicians, everyone really wants a beast of midfielder who can impose his authority and force his way through fierce opposition.
But maybe that’s what Arsenal need, someone to create a balance in the team’s current setup. And let’s not forget that Fellaini is vastly talented with the ball at his feet; he isn’t a lumbering oaf of a near-forgotten age who simply turns up to rough up opponents.
There have been questions, too, about his ability to convert into a defensive midfielder following much of his time with Everton playing further up the pitch. But shouldn’t it be ‘revert’ instead of ‘convert?’ Didn’t he arrive in England as a holding midfielder? Hasn’t he said in the past that his natural position is closer to the defence than it is to the forwards?
It still seems an unthinkable move from the club’s perspective, not because they may not be capable, but because fans are quick to dismiss the rumours based on hollow promises in the past. Gazidis may wish to talk up the club’s spending capability and the very real prospect of Fellaini at Arsenal next season, but fans generally need a little more than just words.
If it were to come down to it, Fellaini would fit the bill better for the club than Rooney. The risk is there with both players, but in terms of need and wider markets available, the Everton midfielder would be seen as the better buy over the long term.
Should Arsenal invest in Fellaini and Rooney this summer?
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