Few people would disagree that Arsenal are an exciting team to watch – but supporters are growing restless with the club’s lack of trophies in recent years. Therefore, Arsenal fans want to see some serious ambition shown by the Arsenal board in the current transfer window. But as Arsenal fans scour the internet for Arsenal transfer news – there still remains the doubt on Arsene Wenger and how confident he is when spending big.
So far Arsenal’s transfer business has been a fairly quiet affair with the free transfer signing of Carl Jenkinson and the capture of exciting Ivory Coast international Gervinho. To be fair to Wenger with the deal for Gervinho believed to be worth £10m plus it is a fairly significant piece of business. However, is he necessarily seen as the finished article or a player that Wenger feels he can develop. A bit like when he signed Juventus winger Thierry Henry and transformed him into a world-class striker. Developing players is arguably Wenger’s biggest strength and something he enjoys doing.
However, when Wenger is given a chunk of change to spend on a player, his record is patchy; sometimes getting it right, but sometimes not. It would be difficult to argue with the signings of Thomas Vermaelen and Samir Nasri, but has Andrey Arshavin really proved to be the superstar signing that Arsenal thought they were getting. There have been expensive mistakes in the past, such as Jose Reyes, Francis Jeffers and others like Alexsandr Hleb and Sylvain Wiltord that were expensive signings but had mixed records at Arsenal. Even a player like Theo Walcott has his critics and has he really managed to fulfil his potential?
Whenever the question of money comes up, Wenger brings out the same old lines about being sensible about the way they do things and the fact that Arsenal want to develop players. In some ways Arsene Wenger’s stance is commendable, but the problem is his Premier League rivals aren’t doing the same. His stance would also be more understandable if he was managing a smaller Premier League club that simply can’t afford to spend big on players.
There is a real danger that if Arsenal don’t spend big this summer they could be left behind. Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have already spent big this summer and Chelsea with a fresh new manager installed look set to join the party soon. When questioned on Arsenal’s lack of trophies, Arsene Wenger has often replied that qualifying for the Champions League is a measure of success. However, in this coming season their place will be under threat from Liverpool most notably and several media pundits are predicting a 5th place finish for Arsenal next season.
Manchester United has already splashed out close to £53m on Phil Jones, Ashley young and David De Gea and it’s believed that there is still money left in the bank. One more big signing could be made by Manchester United if Sir Alex Ferguson feels he needs it. If reports over the last few days are correct the identify of that player could very well be Wesley Sneijder.
Manchester City may be preparing themselves for the loss of Carlos Tevez, but they have already signed his replacement for a reported £35m in the shape of Sergio Aguero and have spent a further £16m on Stefan Savic and Arsenal’s own Gael Clichy. This is also the other side of the problem for Arsenal, it isn’t just a lack of spending – but they are also losing key players. In addition to Clichy, Fabregas looks set for his dream move to Barcelona and doubts remain on the future of Samir Nasri.
Liverpool’s spending though is arguably the most relevant to Arsenal, because they will be looking to break into the top four. Liverpool has spent £43m on Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Doni and Stewart Downing and will certainly believe they now have the squad that can qualify for the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger has a way that he likes to see Arsenal run and it would be a huge surprise if he dramatically changed that. Therefore, they will make more summer signings – but they will be the sort of players Wenger is comfortable with and players he feels he can develop. Deep down I think the thought of spending big on a player scares Wenger and he just doesn’t trust himself to get it right.
Let me know what you think, is wenger scared to spend big money? And will Arsenal finish in the top four against all the odds and predictions? Like this article? Follow me on Twitter