After consecutive summers of selling Arsenal’s best players, there is a light at the end of the tunnel from the Emirates mortgage which will result in more extensive squad investment according to Arsene Wenger.
Since July 2006 the Emirates Stadium has been the Gunners home, but with it came a very strict transfer policy that changed the face of the club for good and for worse. Arsenal have failed to win a trophy since the move to the 60,000 capacity ground, the third largest in England, with the club opting to buy players young or develop academy graduates into stars resulting in a more self-sustaining business model than other elite clubs around Europe.
Although this in theory is a long-term policy that should remain, it has backfired with the consistent players sales which in turn has made it hard to compete with the likes of Chelsea and the Manchester clubs in terms of transfer fees and salaries. The original structure spread the pay out more evenly, with only Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry known to crack the £100,000 mark before their moves to Barcelona, and youth prospects such as Coquelin and Ramsey on far higher wages then younger, fringe players would at the likes of Chelsea and City.
But Arsene Wenger is assuring fans that they can now compete with the rest of the Premier Leagues giants in terms of contracts and there may well be some big names heading Arsenal’s way in the future, with the financial restraints coming to an end.
We have gone through a period where we had restricted potential, financially. That happens] when you move into the new stadium, but we have come over that period and now hopefully can be a bit more convincing [with transfers and contracts]
I believe we have a good core of young English players, I hope we will be capable of building a team around all these young English players, who will hopefully be capable of achieving something.
I believe as well when a club gives a chance to young players, somewhere the players must say: ‘Let’s do it together’. Because if you educate players, at some stage fate is in their hands – and they must want to win together.
The last statement has been the biggest issue for Wenger with the likes of Nasri, Clichy, Song and Fabregas all seeking greener pastures and not wanting to stick together to fight and win trophies, what a team Arsenal would’ve had. It seems understandable that Van Persie left with Arsenal’s board hardly sanctioning any massive buys in the transfer market and showing a lack of ambition, but with an English backbone the Gunners are in good stead for a more stable future with core players in it for the long run..But it starts with keeping Walcott who has been at the club for seven years and is reaching his peak. If Arsenal can now flex their muscle financially then do it with Theo – sign him up otherwise everything Wenger has just said above will be completely contradictory.
Now if there is one player Arsenal should buy to really prove something is Ramadel Falcao. It seems ludicrous but if Wenger wants to bolster the side he is the only player around that will truly take the Gunners to another level and make up for the loss of Van Persie. Arsenal continue to get second-rate, poor-man versions of top players eg Gervinho instead of Hazard, Mertesacker instead of Cahill, Santos instead of any left back in the world and no-one instead of Juan Mata, but even the cash from the Van Persie and Song sales will go a long way to signing the prolific striker, but it is purely wishful thinking.
Llorente seems a more believable target, however his form is very questionable as he has essentially been ousted from the starting lineup due to his contractual situation – he will be a free agent in the summer. Fingers crossed Wenger actually practices what he preaches and brings in some top quality talent to the squad because they badly need it, as well as paying the stars the salaries they deserve (within reason) so Arsenal can compete with the Premier Leagues elite.