As Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in two decades, the biggest worry of most Arsenal fans would have been that the lack of Champions League football will reduce the Gunners’ drawing power in the transfer market, considering that the more coveted players on the market are likely to look for a club that plays in Europe’s elite club competition, but club legend David Seaman does not think so.
As quoted by the Evening Standard, the former Arsenal keeper said: “I don’t think it [lack of Champions League] will [affect transfer business] because it’s just a one off. We’ve been in it for 20 years and players will look at that and think ‘OK it might just be the one season they’re not in the Champions League. Hopefully it doesn’t bother them [potential signings] too much. Once you pay a player enough money that’s the main attraction.”
While I understand the Englishman’s opinion considering that Manchester United have constantly been signing much-coveted players despite a lack of Champions League football over the years, I have to say that the case is very different with respect to Arsenal. Perhaps the most decisive factor is that Arsenal simply cannot afford to offer astronomical wages to lure players to the club.
With the club struggling to keep its best players in Ozil and Sanchez, who’s wage demands are understood to be around the £300k-a-week mark, the club certainly cannot afford to lure new talent with wages in that range. In my opinion, the North London side’s biggest achievement this summer will be if they are able to keep the duo this summer. For me, that will be the ultimate test of the ambition that the club claim to have.
But what really winds me up about Seaman’s thoughts is that he seems very confident that Arsenal missing out on a place in the Champions League is a ‘one off’ occurence. Truth be told, if Arsenal fail to retain its best players and fail in the transfer market yet again, Arsenal missing out on Champions League football is very likely to be a regular occurence rather than a ‘one-off’ like David seems to believe.