I’m not going to pretend that I watched a lot of Lille’s games last season, and if Gooners are honest many wouldn’t have known who Gabriel was before he was being linked with us?
Yet there are so many reasons why our recruitment team deserves so much credit for this transfer. I made this point when Saka and Martinelli extended their contracts, that it does seem that Arsenal are correcting mistakes that got them in the current situation.
Part of any solution is admitting there has been a problem.
While we cannot ignore that the likes of Chelsea and Man City have been bankrolled by billionaires or even countries, that’s not the case with Liverpool. While it was concerning to finish 43 points behind the Champions, Jurgen Klopp’s men actually are an example to give us hope. They are proof that you can win the Premiership if you are a club being run properly.
Yes, having a world class man manager is important, but they only would have gotten to a certain level if the other departments were inadequate. I believe that in Arteta we have a young coach who tactically has many ideas, and has already shown he can get talent to believe in his vision and ethos. Yet what does he do if his employers don’t share his ambition?
Well, If the owners insist on Arsenal being a self-sustained model, while that can be frustrating, events at Anfield prove there is more than one way to win things.
Of course, outspending everyone is the easiest way and Stan Kroenke has the resources to do that if he ever wanted to. Yet Liverpool didn’t win a first title in 30 years because John W Henry broke the bank, they did it by doing clever business.
Yes, the Red spent big fees on Van Dijk and Alisson, but they only did that because of the income they brought in. That is literally the only difference between Arsenal and Liverpool.
When Coutinho wanted to leave for Barcelona, he had such a long contract, Barca had to pay over the odds to get their way. When Sanchez wanted to depart the Emirates, we could have equally asked for the same value that Coutinho was being judged at. We then would have had the resources to purchase a top defender and keeper. Yet Sanchez was allowed to run down his deal to it’s last 12 months, hence we were forced to either lose him for nothing or sell to a rival for a reduced fee.
It’s crazy when you’re talking about two massive clubs in this Country that something as simple as one player having a longer contract then the other could have such an impact in terms of sending two institutions in opposite directions.
The problem of course is that Sanchez wasn’t a one off. Ozil, the Ox, Ramsey, Welbeck, Wilshere and others were all allowed to run down their deals. Think how much money that is being lost out on, just because no one had the sense to extend contracts quicker. Someone was being paid a decent wage to be responsible for this. His or her incompetence has set us back years.
So that’s why the arrival of Gabriel and Saliba is so encouraging. By all accounts both are predicted to be future great centre-backs, and I have zero reason to not believe those people who watch French Football every week.
Yet the most pleasing aspect is Edu is showing he understands. He understands what went wrong before him and what to do to fix it.
A partnership of a 19-year-old 22-year-old means (unless they were to really flop) it’s a win/win situation.
Obviously, the best-case scenario is they star for us for many years. Yet if the worst were to happen and say one day, they insist on going to Real Madrid, they are at an age where we can demand a huge figure that allows us to invest. Even if they didn’t settle for various reasons, they are young enough where you would still be able to demand more than you paid. That’s not a bad worst-case scenario.
Throw in Saka and Martinelli into the equation, that is 4 young talents who are crucial long-term assets on and off the pitch.
I’ll call a spade a spade. Heck, I’ll call a spade a shovel! I write a lot about what I feel Arsenal don’t do, and have made it clear recently I worry we won’t strengthen as much as say Chelsea. Yet it’s only fair to applaud and highlight when Arsenal do something brilliant.
Again, I never was aware of Gabriel till he was linked with us, but investing in youngsters and ensuring all young stars have long contracts is a great step in the right direction.
Well Done Arsenal!
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