Why can’t Arsenal attract top players any more?

What will it take to recruit top players again?

It says a lot about our beloved club when you are constantly linked to so many decent players during transfer windows and the season in general and end up getting absolutely none of them.

Now that this is something as Arsenal fans we have begun to get used to over the years.

As each transfer window arrives, the same if not more rumours come out, where we are linked with 100  different players and it’s laughable and quite embarrassing that we actually get none of them.

This recent  transfer window is an example of that. We were linked with a number of top players, Emi Buendia, Lautauro Martinez and Houssem Aouar to name a few, yet we got lots of youths instead.

And we lost out on getting Buendia’s signature because we were beaten to it by Aston Villa, and no offence to them but come on it’s Aston Villa for goodness sake.

Now why he chose them over Arsenal we don’t know, but it’s probably because we either didn’t offer enough which is often the case with us, or it could just be because the prospects of the club and the philosophy of the club is something that didn’t interest him. This only he knows. But I do not blame him or other players for not wanting to come to Arsenal.

Why would they want to play for a club that is out of all European competitions and that clearly has a sense of unrest on and off the pitch.

In previous seasons I think it was safe to say that some players would come to Arsenal because of the manager – Arsene Wenger-  but I can honestly say that Arteta would not be a pull for any player to join, especially if you had the choice of being managed by Pep Guardiola or Thomas Tuchel instead, to name a few.

So the day players willingly choose to sign without back and forth bids is the day us Arsenal fans can rest easy and say “we are back.” Here’s hoping that day comes sooner rather than later hey Gooners?

Shenel Osman

Twitter: @sh3n3l_


Tags Arsenal transfers


  1. back in the day a pull of a club was about its size and history more than anything else.

    The best players want to play UCL, at a push UEL and they would have to have faith in the manager and squad to be able to push back into it within that first season they could be there.

    The fact is that our manager is a rookie and has no real pull to anyone and then there is no european football, 2 consecutive 8th placed finishes.

    I’m sorry but no world class player would be happy to risk his career joining a club that has settled for this, unless the money is too good to turn down, which again would put us over a barrel so to speak.

    Bottom line is the club NEED’s to start showing signs of improvement and fast if we ever wish to get back to where we were during the late 90’s early 00’s.

    I dont think that with how football is in England with tv rights etc etc that Arsenal can afford to waste time in this department imo.

  2. Having read to only halfway down this doom laden article, I told myself it HAD to be written by either Konstantin, the perennial harbinger of doom OR Shenel, naivety personified.

    Just for once, can someone, other than Ad PAT -WHO EVEN NOW HAS STILL NOT REPLIED TO MY EMAIL, thus denying me the chance to send in my series of articles on fanhood and related matters – but who at least has some optimism for our great club left in his locker, contribute an article that excludes doom, woe and self entitlement!

      1. DAN you did not and do not know -how could you- the context involved in my question to Ad PAT.

        HE HAS NOW EMAILED ME and I am to go ahead with a series of separate articles featuring many aspects of fanhood and how our modern game operates. He has even offered to proofread my constant typos and correct then. Splendid chap!!

        In some articles, it will be only loosely Arsenal related, which was the POINT I wished PAT to take on board and thus allow(or not , since I did not wish to presume on his acceptance of only loosely Arsenal related content, in SOME instances.)
        I will shortly be sending in my first of a number of those articles that will divide fans , some thinking me the same as you do DAN, but others appreciating the context and the wider view on elite football as a whole.
        I ask you all sincerely as dedicated Gooners to really think before castigating me as some of you constantly do. You, all of you, are welcome to disagree with any point I make but I only ask that you do so as a mature fans and not criticise for its own sake.

  3. We are not a top team anymore and unlikely to win silverware again anytime soon. However, there are players that will join us even if they are not top notch due to the outlandish wages that the club are prepared to still keep on paying certain people masquerading as professional footballers. I believe that Arsenal is the club join you as a player if you are of limited talent but are looking for a club that will pay you obscene amounts of money when you are not particularly good at your job. Look at the list of players and this is just a few from recent times. Kolasinac, Bellerin, Torreira, Soares, Mustaphi, Chambers, Holding, Runnarson, etc. Some of these players are on wages of £100k a week…….i mean seriously? i wouldn’t pay some of them 100 quid a week. Is there any wonder we can’t sell alot of them? Players are deluded and think they are worth the wages they get paid and want at least the same, if not more to move to another club. Other clubs disagree which is why we still have too much deadwood. £50 million for a promising but far from world class defender in Ben White sums up everything perfectly. Fair play to Willian who simply said “i”m off, you can keep the money”. The whole club is deluded from top to bottom. Arsenal are the biggest mugs when it comes to players wages. This matters much less if your football club is successful. If Arteta does not turn things around immediately we could do a Leeds. No club is too big to be relegated or fall off their perch. He should be sacked. How does a massive club like Arsenal allow a novice to do their apprenticeship at their football club?

  4. Its a never ending circle. World class/top class players want to play with their equals. I think its fair to say that there has been a lack of this class of player at Arsenal for some time. The fact that we are not in the UCL and UEL is a factor because being in those competitions has a certain attraction for players to come to a club. The pull of having a top class manager can also be a determining factor in attracting class players, particularly if they feel that the ethos of the manager and the club would benefit their ambitions. Money would also seem to be a factor in some cases and I have my doubts whether Arsenal can or would be able to meet big salary demands going forward. Also I think that players already at a club can influence players moving to that club. Martinez/ Buendia for example. I think that we are stuck in a position where we are and will have to buy and develop young players in the hope that hit a few gems.

  5. Because of the manager……United took Solksjaer…Chelsea took lampard and arsenal took Arteta……lampard wasn’t doing good so he was substituted with a better manager………Arsenal was supposed to do the same and get a better manager but they didn’t…..Chelsea can attract better players……..!

  6. Honestly, I don’t understand the point about this post!
    The examples cited of players who failed to join Arsenal are simply ridiculous
    1. Buendia – really? It’s clear he was not Arsenal’s top option. Their mind was on Qdegaard, and they got him, Villa were already spending Grealish’s money on a replacement. They even tried to prise ESR from us, but he stayed
    2. Aouar – was waiting for a call from Arsenal which never came despite even the fans calling for his signature
    3. Martinez couldn’t have left Inter when they just sold Lukaku. And I’m not sure Arsenal wanted a new striker unless one left, which didn’t happen.
    The only target we lost on was Locatelli. And that is because Juventus was involved. We all know how it is with young Italian players when Juve come calling. The player would have rejected anyone for Juventus

    1. Agree entirely CM.I’m afraid I have decided to pass on reading any other articles emanating from the keyboard of SO and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is a lady.

          1. I wasn’t the one who felt the need to put that particular information out there…based on your reply to me, it’s obviously a sensitive issue for you…how telling

      1. Grandad, I have now resolved not to bother reading any articles from either Shenel or Konstantin ever again, as they are all so depressingly vitriolic and immature in their lack of reasoned thought.

        Trouble is, the writers name only appears at the end but after a couple of sentences the constant, same old, dismal style of BOTH those people is obvious.

        1. Not telling at all.You seem an intelligent guy TRVL as you have an excellent way with words.So why did you not bother to respond directly to the article rather than make snide comments concerning the views of a third party.You seem to have a propensity for making cynical comments whenever you write on JA and I wonder why you feel the need to belittle others as a means of showing off your undoubted writing skills.Not for you a conventional reply on the subject of an article that would be far too simplistic for your ego perhaps.No need to reply,as I am, to an extent playing the devils advocate in the knowledge that you are more than capable of shooting an old man down.On a more serious note, on one thing I am sure we will agree, is the need for a win against Norwich.

          1. how does one even respond to such passive aggressive nonsense…if you were truly so concerned about facing the wrath of my mighty pen, why would you intentionally include such a healthy smattering of unnecessary insults…your juvenile attempt to disarm with back-handed compliments won’t work on this “old” pro, so please save this sort of banter for those who have reason to empathize with whatever age-based plight you care to peddle…I simply asked why you would have included some commentary regarding the “sex” of the author, as that had no bearing whatsoever on the matter at hand, then you chose, unwisely I might add, to try and flip the script in my general direction…ultimately, by avoiding the question, you provided far more unflattering information about yourself than if you just offered up your particular truth regarding the initial question….thus, very telling

  7. To attract players, you have to be a big club with ambition, you have to be fighting for league titles, you have to be in the champions league, you have to be ambitious and you have to have a top manager. We fail on all, dont expect top players to join, we are no attractive at the moment.

  8. I think you’ve picked 3 bad examples to try and make your point.

    1) Odegaard was always our top target, so we were in for Buendia but only half-heartedly while we thought there was a chance we could get Odegaard. Ultimately if we’d have wanted Buendia more we’d have gone all in for him.

    2) Inter were never in a million years going to sell both Lukaku and Martinez in the same window! There is an argument that had we moved for him sooner they might have sold him and kept hold of Lukaku instead, so maybe in that respect the club was at fault. But it’s not that we couldn’t attract him!

    3) I would have liked us to go for Aouar, but he didn’t join because we couldn’t convince him to – it was on our terms not his. The fact that his club can’t even get rid of him on loan with an option to buy says there must be something wrong with him. We definitely needed another midfielder and I think we’ll pay for that mistake. Someone like Bruno Guimaraes would have been a better target.

  9. Shenel.. I’m sick of the way your articles are slated on here.
    These are your thoughts/opinions; keep them coming. SOME of us appreciate the work you do… 👍

    1. As a number of others have noted this is not a good article.
      Although it is undoubtedly true that Arsenal cannot attract the best players the examples chosen by the author to make this point are not logical.

      1. Why the need to be nasty though? I may not agree with every article I read on here, doesn’t mean I’m going to leave a horrible comment putting the author down..
        Too much of this on here and it’s becoming incredibly tiresome

    2. Agree Sue some people only think their opinion matters. I dont agree with a lot of what is put on here but without it, this site would be redundant. Respect is in short supply by a few. We can debate and we can disagree but please respect anothers opinions even if you think it stinks, in your opinion!!!!!!!!!

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