Former Spurs boss in sympathy for Wenger’s Arsenal transfer saga

You might expect the problems Arsene Wenger is having at Arsenal would be a source of happiness for anyone connected with our north London rivals Tottenham. So it was a surprise for me to read a very understanding and sympathetic take on the situation from their former manager Harry Redknapp.

In an Evening Standard report the former spud was speaking about the ridiculous prices that are being paid in the transfer market this summer and in recent years, especially by English clubs awash with the Premier League TV money.

Redknapp agrees with Wenger’s idea that big money is being spent on average players and he specifically declares that £60 million for the reported Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon or £30 million for the Valencia defender Mustafi is too much.

He also questions whether the signing of the French striker who could not even get into the Euro 2016 squad would be of much use to the Gunners, but he also advised Wenger to do it anyway as it would be an even bigger risk to not bring in another forward in the current climate of frustration.

Redknapp said, “Arsenal fans want Wenger to sign Alexandre Lacazette but how can he be worth anything like the £60million Lyon are apparently asking?

“That asking price is probably twice as much as he is worth. You don’t mind giving £5m more for a player in some circumstances but paying double the price when he didn’t even make the France squad for Euro 2016? They already have Olivier Giroud, who led the French attack in that tournament, so there is a strong argument to suggest Lacazette cannot be an upgrade if his country turned its back on him.

“Every club is looking for top players and everyone says Arsenal need a centre-half. Manchester City have spent a fortune on centre-backs and what did they end up with? Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi cost about £30million each and they’ve been poor.

“What do you get for your money now? John Stones couldn’t get in the England team and now City have paid £50m for him. Arsenal are struggling to find players because they have set high standards for themselves. Injuries in pre-season have cost them — Rob Holding is a good prospect but nowhere near ready and Calum Chambers came in as a right-back from Southampton — but it is still a big gamble to pay £30m for Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia or £40m for Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.

“There is nothing like having a couple of new players in at the start of the year. It gives fans and the club a lift, but where are they? It is hard for Arsene when you have managed Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Emmanuel Petit, Thierry Henry and the rest to be told you have to pay £60m for Lacazette.

“Arsenal just need to play the transfer market game a bit more. Lyon know they have got Arsenal where they want them over Lacazette — they are going to screw them into the ground over the fee. Wenger either has to accept that and try to meet them in the middle after their opening offer of £30m was rejected — say £45m — and at least look like they are in the hunt for players to appease the fans.

“Pay a bit over the odds without taking a massive risk. Hard as it is to complete big deals, the mood at Emirates Stadium suggests the bigger risk for Wenger is doing nothing.”

So should Wenger spend a fortune just for the sake of it?


Tags lacazette Mustafi Redknapp


  1. It is not about the price.
    It is sonething much different.
    According to wenger own view is that some players are what he truly wants and others are just media signings.
    And that is how he buys unknown players.
    The real wenger signings and not others overrated by the media.

    So dont be fooled by anybody that it is all about the money.There is something more

  2. Hi guys, I really don’t think the issue with Arsenal is about transfers to some extent. I believe the issue is with Arsene Wenger and his tactical approach to games and team management as a whole. We can get the best players but will not make it to the champ’s league final or win the EPL because Arsene is out dated. Talk about developing your players from the academy look at Diego Simeone he is using Lucas Hernandez and Gimineze who were nobodies until last season when Godin and savic were absent. Look at Tuchel at Dortmund. Let’s watch Koeman at Everton. We’ll see that it’s a coach issue not transfers per se. Last season we were in for Ashley Williams now he’s an Everton player. We’re looking for strikers elsewhere whilst Shane Long still plays for Southampton. He’s faster than Giroud, more clinical and really knows the premier league. He can start league games and giroud comes on as a sub and for champ’s league the swap roles. I don’t also understand why Arsene refuses to play Joel Campbell regularly he has vision, pace and is very clinical. Our players are good but they need the right guidance to be great players where they’re played according to their strengths.

  3. Remember when ozil was going through a poor patch, lots of criticism of wenger spending £40m, there was a reason why RM sold him etc. With lacazette, we know he is not an upgrade on giroud, he is unlikely to be a 20 plus goals in PL a season man. We may be appeased at first but can you imagine the comments on here if he goes on a goal drought, paid £60m and …………….

    Perhaps a little more openness from wenger may appease us fans. The problem against pool was not us scoring goals and giroud is yet to come back.

    Yes, we need a striker but an upgrade on giroud. To pay way over the odds for an ordinary player is riduculous. Saying that is the going rate is fine, as long as this is not a bubble which bursts, like the housing market does every so often. Take manu, their total yearly income is about £395m, from which they have to pay all their outgoings, is it sustainable to pay £100m for one player, Pogba? I would say that these type of prices are not sustainable

    1. Arry making sense.

      Yeah that’s crazy on Utd. Their salaries were over £200M a year before Pogba signed up on £15M a year, Ibra on £10M a year, Mkhitaryan £7.5M a year.

  4. He may be a former spud but he makes some good points… Of course we need a center half before the window shuts but that is no reason to just go crazy with our money… lately all of wenger’s buys have been pretty effective (ozil, sanchez, cech, xhaka). I think the reason why fans are so frustrated is that we know what we need but we arent seeing anything happening… Wenger has been saying for a while now that he will sign a center back this window, just trying to stay patient.

  5. Okay. Understood. He says that one can pay a certain 5mil more for a player who has proven quality. So, where was this application from our wondrous manager when we were bidding for Suarez?! I mean surely you don’t mind overpaying 5mil for a player who scored 30+ goals. But what did the old sod do. That’s right, a pound more or nothing! SMFH.

    1. Suarez was believed to have a release cluse in his contract of over £40m so arsenal bid that.

      Liverpool denied that such a release clause existed and said that the clause only required them to inform the player that a bid over £40m had been received. Arsenal were not party to the contract so could do nothing to resolve the issue. Suarez could have taken liverpool to court but did not do so. Later liverpool admitted that there was a release clause of over £40m.

      At the time suarez had in the past been banned for racial abuse. At the time of the bid he was part way through a ten match ban for biting. He had stated he was fed up with england and the media attention and gave every impression of being deeply troubled. Taking all this into accound and what we had sold rvp for (who had just fired manu to the title), I thought at the time that the £40m bid was a bit high and a big risk.

      Liverpool won the propaganda battle with the commets about what are they smoking at the emirates etc. They lost the battle for acting professionally with their employee.

  6. so why not bid £65 million pounds for Aubameyang or £70 million pounds for Lewandowski,?? you and i know they are world class and worth the money…look lets not give in to this, there’s always an excuse every year lets not fall for it this time, he wasted hid time waiting for Vardy, Chasing Lacazette when he knew he wont pay the asking price..he could’ve gotten Jassen, or Lukaku who is a faster version of Giroud…but as usual he chose to play his mind games on we he’s saying there’s no player and no money…oh and what’s wrong with getting Draxler?? Perfect signing if we cant get any WC striker, he should be converted to our no 9…we aint asking for a Messi or Ronaldo type of player.. TF!! all we want is a striker who would step up when Giroud is down!! Get real for fvvck sake!!! At this point i’ll even take Ighalo with joy.. thumb me down but i just spoke the bitter truth

    1. Eddy, i think you are saying, I wanted WC striker, it has not happened and cannot see it happening. Now I will take just some cover for giroud, our only viable striker.

      How our high expectations have fallen over the last two months.

    2. Even if we want to buy, the other clubs have to want to sell… basic supply and demand…
      And if the objective was to get someone better than OG12, why would you go for Lacazette?
      If we were to convert a winger, why don’t we convert our very best AS7?
      The mind games… well… Fans imagined all kinds of possibilities and unfortunately none of those dreams came true… and then you blame the manager… it sounds like the wife getting mad with me because I “dream-cheated” on her… lol…

  7. See, I totally agree with the hype in price, but I still insist most of this things are wenger’s fault, tell me where was he when, Zlatan was about to leave psg,40mi is not too much on MaREZ,what happened to Suarez’s deal
    ?paying liverpool 50mil wasn’t too much. There is different between, quality and Quantity, we all saw it, that Marez,Zlatan,Suarez were all Quality players,but this man doesn’t want to spend, just look at how our front line would be, ” Sanches Suarez and MareZ,with Ozil Xhaka,cazorla, deadly squad! But Wenger!!! Can’t wait to see him leave my dear ARSENAL.

    1. Zlatan is costing £10M for his season’s wage, plus an undisclosed signing on fee that could also be enormous…….. that’s for one season!!!!!! They won’t get a transfer fee for him next season.

      Mahrez- we need a striker, & now also a centre back since our injury crisis- those signings will make the real differences. Out wide we’ve got Sanchez for the left & an abundance of players competing for one other slot, and it’s a reasonable expectation for one of them to find form; Walcott, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Iwobi…. even Gnabry/Reine-Adelaide (what happens to their prospects if you bring in another WF?)

      Suarez- see jonm reply to LordBanter above… you don’t pay more than a release clause.

  8. The are only two ways Wenger can leave Arsenal; 1) If his contract runs out and he walks, 2) If he dies on the job. If he dares sign another contract with the club, then the frustration of the fans will definitely consume him because he will NEVER EVER CHANGE. I believe he wants to retire but he doesn`t know how to go. He has failed so many times that he doesn`t know how to succeed. He is presently the longest serving manager in club football, and that is not a complement. That is only because he is in a club without defined goals and plans to improve. A proper football club would have eased him off a long while ago. Hopefully he will walk away from Arsenal after this season, and we will all heave a sigh of relief.

    1. Our majority shareholder is a hard nosed american businessman who owns arsenal as a business enterprise. Kroenke has very clearly defined goals, I have looked at the accounts for the last five years. These show the following
      1. We have always made a profit.
      2. Debt has fallen year on year by appox. £7m per annum.
      3. Cash reserves have increased by £68m in the period but with some up and down fluctuations.
      4. Net debt has decreased by £92m in the period but with some up and down fluctuations

      These consistently improving financial results comes from careful control of the financial aspects of the club. This must come from the board in general and Kroenke in particular. This explains why Wenger is so highly regarded by the club,
      A. he works within the financial constraints imposed by the board
      B. has delivered, in the boards eyes, success with recent FA Cup wins and champions league football every year
      C. has maintained the support of fans as measured by financial returns on ticket sales and merchandise.

      Blugooner, you may see a club without clearly defined goals and plans to improve. Our owner sees a club with very clearly defined goals and all the plans to improve being in place and working very well.

      Wenger may leave at the end of the season but Kroenke will appoint the new manager and kroenke will be as ruthless as Abramovich in dealing with any manager who does not perform in accordance with kroenke’s performance requirements.

      1. I wish Arsenal fans can think like you…many a getting sucked up into this frenzy…i am more worried about life after Wenger than the situation now

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