Arsene Wenger vowed Gunners fans back in May of new players being recruited to bolster the squad, when he announced the club’s careful spending policy had meant that he now had a staggering £70 million fund to spend over the summer. However, just over a week from the close of the window, he has yet to spend a penny of it.
Despite the club being linked with several high profile names, the most prominent being Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain, they have failed to land a single target. The latest failed bid was a £10 million offer for Newcastle playmaker Yohan Cabaye, with which came the rather comical response, “which part of him would you like to buy?”, from Magpies chairman Mike Ashley.
The issue has yet again been a reluctance to overspend on part of Wenger. Unfortunately for fans, he made a poorly judged decision to announce the club had come in to so much money. Knowing exactly how much they have to spend, clubs like Liverpool and Newcastle can afford to place high price tags on their most valued players. Even Higuain, who was out of favour at Madrid, had his cost increased by the Frenchman’s premature declaration.
It is clear that Wenger needs to act now, as waiting until the final few days of the transfer market will see prices rise even further. Given the extortionate cost of tickets at the Emirates, it is unlikely fans will forgive a man who promised to invest their hard-earned money in the team, especially having endured better part of last ten years operating under such a tightly managed budget.
With rivals Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City spending big this summer, it is even more embarrassing that a team with the stature of Arsenal have not. It is like the club has not realised that time has moved forward considerably over the last few years, or as if Wenger, now with all this money to spend, doesn’t know what to do with it.
It’s a make or break week for Arsenal and failure to invest could have serious consequences for the team’s future. Their squad overall lacks quality and strength in depth compared to their rivals, and injuries or suspensions will hinder them without sufficient backup.
The fans will want a return to challenging Chelsea and the Manchester clubs for the title over the next few years, and nothing less than silverware will be acceptable to the Arsenal faithful in that period. However, a top four finish needs to be their priority this season, and will not happen unless they have a productive week in the market.