Arsene Wenger is not scared to spend money, according to Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, but he has to believe he’s getting a top-class player for his money. And there’s the catch. While it’s admirable that Wenger wants to be fiscally responsible, it’s Wenger fascination with believing he’s getting the most value for his money that has hurt the club in the past when they haven’t been able to bid as much as other clubs.
During Wenger’s managerial career at Arsenal, he’s missed out on signing Didier Drogba, Gareth Bale, Juan Mata, Cristiano Ronaldo and many other world-class footballers.
Here’s what Gazidis said:
“It is no secret that we think he (Wenger) has done a fantastic job and we think we can give him the tools he needs.
“When we are thinking about trusting someone with the type of money we will have, we can think of nobody better than Arsene.
“He is not scared to spend money, but he has to believe he is getting a top-class player.
“The parameters in which he has to operate is to spend what the club can afford and my job is to make that as big as possible and Arsene’s job is to think about which talent he wants to spend that on in the best way possible.
“If we only find one player that we like, we won’t spend twice as much on him just so we can say we spent all of the money. That doesn’t make any sense to me – the key will be to buy the players Arsene Wenger believes in.
“It is a big summer. We have been working very, very hard to gain the kind of financial capability we need as a football club to be at the very top end of the game,” he said.
“The ambition that (majority shareholder) Stan Kroenke, Arsene Wenger, the players, our staff and I know all of the fans have is to be competing to win the Premier League and Champions League. If we are at that level, the trophies will come.
“Those long term commercial deals have come up for renewal. You know about the Emirates (stadium and sponsorship) deal, I can’t talk about the (new) kit deal yet, but we’re confident of a good result there too.
“It is all about giving us the capability to go to the manager and to say ‘here is the money for you to compete’. That is why we are in this stadium and that is what we want to do.”
What do you think? Will Wenger spend all of the £70 million this summer, and will he buy a couple of world-class, experienced players with that money? Or will he buy some inexperienced footballers who have the potential to be great, and then save the rest of the money for another transfer window? Share your opinion in the comments section below.