If Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager was ever to play a game of Monopoly you would sense he would pass ‘GO’ several times before making that first purchase, and there is no difference in his philosophy for buying players when it comes to the transfer market.
The transfer window has closed and Arsenal was the only club in the major European leagues not to buy a single outfield player.
Wenger complains that there isn’t enough talent around and suggests that he isn’t going to purchase players for the sake of it. This is sound advice, if it were true.
Lyon alone had the pick of two players for the north London club. Could you imagine if Wenger had dipped in and bought Alexandre Lacazette, who was the Ligue 1’s top goalscorer last season with 27 goals? Or perhaps his teammate at the club, Nebil Fekir who scored goals and set them up and only last week made a statement to other clubs sniffing around as the window closed when he scored a glorious 36 minute hat-trick against Caen. Lyon won 4-0 and guess who assisted for the fourth?
Those two players are prime examples and could well have linked up with Oliver Giroud to create a deadly strike force. A force that is clearly needed, given that in their two home games at the Emirates, the Gunners have yet to score.
For defense why didn’t Wenger catch wind of Aymen Abdennour, so brilliant for Monaco last season, a rock in the defense. The French club went almost four months without conceding a league goal, and the Tunisian was a huge part of their surge to third place last season.
Instead Valencia came in for the talented defender and snapped him up for around $30m.
Arsenal has the money and that comes from Wenger and the people inside the club. Only in July, Arsenal director Lord Harris claimed that the club had $300m. Harris told the Daily Mail, “‘we could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable. In the accounts, there’s over £200million ($300m in dollars) in the bank.”
Two weeks ago in a press conference, Wenger talked about the funds being there but that they were not close. This is when alarm bells should have been ringing for fans of the club. How could it be that a club like Arsenal, a regular Champions League participant was not close to signing an outfield player after the window had been open for seven weeks prior?
Wenger was absolutely right though to make an example of Manchester United’s purchase of Anthony Martial from Monaco. With add-ons United could well pay Monaco upwards of $100m for a player that United captain Wayne Rooney admitted he had never heard of.
However, at least United did something, they may have gambled but they can afford it, much like Arsenal can too.
It seems that the loyal season ticket holders have been, to put it politely, fooled once again into getting their seats secured early for another season. And for what? A new goalkeeper, Petr Cech who was surplus to requirements at Premier League rivals and champions Chelsea.
The January transfer window looks doomed too for fans hoping that Wenger will dig deep. Historically, Wenger has argued that the better plays are not available at this time, and also if Arsenal are still in the Champions League, a transfer target may be cup tied.
Next season fans may have to ‘double-cech’ if they still want to renew their season tickets, and despite the madness of Arsenal and Wenger’s policy, it seems that they will.
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