Today we’re featuring a guest post from our regular reader Desmond Kreijne who has a thing or two to say about this coming transfer window. While many Gunner fans are expecting big signings this summer with money splashed around left, right and center on the likes of Hazard or M’Vila, Desmond is realist and expects Wenger to not break the bank but rather utilize the developing players he has with the addition of a striker or two.
The Arsenal Transfer Delusion
by Desmond Kreijne
I will never understand why so many Gooners seem to think that the true worth of a player “Arsenal should get” can be gotten from Youtube and his price tag. Liverpool are the perfect example of the worthlessness of a price tag and I could put together a video compilation in a matter of minutes that would make Almunia look like a god.
First off let’s get one thing straight; Gooners must understand that we are never going to get Hazard, M’Villa or any player valued over 20 million. Simply because we don’t need those players and we can’t afford them. If Hazard is so good then why has no other team snapped him up already? The fact is he’s still a “prospect”, he’s very flashy and looks great but he drifts in and out of games and sometimes doesn’t even show up. Why would we need a player like him when we have Walcott and Gervinho? They have flashes of brilliance and Gervinho had more goals and assists than Hazard when we bought him. Where would Hazard fit in? We have Walcott, Ox, Gervinho, Wilshire, Rosicky, Benayoun, Ramsey, Miyaichi, Eisfeld, Coquellin and too many other very capable ‘prospects’ coming through the ranks.
Silly season has begun again, the season where blogs and the media have nothing more to report than rumours and the comments sections of each get filled with fans making personal pleas to Wenger to buy the players they think we need. Pundits will give their opinions, ex-players will give theirs but if they had all the answers they’d be managing teams themselves.
Wenger will never make a ‘marquee’ signing. Yet again he has told fans indirectly that we don’t have 30 million plus wages to spend on a single player. Every summer we’re told we have 50 million to spend, well that 50 must also be used to improve our current crop of players wages. Van Persie is due a bumper pay rise and Walcott needs to be given a nice bit of cash to stay too, I would rather they got Song to extend this summer too, instead of waiting until the next one. I would much rather we threw 10 million at Van Persie and got him to sign on the dotted line, than worry about who else we need.
30+ million for a player like Hazard or M’Villa is a waste of money, it’s too big a gamble to take on one player who may not even turn up, Torres is a prime example of that, we really can’t afford to spend 30 – 40 million on a flop, who we then would have sell at a loss, our club is in a healthy financial position but that could very easily be disrupted and ruined by making silly choices. It’s a risk that Arsenal cannot afford to make and it’s one they don’t need to make.
Besides would any of you really swap the Ox for Hazard? Because that’s the person in the team he would replace. Gooners blame Wenger’s lack of forward planning for the disaster that happened at the start of this season. But how do you plan for Wilshere’s injury? How do you plan on losing Nasri a player who gave the impression he would stay until the last minute? Or plan for Vermaelen to spend his time on the sidelines? The simple fact is at the start of the season we were crushed by injuries to key players but this had a positive effect of forcing our hand into some very good last minute transfer business.
This is what will happen this summer. Wenger has stated that we need more strikers as cover for Van Persie, Podolski has been touted but I don’t believe it for one second, until it’s officially announced then it’s not on. He will be buying a new striker on that I have no doubt. We’re not getting Hazard or M’Villa and we don’t need them, would M’Villa be better for us than Arteta, Wilshere, Coquelin or Song? 30+ million is not worth paying to find out and I wouldn’t swap any of them for him. If you think we can buy him anyway then you need to stop playing fantasy football it has made you deluded, 5 similar players competing for perhaps two positions on the kind of wages he would demand is not feasible. Vertongen, where would he fit in? We have Koscielny, Vermaelen, Djourou, Mertezacker and Miquel, Bartley et al as back up. Unless Mert’s injury will see him miss a large portion of next season too then Vertongen is not coming.
An argument I hear a lot from Gooners is that we can shift the dead weight and make room for players. I like the idea but in practice it’s not feasible either. Our dead weight are all out on loan or don’t get games anyway, why replace Denilson with M’Villa if he’s not going to play, or if we have to bench one of our proven players for him? And no, rotation would not be enough of a reason, City is a prime example of having too many stars on the bench, they get frustrated and they lash out, and you lose that all important team cohesion. You also have to consider that any surplus European players like Bendtner won’t be sold until after the Euros in order to get a good price. We literally do not need the amount of additions people think we do. Our recent run of form has shown what this team can do, we can beat anyone and that’s without Wilshere.
We already have the players available to us to win trophies next season plus the striker(s) that Wenger has stated he will buy. If we can lock down Walcott and Van Persie, get Wilshere fit, keep Benayoun, offload a couple of fringe players and buy one more striker at the start of the summer then we’ll be set for next season. Hopefully Wenger will start playing players in their best position, namely give Walcott a chance to bed in as our CF, although somehow I doubt that will happen. We have top class keepers, a central defensive pairing that can be the best in league with adequate back up, the best right back in the world, left backs that are not amazing but good, a midfield consisting of 3 players at any one time perfectly capable of dominating even the strongest 5 man midfield of any opposition and a group of attacking players that can out do anyone for pace, skill and goal scoring prowess.
Have faith my fellow gooners and stop this wretched blog comment begging for the players you think we need. We’ll get a striker and maybe one or two others at the start of the summer, we will offload some players over the course of the summer, we will keep Van Persie whether he signs an extension or not (winning the EPL will be worth releasing him for free). Bar some disastrous injuries during the Euros, trophies are ours to be had next season. We’re a team on the up and we can and will beat anyone who comes our way. If you want to rehash the useless “squad depth” criticism, take some time to actually look at the list of players we have on our books (including our reserves), remember we cannot fill our team on the basis that we might lose our 4 full backs again, if none get injured then we have some expensive bench warmers to satisfy.
One final note, lay off Ramsey. Yes he’s been pretty bad most of this season but he deserves his chance. I think a loan back to Cardiff may help him recover his mentality because he still has the skill. He is not a bad player and he has earned nothing but respect from us, so before you start tearing him to shreds, remember what has happened, remember how long it took Rosicky to regain his mojo and be patient. He’s not the new Denilson.