Arsene Wenger was quick to play down the bold and incautious boasting from the Arsenal director Lord Harris this week. The claim made by the member of our board was that the manager could afford to sign just about any player in the world and that the club would let Wenger use the reportedly available £200 million if he so wished.
But Lord Harris also qualified his words by saying that the two best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were still out of the reach of Arsenal. And this is not necessarily because of the money involved, as Ronaldo especially would not cost any more than other big name players like Bale, Suarez, Pogba and the like.
The problem for Arsenal, assuming that Wenger would like to sign the very best players, is in persuading them to join. For that we need to have the same sort of lure as clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid and to be able to do that we need to be winning things like the Premier League and looking capable of winning the Champions League, rather than getting put out at the first knockout stage every year.
So the first step for Wenger and the Gunners is to become champions of England. That in itself would probably not be enough to get Messi or Ronaldo to want to come to north London but it would be a start and would help us get other big name players which in turn would help us do better in Europe.
Do you think there is any chance that Arsenal could pass the Messi test in a couple of years?