Over the past three seasons I’d say that Arsenal fans have been left very disappointed by Arsene Wenger’s actions in the transfer window. Arsenal have recently done well at starting their business relatively early in the summer with a key signing, only to then lose all that transfer momentum and eventually leave Arsenal fans in a state of desperation.
In 2013 Arsenal fans were boosted on the final day of the window, with the Gunners making the sensational club record signing of Mesut Ozil. Even though the window had been poor, Ozil’s signing really lifted the fans and the team and I think that the summer of 2013 is probably the last window we were truly left satisfied with Wenger’s business. The summer of 2014 brought in Alexis Sanchez, a fantastic £35 million buy and a truly great player. However Wenger let us down by not building on that great start to the summer window and he left us desperate in key areas. Again in 2015, Wenger bought Cech and we thought that the summer held plenty of promise. Cech turned out to be our only first team signing for the entire year. Now finally in the present summer of 2016, it looks quite possible that Wenger has again gave fans an early glimpse of hope by signing Granit Xhaka, only to the remain silent for the rest of the window.
It has meant that over the course of the last few years, this team has gradually been built to a more progressively better standard, but we are always still playing catchup to the other teams, our rivals, that spend relentlessly around us. Wenger has taken almost four years to strengthen four positions with world class players, but at the same time he has also failed to address the areas of desperation, upfront and in defence, for the exact same four year period.
I know that plenty of Arsenal fans are frustrated with Wenger’s methods of business and had we managed to obtain the targets we wanted earlier in the summer by doing business early, then we now wouldn’t find ourselves in such a desperate state going into the second fixture of the new season. According to Charlie Nicholas however, Arsenal fans shouldn’t have too much to worry about, with the Gunners just ‘£70m’ away from not having to spend big for years!
Nicholas told Sky Sports: “Wenger just needs to apply the finishing touches to his squad because he’s done the hard work. If he gets Mustafi and Lacazette for £70m then he might not have to buy big again for two to three years, which would put them in a stunning position. Manchester United are spending close to a quarter of a billion pound each summer and Arsenal only need to pay a fraction of that once in a few years.”
First off the amount of money the likes of City, United and Chelsea are spending each year is ridiculous, but for the majority of the time, the money is largely putting them in the direction they want. United may have faulted under Van Gaal’s spending, but Mourinho’s summer has been very progressive and his signings seem to be putting the side in the direction they want to be going. Nicholas’ statement that Arsenal wouldn’t have to spend big for years is in my opinion, quite far fetched. Arsenal may have a strong and competitive team if Wenger strengthens both up front and in defence, but he hasn’t taken into account that if Arsenal fail to win again this season, we may see the likes of Ozil and Alexis look elsewhere, whilst our rivals will also continue to spend around us, continuously strengthening their team’s whilst Wenger (or whoever is in charge next year) feels like business at Arsenal has settled.
Do you agree with Charle Nicholas on this front? Or will Arsenal have to continuously spend if they want to keep up and be better than their rivals.