Many fans have said it and now it seems Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is inclined to agree as Arsenal’s plague of losing star players entering their peak continues.
It is no secret that Arsene has a very keen eye for young talent and in bringing them to Arsenal he develops them into some of the most sought after players in the world.
This was evident with both Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, and lately with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Amidst all the frustration a youth team produces Wenger was adament that failures would build into experience and silverware when finally these young prospects entered their prime.
Although one important factor that Wenger overlooked was ultimate commitment to Arsenal with Cesc and Samir not reflecting the passion Thierry and Patrick gave to the club, with Fabregas having already left the club for Barca and Samir hotly rumoured to soon follow out the exit door.
When asked whether Arsenal has become the feeder club he responded: “Yes we are concerned by that.
“When you take players who are 16 or 17 years old and play them in the Premier League, you need to be brave. But you do it because they deserve it and secondly because you hope the club will be rewarded when these players are 23 or 24, and are in a position to deliver. So it is a concern.
“We have a big squad, a very big squad, and if players leave we try to bring players in, but we request top quality. We are not scared to spend big money, don’t worry. But we want to know what we get for it.”
There is no doubt that after countless trophyless seasons, Arsenal are finding it difficult to retain key players in their bid to break the drought. I still have faith in Arsene to finally give us silverware although I feel Wenger has to show his intent in the transfer window which would require him to act a bit out of character a buy some experienced and already world-class players. An expensive proposition but one that would ultimately be a wise move to retain the likes of Van Persie and Vermaelen who now must be questioning the gunners ambition.
With Cesc gone, and Samir soon to follow it should be like for like, not matured and world-class players for youngsters such as Chamberlain, Jenkinson and Campbell who presently contribute nothing to the first team. There are still 3 weeks remaining in the transfer window though and I have faith Arsene will replace accordingly. If he doesn’t though it looks likely that history is set to repeat itself and the downward spiral will continue…