Arsenal have no choice but to pay over the odds for our targets

Arsenal Have To Accept Inflation! by Dan Smith

Arsenal finished 21 and 13 points respectively behind the Manchester clubs last season.

Since then the Champions have recruited Jack Grealish while the runners up have brought in Sancho and Varane.

So common sense would suggest that the gap will only grow bigger between us and them if we don’t add to our squad?

That’s not even considering Harry Kane’s future, the fact Chelsea want Lukaku back and a certain Messi is a free agent.

Our recruitment team are targeting the correct calibre of talent – youngsters who could develop into world class players. Yet we can’t stop there else we will be left behind.

I have made zero secret of my fear that our owner lacks the ambition to take that extra step and it wouldn’t shock me if having spent near 80 million we now start to recoup money.

Even Stan Kroenke must realise Arsenal will get left behind if they don’t seriously invest this summer.

We have been quoted seventy million for Maddison, 35 for Ramsdale and 40 for Abraham.

To clarify that’s 140 million on two players who got nowhere near England’s Euro 2020 squad, and a keeper who only made it due to injuries.

Yet this isn’t simply a case of paying a premium for British talent.

Those we negotiate with know full well it’s vital we improve and, in some cases, can’t afford to walk away. Most realise that we are one of the sides in the UK most under pressure to improve.

None of the talent I named justify their valuations, yet equally it will be more costly to only have Laca and Auba as our senior strikers and all the responsibility on Smith Rowe to provide creativity.

Arteta knows we get nowhere near the top four without improving those areas, so if we don’t it’s because we don’t care enough.

Let’s make this clear once and for all, a Sterling or Bernardo Silva are not telling Man City they would like to swap trophies and join the worst Arsenal team in a quarter of a century.

Just like I dismissed the notion that Jack Grealish would move to the Emirates. It’s arrogant to think so, and not accepting where we are.

We can’t attract world class players at the moment.

I can give you countless examples of transfer Windows where the Kroenke Family didn’t take that next step. Stand still now and no gooners can defend them.

While wanting value is noble and smart, it’s not realistic in 2021.

If the best team in the country spends 100 million on one player, you have to adjust your budget accordingly. Remember when we were told leaving Highbury would mean we could compete financially?

The only value you could find is ringing Barcelona and seeing if you can take advantage of their financial trouble.

Ben White and two players the majority never heard of is a start, but it must be the start.

So it’s not a case of should Arsenal pay over the odds, it’s a case that they have to.

If not, it will prove to be far more costly.

Be Kind In comments



  1. Xirim_√🇳🇬© says:

    That’s the talk of the decade. Now football is all about spending the money and getting what you want

  2. JanV says:

    Interesting analysis. And not far from the truth.

    I do think, however, that smart recruiting can go a long way to saving money. Are we sure that an Aour is much less value-added than a Maddison? Is Ramsdale really much better than Onana? We could potentially buy Aour and Onana for less than half the money we would have to to spend on Ramsdale and Maddison.

    I think the truth is in the middle. We have to spend money to try and improve our squad and hope to close the gap with the top 4. But we can spend our money smartly and on the right positions.

    Also, we have to move much quicker than we do. We allow events to develop that prevent or might prevent us from getting our targets.

    1. Davi says:

      Yeah I agree. I really don’t see how we can continue to spend excessively in players who we can’t sell (without taking a huge loss) if things don’t work out. We keep putting ourselves in this position and it’s like the people running the coin have their heads in the same about it.
      We’re out of Europe now ,so how much can the club take? When do we start getting into financial trouble? We need to start being smart with our signings – if any player demands a high salary to sign, find an alternative; if a club demands a huge fee, find an alternative. Otherwise, before you know it, we will spend ourselves into big trouble.
      I like Madison, I wouldn’t mind Abraham, but is it really smart to spend over 100m on them and probably 200k pw in wages when similarly talented and risky alternatives could surely be had for half that amount?

      1. Prince Ben AHANONU says:

        I am deeply troubled with the pace of Edu and manager Arteta. Why spend so much money on one player when we can use it to get other talents that can deliver same results? To me the price tag on Madison is ridiculous. Time is fast ticking away. I don’t want to have another terrible season of EPL with embarrassing results. Please Edu and manager Arteta, should help us. I am a Gunner for life!

      2. Jay says:

        The problem with ‘alternatives’ is that they always your lesser choice and not the best for needs. This means you will still not have the best desired squad that suits what you’re aiming to achieve. Arsenal should go for the best available target if we can afford it. We don’t want cheap alternatives that would keep us on the same spot. We should be happy with the quality of players we are been linked with this time around. Tammy Abraham is a complete step down from the quality of strikers we’ve been having at Arsenal, so a no no for me. I’d rather stick with what we’ve got. 40m?

    2. Bamn-Jah says:

      That’s true but please please all Arsenal fans bear in mind that we have to comply with the Epl rules of home grown players that’s why we’re going for Maddison and Ramsdale, mathematically Aouar and Onana are cheap options but we’re bind by the rules hope you get me well.

    3. Ozziegunner says:

      JanV, you are exactly right in that Arsenal has to be smarter in its scouting and recruitment. Arsenal could buy Aouar, Onana and Guimaraes or Bissouma with change left over for what Leicester City will want for James Maddison.
      Meanwhile Edu is on holidays with his family in Majorca, putting kilometres on his jet ski, rather than doing what he is paid to do. The players Arsenal haven’t got in to address the deficiencies in midfield is one thing, the players still on the books, who haven’t been moved on is another.
      The season starts on 13 August and Edu is on his fifth holiday. He’s got to be having a lend of us. Remind me again how Arsenal left Highbury and built the Emirates to compete with the best clubs in Europe.

      1. Logic says:

        Another good comment Ozzie, well said. It seems as if our club Mgmt ppl are either too overconfident (for what I don’t know) or either they are just passing time on job n they don’t care. Their attitude and the timing of their holidays does not bode well for the image of a person who cares and want to make sure the new project succeed.

    4. muhammad danzaki says:

      U are right am with u

  3. gotanidea says:

    I bet Bernardo Silva would be interested to move to Arsenal, because of money and Arteta. He’s slow and not productive like Odegaard, but he’d likely be more useful than Maddison

  4. fairfan says:

    If only we had a manager who could get the best out of players like Xhaka Elneny Kolasinac AMN Lacazette and Aubameyang.
    Just imagine if we had a manager who could get a tune out of players Arteta could not manage and sent away like Mustafi Socritis Guendouzie Saliba Ozil Mkhitarian and Ramsey.
    Just for one minute think of us getting to the EL final and within one point of CL qualification from the league with a manager who could not speak English and with out Partey, Gabriel and a fit Tierney. No that would be crazy.
    Next thing you will be telling me such a manager guided a small Spanish club to win the EL and gained CL qualification.
    I tell you for mine if Arsenal ever got a manager like that we would back him and give him time to take us back to the top

    1. VasC says:

      Getting to the UEL final and finishing just a point short of UCL qualification with the greatest burden of integrating a player, with the “most expensive signing in the history of the club” tag, that he never wanted in the first place in the squad.Oh, forgot to mention that he did all this in his debut season after stepping in to replace “one of the greatest and the longest serving PL manager in the history of the club”.

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        VasC and had to put up with the Ozil clique undermining him every step of the way, with no support from Management or Board in implementing discipline. Then again, he is probably smiling with his contract payout from Arsenal and a fourth Europa Cup with Villarreal.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          No support from the majority of fans also. From the great Arsene to Emery, if karma does truly exist I am afraid we are going to pay for a long time to come.

          I hope it doesn’t!

    2. gotanidea says:

      Some fans man-hounded Wenger and that EL specialist manager, because they were influenced by the pundits and the toxic keyboard warriors. They’re doing it again to Arteta, although Arteta gave them one FA Cup trophy and the new season hasn’t started yet

      1. Ozziegunner says:

        Last season 13 defeats in the League and 8th place, despite being upgraded to Manager and supported in the transfer market.

  5. VasC says:

    One key factor that has not been taken into account in the article is that all the clubs mentioned have someone with a proven track record at the helm who has improved the players, both existing and new signings, individually and the team collectively.

    Do we have that someone who has improved the players already at the club and new signings significantly?

    Do we have that someone who has improved the team’s league standing?

    Unless we have a “Definite YES!” for both the question, trusting that someone with any further investment in the squad will drive us farther into the piss creek.

  6. Kyle bruce says:

    Why is arsenal slowing in getting transfer targets done, let’s move quickly for aouer and Martinez ..right back is needed too

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Edu won’t get off his jet ski in Majorca, as for Arteta and Garlick they are unsighted.

      1. towny 254 says:

        Ozziegunner Have you not heard Arteta is the new diamond eye ha ha

  7. John Ibrahim says:

    same old

    every fans just want big name big tag signings

    unlimited funds and pay whatever they wants

    hospitals, vaccines, medical help, research are not necessary

    there are no poverty in this world

    1. gotanidea says:

      Ok let’s ban all commercial sports competitions and freeze the billionaires’ sports businesses. So they could spend hundreds of millions for charity, despite having spent millions to help the people of their identity groups

    2. guy says:

      Agree John I. I have sympathy with critics of Arteta, because although personally I think he can still get it right, he has made a lot of bad mistakes. But I have no time for fans who demand we only buy big names for big money that we don’t have. And those same fans are the first ones to complain later when we can’t sell them because our wages are too high. They are embarrassed with Lokonga’s signing for example – because he was cheap he can’t possibly be any good. Quite honestly I’m ashamed of such “supporters”!

      1. Paul says:

        👍👋🤝 well said man. These are not Supporters, someone in here named them fake shirts.

  8. Steve says:

    I agree but only if Arsenal are foolish enough to only shop in the English market.

    Leicester have gone out this summer already and brought one of the most DMs and promising STs in Europe (Soumare and Daka) for a combined £40m.

    We’re in a rare situation where Arsenal probably have more cash than R. Madrid, Barcelona and most of Ligue 1, so if we insist on trying to buy from other Premier League clubs who don’t need the money and don’t want to sell then of course we will have to overpay. It’s absolute lunacy.

    We could probably get Odegaard, Aouar and Onana for the same price as Maddison. You can argue whether those are the right players of course, but the point is a valid one. The value is there to be had if you shop in the right places.

    1. siamois says:

      Hard to disagree with your point!

    2. Ozziegunner says:

      Hard to disagree with Steve, siamois because it is straight forward common sense, which is not that common (particularly amongst the Arsenal Board and Management).
      Any number of players available to take your pick from:
      Houssem Aouar, Renato Sanchez, Marcel Sabitzer, Bruno Guimaraes, Yves Bissouma and others without considering big money James Maddison or Bernardo Silva.

      1. siamois says:


    3. Sir Michael says:

      Steve I agree WHY are we looking to buy a goalkeeper who has been relegated twice for £35 or 40 million absolute CRAZY

    4. guy says:

      Hi Steve, I suspect we have overcooked the English obsession too this season. Yes we have more cash than RM and Barca, but not only do we not play in Europe we are simply not RM or Barca. Juve the same look at Locatelli only wanting to play for them, even for a lower fee and wage. That’s what we are up against – it’s not like we haven’t tried. But youre right I too would love Onana, Aouar for those prices. We got one right with Lokonga though!

  9. Sean Williams says:

    I really rate James Maddison, but no way on this earth is he worth £70 million. Ridiculous money. Whilst Houssem Aouar is available for £25 million, Onana for £10million, there is change left for another player, maybe full back Max Aarons, if he is still available. I find it hard to understand how, with Brentford in a few days, we only have Xhaka and Elneny and Lokonga available in the midfield for that game. That is negligence and incompetence of the highest order. Like managing Fawlty Towers. Edu is Basil Fawlty and Arteta is Manuel “I know nothing”. Comedy club at the moment. We took two steps forward…..and three backwards.

    1. Ozziegunner says:


  10. M Hunt says:

    We need to invest in the squad if we don’t want to fall further behind. We lack squad depth and competition for places in a number of positions is non existent. We need a right back, an attacking midfielder, a defensive midfielder and a striker. Good players cost big money. We need to move on peripheral players who could generate income to fund the spending needed (Torreira, Kolosinac, Nketia, Maitland-Niles etc.)

    1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

      someone lost their “ike”

  11. siamois says:

    People need to stop with”moving to the Emirates to compete with the Barca RM…of this world” rhetoric no one could have predicted that oligarchs multi billionaires.. would be taking over the PL as for closing the gap with the top clubs it is going to take a good few years between our young players reaching their peak bringing new players in getting rid of others all the while trying to be competitive in the PL and getting back in Europe patience’s going to be needed.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      siamois, the oil money only accounts for Chelsea and Manchester City. Last time I looked that means five other clubs performed better than Arsenal last season and the one before.
      Please look at how much Arsenal has spent (or misspent) comparative to other clubs, or the pay structure with so many players earning wages of £100k+.
      The downward spiral began with the departure of David Dein and the breakup of the Invincibles. Another record is on the verge of being broken; the longest drought in Arsenal’s history without a league title. Can you see the current administration addressing this trend?

      1. jon fox says:

        OZZIE OUR HISTORY BEGAN IN 1886 AND OUR FIRST TITLE WAS 1930-31. But since then your point is correct unless we win the title this season. Flying pigs come to mind!

        As merely “Arsenal” with no prefix to our name, your point is wholly correct.

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          jon, thanks for your clarification regarding the period as “Woolwich Arsenal”. Too bad they didn’t bring Herbert Chapman in earlier and kept him rugged up and out of the cold to avoid pneumonia.
          If anyone believes “The Arsenal” or “Arsenal” will win the title, I have a harbour bridge to sell you.

          1. guy says:

            An interesting point re Herbert Chapman and the cyclical nature of football. Almost 100 years ago Chapman revolutionised football by introducing the “WM” formation – so called because the formation resembled those letters in a flexible 3-2-2-3. That approach eventually fell out of use and only re-emerged in England with… Guardiola, who plays an “MW” game, and that’s also (surprise surprise) the direction Arsenal are moving in.

      2. siamois says:

        I cannot argue with any of the points you made from David Dein departure to our spending or misspent as you rightly pointed out but I still believe that the “statement” was made in good faith no one at the time could have predicted the arrival of these new owners the amounts of money involved in the game/ needed to be competitive..and to answer your final question sadly NO!

        1. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

          wrong assumption, as it was the very reason Kroenke made his initial investment in the club with no footballing interest whatsoever…the writing was on the wall quite some time earlier when the sporting franchise financial model changed significantly in the United States, which was the very basis for the new stadium “ruse” that continues to haunt our club

    2. Sir Michael says:

      siamois If I had patience’s I would have been a DOCTOR

  12. Segun Lawal says:

    After seeing the mess financial mess Barcelona put themselves, I realized that Arsenal can’t be paying overboard for players signings. What happened is an eye opener for us all, there’s always a consequence for every actions taken, you can continue to buy your way to win trophies but the nemesis is waiting for you. I’m waiting to see what happens to the likes of the Manchester’s and the Arab millionaires.
    Back to Arsenal, it’s obvious we don’t have the war chest to be paying 100m and the likes but they’re talents out there for us. It’s all about a vibrant and active technical team to identify these talents and poach them, which I don’t think Edu and his team are doing.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      👍 Segun, also need to ensure that Arsenal utilizes the player resources the Club already has, particularly at Hale End.

      1. guy says:

        You mean by giving chances to youth players like Saka, ESR, Balogun, AMN, Nelson, Nketiah, Willock, Oz? Yes you’re right, we don’t give the kids a chance. Looking at the EPL all the other clubs are packed full of kids in their first 11’s. Shame on us

        1. Ozziegunner says:

          guy, I am just reinforcing that given financial constraints, this is the path Arsenal has to take. The loss of youth scouts like Steve Morrow (and depending on player agents) is a concern for the viability of the production line at Hale End.

  13. uwot? says:

    As pointed out by others ,there’s value to be had in other leagues.Aouar,Obana,Dumfries etc prob for £60/70 million total.Instead of getting ripped off in the English prem on a single player.Ridiculous.

  14. RW1 says:

    Less than a week to go to kick off and we look like starting with a weaker line up than the best option from last season .. partey out white in saka possibly on bench … but arteta knows what he’s doing

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      RW1 and no Odegaard, Lokonga for Ceballos and no Mat Ryan from last season.

  15. Mark says:

    I think our problems stem from the owner Stan Kronke and believe we need an owner that has full commitment to one project not five or six where they are draining money from one business to another, We need somebody that is passionate and wealthy enough to invest in our beloved club the Russian was a prime example before giving in and moving to Everton. Arteta like Wenger is having to work with peanuts and the competition know this hence have little chance of getting our prime targets and paying £50M for a player that had villa bid £35M would have been accepted.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Mark, what about the highly paid muppets Kroenke pays to manage the financial and player assets of this Club? 🤔

  16. Abul says:

    The most sensible thing we should do is to hire the recruitment manager at Leicester. He does a better job than any other recruitment manager in EPL.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton don’t do too bad also. Steve Morrow did a great job for the Academy, but he was “surplus to requirements”. Maybe Arsenal should look harder at what’s close to hand at Hale End?

  17. Skills1000 says:

    Things Arteta should do ASAP

    1. Keep Joe Willock

    2. Buy Aouar for 30m pounds

    3.Sell Nketiah to Crystal Palace with an option to buy back.

    4. Loan out Reis Nelson

    5. Sell Elneny, Kolasinac, Bellerin and Torrera. We need to trim down the squad.

    6. Reduce game time for Partey and Tierney to avoid long term injuries

    7. Buy Bernardo Silva(Pep has confirmed that Silva wants to leave Man city)

    8. Offer Lacazette a 2 year deal

    Go back to a 4141 formation.

    Chambers White Gabriel Tierney


    Pepe ESR Bernardo Saka


    1. guy says:

      1 & 2. If Newcastle offer us £25-£30m as rumoured for Willock we shoud bite their hands off. Thats basically valuing Aouar and Willock the same! Who’s getting the best deal is pretty obvious!
      3 agree but he’s injured
      4 I think we are trying to
      5 Trying to but nobody wants them Are you interested?
      6 We can’t reduce their game time much more – they hardly play as it is
      7 Poor last season so can’t agree
      8 Keep but run down his contract

  18. jon fox says:

    A fair summary of our parlous position DAN. NOthing to disput and the window hads been areal disappointment so far with hardlu any of our rubbisg shifted an just one major signing in EWhite Most of all for my mind is the decision to keep Xhaka and that alone will be ebough to prevent any real progress.

    1. SueP says:

      Have you been on the pop? Normally you are so fastidious about grammar

      1. guy says:

        Lol Sue, and he started so well, too! Throwing in an impressive “parlous” on a double word score in the first sentence! He’ll be back tomorrow at his imperious best, but tonight we can tease him with impunity as he’s probably sleeping it off!

    2. Skills1000 says:

      If Roma had offered more money, we could have sold Xhaka.
      What i dont understand is we are also extending the contract of Bellerin as well. Is it to raise their market value or that Arteta still have them both in his long term plans?

      If I was in Arteta shoes, I will sell both Aubameyang and Nketiah.

      Offer 1 year deal to Lacazette. Integrate Balogun to the first team.

      First choice strikers to be Balogun and martinelli. Keep Lacazete for the experience

  19. Bw Grizz says:

    It’s scary when you look at how the Premier League has gotten more intense over the years with all the so called smaller clubs. We’ve started falling back slowly but surely because we simply don’t want to spend! We’re full of speculations with so many big names but the signings are never enough because we don’t want to spend on the big names. There’s no competing with the likes of United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool if we want to play it safe all the time.. Heck, any team in the Premier League for that matter because everyone is bolstering their squad. To top it all off, we have players like Renato Sanchez, Bissouma, Aour who are all £40m or less, and L. Martinez who is £70m.. Get one for each position.. Martinez has to come in. We need a hungry CF. And we’ll have had a great transfer window.

  20. Goonster says:

    Maddison seems to have turned into some sort of Messi to some fellow Arsenal fans.

    1. guy says:

      lol goonster – with you on that one

  21. SueP says:

    There are so many rumours that the mind boggles – to the point that I don’t know if any of the so called targets are targets at all. If as reported by ozziegunner that Edu is in Mallorca then I hope he is busy on his phone by the pool actually being the technical director.

    The reality is that the club has been in decline for a while. I don’t want to incur the wrath of AW’s most ardent supporters, but his last 2 years showed up the slow deterioration of the club at many levels. There were times that it felt lucky that we scraped into the top4. This is not to blame him without first and foremost attacking the way that the board were mismanaging from the top.

    Emery presided over a squad who were trouble in the dressing room. Rightly sacked, IMO because the faith between coach and players had been broken, but I did feel some sympathy. This however, did not help the gargantuan task of revitalising the club. It weakened still further.

    Taking pot luck on Arteta was so risky. I think he is better than many do but it doesn’t alter the fact that a top rated manager should have been installed. It would have shown serious intent and a magnet for top players.

    However, having as many unsuitable and in most cases, competely overpaid players on the books – some who don’t/didn’t care a jot was never going to be an easy fix for a club whose mantra is to be self sufficient.

    White was coming from a club lower down the league, but how many from the top 6 fancy a year out of Europe unless they are getting a big pay day and the selling club is getting the overblown transfer fee? It doesn’t bode well.

    1. Bw Grizz says:

      Interesting facts here..

      1. SueP says:

        Such as?

        1. Bw Grizz says:

          Such as the decline of our club still an occurrence. And the lack of togetherness in the dressing room, which somewhat deteriorated so many things in the team. Along with most of the stuff you’ve said. Good analysis

    2. guy says:

      Well said SueP – and that’s a long one from you (the post I mean!) if I may be so bold. It may well not mean a lot as your piece is on a “life, the Universe and everything” scale but I really think White is going to make a huge difference to our style this season. He’s much more than just a CB and I think we will see Arteta’s aspirations bearing fruit over the next months. I’m fully prepared to get shot down in flames on this but we could start to witness an interesting time.

    3. Ozziegunner says:

      Question SueP: Why wasn’t Emery with his CV supported in player discipline and transfers in a similar matter to Arteta?
      Maybe management didn’t realize until later, what the true problem in the dressing room was and then backed the wrong horse?

  22. SueP says:

    Hello Admin

    I sent in a post but it has vanished….

    1. Admin Pat says:

      Oooooh Sue!

      Have you been naughty? This is what my Spam Filter reported….
      58 mins ago – Comment was caught by wp_blacklist_check.
      58 mins ago – Akismet cleared this comment.

      I’m guessing a glitch in the machine my dear, don’t worry about it…

  23. blave says:

    No requirement to overpay. It’s a Covid influenced buyers market except in cases where teams with guys under long contracts (White/Maddison) have leverage. In many other situations, teams are desperate for cash and some quality players are available on sale. Aouar is the perfect example. Arsenal just need to be smart. They shouldn’t have to both buy high and sell on the cheap.

    1. guy says:

      Well said Blave. Please forward on to Sheffield United as I don’t think they were aware….

  24. guy says:

    As I see it we are the only club in the EPL having to do an almost complete squad rebuild. Most other clubs are looking for one or two signings and can therefore pay more for each, whereas we require five or six as a minimum, so our cash has to stretch further. We also have more players to offload than any other club, meaning failure to do so leaves us with an unnecessarily inflated wage bill that could potentially cripple us. Top it off with the unreasonable demands of many fans that we must only buy expensive “names” and we have a situation.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      Guy, many on JA have suggested excellent lower cost players to the “expensive names” for example Auoar or Fekir and Guimaraes or Bissouma for the cost of Maddison. In other words an ACM and DM for the cost of Maddison.

  25. RFrancis says:

    We need to forget about inflation, forget Wegner, forget David Dein and even the illustrious history of the club; let’s focus on the here and now.

    The only way forward is to get better value for each pound (or dollar) we spend and most importantly to improve the quality of decision making throughout all the levels of the club.

    Let’s learn from the failed Barcelona experiment.
    Major surgery is needed, again. Anything less, we will be going around in circles like the dog chasing its tail.

    1. Ozziegunner says:

      “Going around in circles” in a continuing spiral to mediocrity.

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