A striker was seemingly high on our list of priorities this past summer, but Arsene Wenger has been unable to deliver. Reports from Sky Sports Italia (via The Guardian) have emerged that he made a last ditch deadline day bid to sign Juventus’ Simone Zaza, so why were we not able to get the deal done?
The report seems to suggest there were two main reasons we failed in our attempts to land the Italian international, and both issues could have been remedied by Arsene Wenger very easily.
Firstly, we failed to meet the Serie A side’s £22m (via The Guardian) valuation of the player. If Wenger didn’t feel he was worth that much, then that’s understandable (he probably isn’t). But surely the Frenchman can see how desperate our need for a striker is at the moment? If we are forced to pay slightly over the odds for a player then so be it. How much we offered hasn’t been disclosed but if the clubs were bickering over a couple of million it would no doubt prove insignificant to a club the size of Arsenal anyway.
Secondly, the report claims we left it too late in the window, meaning the Scudetto holders had no time to find a replacement if they chose to let Zaza go. There is absolutely no excuse for this, and if this is the case then Wenger should be ashamed. We had the whole summer to bring a striker in, yet the manager seemingly waited until the last moment, and was then shocked when it was too late.
Wenger has claimed that it’s not a matter of money, and insists there are a lack of players available in the positions we need (via Arsenal.com)
“There’s a shortage in the world. It confirms what I just said, that there’s a difference between financial power nowadays and the availability of top-class players,” he said.
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Having said this though, he was clearly interested in Zaza – regardless of whether he is the top quality No.9 we have all been hoping for – and at the right time and price he would seemingly have been available.
I don’t believe it’s fair for us to chastise Wenger for not signing a player in the ilk of Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski, or Sergio Aguero, because they may well not be available for anything short of silly money – if at all. But if he identified a player valued at around £22m, a player who seemingly could have moved this window, a player who he believed was right for our squad, then he cannot be forgiven for not making it happen.
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I’m certainly not convinced Zaza is a player boasting the quality required to play for Arsenal, but Wenger clearly showed a serious interest, yet failed to do what was necessary to bring him to the Emirates.