Paul Merson has come out with some pretty crazy Arsenal theories in the past, and has once again arguably gone a little over the top. The ex-Arsenal man claims Arsene Wenger should have made a £70m bid for Karim Benzema this past summer, if nothing else just to show that the intent is there, as reported by Sky Sports.
Merson is very clearly an Arsenal fan, but he has also grown visibly frustrated with our lack of expenditure. With the club making no secret of our cash reserves, there are plenty calling for a number of marquee signings to be made.
We ended up making just one signing over the summer though, with Petr Cech the sole arrival. This was despite our need for a defensive midfielder and a striker, with fans – Merson included – furious at our inactivity
The player turned pundit was critical of the club once again, asking: “Why have Arsenal finished that many points behind Chelsea last season and only signed a goalkeeper?
“They should have gone for Karim Benzema. Arsene Wenger in the summer compared Olivier Giroud to Benzema, but the Real man would get more goals.
“He should have put in a bid for £70m, and if he didn’t want to come then so be it, but at least Wenger could have shown his ambition to the fans.
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“Wenger sees what players are worth and doesn’t want to pay more, but modern football is clubs demanding more than a player is worth. You don’t get players for cheap anymore.
“You can’t have £193m in cash reserves and not use some of it to win the league.”
While a number of fans would like to see the French forward arrive at the club, it’s very hard to see Wenger spending £70m on any player.
Merson is right when he says that players now cost far more than their actual value, but is that something we want to be helping to continue?
Obviously one club refusing to spend significantly over the odds for a player isn’t going to change the way the market works, but there has always been a sense of pride at Arsenal that we aren’t one of those clubs that just throw our financial weight around foolishly.
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It would certainly be nice to see Wenger spend some money in the transfer window, but we are unlikely to see him break the habit of a lifetime.