Signing Mesut Ozil on 2nd September 2013 was a major statement by Arsenal. Arsenal was ready to compete for trophies once again. During the Arsenal AGM meeting around that time, Arsene Wenger was quick to point out that by signing Ozil, Arsenal were telling the rest that Arsenal were not afraid to spend. He finished by saying, “…we will all be happy in May.” We might not have won the Premier League but we led it for a long period and we won the FA cup in Ozil’s first season in the club. This showed how much the club had progressed as players like Aaron Ramsey came to the fore and took the Premier League by storm.
During the same Annual General Meeting, Wenger said the core of the team had to be developed inside the club. He has been true to his word and made sure the core of the team, as well as himself, have signed long term contracts. That has brought stability to the club.
There is a statement Wenger said around the time he signed his contact and that is, in a nutshell, the future looks bright for Arsenal and it is different now because “…now everyone wants to come to Arsenal.” This is not a hollow statement. Signing Ozil showed that Arsenal is not and has never been a selling club. Getting the core of the team to sign long term contracts showed that the players believe in Wenger’s vision and in their ability as a team to win trophies.
Now all the players who are linked with Arsenal do not deny but rather welcome the interest. The most obvious example of course is Cesc Fabregas who was quick to point out that Arsenal were the once who refused to bring him back to the club. Another player, Lorenzo Insigne, said he ‘felt honoured’ that a club of Arsenal’s stature were interested in him and his agent did not try to quash the rumours. We all know how eager Loic Remy is to join Arsenal. Has Mario Ballotelli come out and said he can never play for Arsenal? Of course not! About two seasons ago when Nasri and co. were jumping ship, such talent wanting to join Arsenal would have been unheard of but not anymore.
Winning the Premier League will be harder than ever with all the other top teams strengthening with world class players and the best coaches around. However Wenger has laid the foundation at Arsenal. Wenger is now ready to see the team reach their potential and he is sure they are ready to deliver. They just need a strong supporting cast to get them over the line. It is an exciting time to be an Arsenal fan.