Do You Trust Jorge Mendes? By Dan Smith
It is fair to say that we may not have got Pepe under Arsene Wenger due to his refusal to work with Jorge Mendes. It’s understandable that one of the last few managers to have complete control over every aspect of their club didn’t feel comfortable doing business with a man the likes of Chelsea and Man United were working with exclusively.
I stress the Frenchmen was the greatest boss we ever had, and I’ll never agree with how he was treated in his last year with us. Yet I have to be honest and say this is the first summer in a while, where I feel we are not stuck in the olden days. It still takes us too long in negotiations, but we have a recruitment team who understand how the market operates in 2019.
This is not patronising Mr Wenger over his age, but he was old school and tried to fight against how transfer fees were getting out of control. He had a romantic/ yet naive belief that you should try to find value for money. Out of respect for what he did, Stan Kroenke was happy to follow his lead given his lack of knowledge of the sport.
It’s hard to imagine Mr Wenger signing off on the super-agent getting 9 million payment for his role in Pepe joining us, something Napoli were not comfortable with. In theory our former gaffer is correct, he wouldn’t need anyone telling him who was decent from Ligue 1, while it’s not like the Ivorian doesn’t know who Arsenal are. It’s quite an easy way to become a millionaire.
Yet it’s not about agreeing with how the sport works it’s about evolving so you’re not left behind. It’s no good having morals then wondering why you’re not competing with your rivals. It’s also contradictory how we have principles about the likes of Mendes getting a pay day but don’t mind about charging gooners 60 pound for a shirt and the highest ticket prices in the UK.
The likes of Raul Sanellehi get paid lots of money to make our team as strong as possible. Wages and fees are so ludicrous that I don’t really care if a greedy agent gets money instead of a greedy player or owner. The fear would be that Mendes ends up with lots of his clients at the Emirates giving him big control in our dressing room, although FIFA are keeping an eye on just how much influence he has.
For every Ronaldo and Mourinho he brought to English Football, there’s a Bebe or an injured Falcao he got hired as a ‘favour ‘. Still, I’d rather take a chance on this guy, if it means we get better players then save ourselves 9 million and have nothing….