Why Arsenal Shouldn’t Be Duped Into Paying Theo Walcott £100k per Week, And Why January Transfers Often Don’t Work

As silly season descends upon the Premier League again and the transfer rumours start heating up, it becomes quite easy as fans to forget about things like budgets and stability and start dreaming of shiny new player acquisitions to help your club avoid relegation or reach Europe. Truth be told, precious few transfers ever reach the heights of success originally dreamt, but that never stops supporters believing that spending is the best way out of a jam.

The January window is especially interesting, tantalizingly placed just after a grueling festive period has left certain teams in no doubt as to how much help they supposedly need and in what areas. Sometimes that help arrives; Demba Ba nearly kept West Ham up and Luis Suarez helped Liverpool forget all about Roy Hodgson. But sometimes panic buying in winter leaves you with £50m worth of disappointment.

It is in this writer’s observation that most transfers don’t work out as well as hoped for due to a club paying for short-term performances over long-term data.

For example, after almost every World Cup or European Championship, a player that starred will be the subject of a big money move. Think about the now-derided Andrey Arshavin’s £15m move to Arsenal which came after he helped Russia reach the semifinals of Euro 2008 and Zenit St. Petersburg win the UEFA Cup. It wasn’t just the Gunners either, Tottenham and Barcelona also fell for the sensationalism surrounding a player who had starred in notoriously fluky Cup Competitions and was coming off his first truly consistent season in the Russian league after becoming a regular in 2001.

The same short term outlook is putting media pressure on Arsene Wenger to sign Theo Walcott to a reported £100,000 a week because he’s finally on pace to top 10 goals and assists over a league campaign. Something he’s never looked on course to do since becoming a regular for Arsenal in 2006. Two or three good performances at striker that come with the motivation of being in the shop window should not be allowed to cloud the mind of executives that have the evidence of Walcott’s 164 league matches for Arsenal in front of them.

Similarly, public pressure on Arsene Wenger to spend money on anybody has seen Olivier Giroud castigated for not hitting the heights of last season after his move to the Emirates. However Giroud is scoring at about the same rate for Arsenal as he’s done for most of his entire career. It’s just that his entire £12m move was based off of one season with Montpellier where he scored 21 goals in league football.

For what makes a good transfer, one must look at probably Arsene Wenger’s best signing this summer, (not counting Santi Cazorla who was the product of extraordinary circumstances and went for far below market value), Lukas Podolski. Signed for around £10.5m, the German international is poised to give Arsenal what he’s given the Bundesliga for over five seasons, 12-15 goals from a wide forward position (currently on pace for 13 in the league alone).

Another, perhaps more obvious example of the importance of continuity is David Villa.  El Guaje seemed expensive for €40m but from the new millennium to his broken leg in 2011/12, he’d never finished with less than 20 goals a season, often adding double digit assists as well, no matter what team he was on.

In the end, no player can outrun statistics for very long, and these days when formal training starts so young, player’s ceilings are usually developed quite early. Very often a player’s traits are fully defined by his mid-twenties and one excellent season often can’t be replicated. Especially not if after that season an immediate big money move and bigger expectations are thrust on the player’s shoulders.

7 thoughts on “Why Arsenal Shouldn’t Be Duped Into Paying Theo Walcott £100k per Week, And Why January Transfers Often Don’t Work”

  1. Wolcott on 100K a week isn’t bad when you compare him to Joe Cole who has been earning 92K a week at Liverpool. Cole is moving to West Ham where he will reportedly earn 80K a week, 30K from West Ham and 50K from Liverpool for the next 18 months.

    Arsenal cannot afford to let Wolcott leave in the summer on a free. Then they will have to spend 10-20 million for a replacement plus wages that could be 50-100K depending on the player. So keeping Wolcott at 100K is a lot cheaper.

  2. Mr Chopra Walcot may not be worth that amount but your colleagues and not we the fans will eat Wenger raw if he is not given his deamnds and allowed to go. So you see the dilemma the club is. Or may I even ask. Are you one of the man u, mancity, livpool and chelski supporters writing to cause disaffection so that he will move to your club? Easy man and let the board manage the situation as deem fit.

  3. Arsenal let all their superstars go because of higher wage demand and now this mediocre Walcott seems to be in a great negotiating position plus he gets to play in the center forward role which he always wanted. Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal BOD should be commended. You can only milk the club till the milk dries out, Arsene.

  4. “because he’s finally on pace to top 10 goals and assists over a league campaign. Something he’s never looked on course to do since becoming a regular for Arsenal in 2006”

    Do you actually know how many wingers since 2006 have got 10 league goals and assists in the same premier league season… I’ll give you a hint not Bale, not ashely Young, not Nani, not Valencia. In light of this new information wouldn’t you say if Theo does get to the magic 10/10 figure that he should be aiming at least 150k a week and not 100k? just saying.

  5. Some reports suggest Walcott is nearing on a 4 year extension @90K GBP/wk. Podolski is reputed to be the top wage earner at Arsenal, on that same figure.

    I can accept this figure for Walcott only if he will play on the wings without complaint. Reorganizing the team to feature around him as a central striker is too much, I agree with the article Walcott has shown he doesn’t have the complete game to play up top for a team with the aspirations of Arsenal.

  6. Interesting article, but ill-thought out and flawed logic !

    Using the writers approach, the RvP would never have developed into the striker he became for one full season for us. He has now moved on to Man U and doing it all over again … Theo was always best when he played in the centre role for Southampton youth and later also did well when he got the chance in tbe main team, rather than on the flanks. Henry was a flank man who hardly got a goal in his years prior to Aresenal, but Wenger moved him central and he became the eventual phenomenon that he did. In just three games, I have seen enough to believe that Theo has much to give in the role – maybe you need to understand this too ?!
    As for £100k a week, well there are many less capable strikers out there already getting that amount and way more ! I’d meet Theo at the £90k mark with incentive add-ons moving him nearer to that final figure with performance based results.

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