Despite the fact that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has his fair share of critics among fans and pundits alike, it was revealed on Tuesday that yet another Gunner transfer target has put the north London club at the top of his wish list because of the fact that Wenger is the club’s manager.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini recently spoke to Italian radio on the subject of a possible transfer of his star forward Paulo Dybala. Zamparini said on the issue, “Juventus and Arsenal have already made offers for (Dybala). Pierpaolo Triulzi, his agent, will be in Italy on Friday. I’m asking for more than €40 million. He would prefer to stay in Italy, he still wants to play in Serie A. Of the English teams, Arsenal is the first choice, because of the way Arsene Wenger’s team plays.”
Although both Chelsea and Manchester City also reportedly interested in the 21-year-old phenom, it seems as if Dybala will reject both the reigning Premier League champions and the current League Cup holders and join the Gunners if a fee can be agreed between the two clubs.
Dybala is seen as one of the most promising young strikers in all of Europe and is frequently compared to fellow countryman Sergio Agüero.
While some may be a bit surprised of Dybala’s wishes to work with Wenger, there seems to be a theme of top players wanting to apply their trade alongside the French manager in London. In 2013 many soccer fans around the world were shocked to learn that the Gunners signed world-class midfielder Mesut Özil from Real Madrid in a record-breaking £42 million deal.
Soon after the agreement was struck between the two big clubs, the German international revealed that one of the biggest factors in choosing Arsenal (over reported clubs such as Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain) was because of Wenger. Özil said, “I am really happy to be here under such a great manager. That was the most important, what he thinks about me, what his plans are with me, and I decided to come to Arsenal because I have the trust. I would have come here without a fee, that wouldn’t have been a problem.”
Özil went on to finish, “The young players develop very well here. This was one of the reasons why I chose to come here. I want to continue to improve myself. I know how successful Arsenal have been and what successful players they have had. This is why I am at the right club. I am proud to be part of this team.”
Fast forward one year later to Alexis Sanchez’s move to the Emirates. Sanchez, a former Barcelona star, reportedly rejected a switch to Liverpool following a surprise visit by Wenger to Spain. It has been reported that while the Merseyside club offered Barcelona £3 million more than the Gunners offered, Sanchez ultimately picked the north London club partially because of the Frenchman.
With two world-class players joining the Gunners because of the word-class manager (and potentially a young superstar in the making during the upcoming transfer market), the “Wenger Out (idiot) Brigade” and other negative Nancy’s need to take a step back and appreciate the success that Wenger has helped bring to Arsenal.
Not only has Wenger brought in superstars, but the Frenchman has guided the Gunners through a financially handcuffed period in which the north London club built one of the greatest soccer stadiums in the world. While Arsenal brass asked Wenger to lead the Gunners to a top four position in the table during three out of the five years in which the stadium was being financed, the French manager kept Arsenal in Champions League position in all five of the years (and 17 consecutive seasons).
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