Arsenal’s prudent transfer policy has received plenty of plaudits since Arsene Wenger was appointed as manager in September 1996, but the ongoing lack of success at the Emirates Stadium has left many fans questioning the current state of the squad.
Two years ago Arsenal sold Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Manchester City and the ensuing chaotic transfer window dealings that year, have to a large extent, shaped the inadequacy of Wenger’s current squad.
Andre Santos (£6 million), Park Chu-Young (£3 million) and Gervinho (£10.6 million) were some of the names that were signed and all three have failed to make any impact at Arsenal despite a combined outlay of nearly £20 million. Fellow signings Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker are the only ones to have showed signs of their worth to Arsenal.
The underlying lack of quality in Arsenal’s squad appears to have finally been realised by Wenger who has not only sent Marouane Chamakh, Johann Djorou and Nicklas Bendtner out on loan, but has also invested in more seasoned professionals this season.
Internationals Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal have all adapted well to the rigours of Premier League football in their debut season, but French striker Oliver Giroud continues to divide opinion, despite scoring 14 goals in all competitions.
The development of talented individuals has long been at the core of the French manager’s philosophy at the club, but Wenger’s fiscal policy of looking for value in recent years has seen success over taken by failure on the pitch, due to inadequacies in the Arsenal squad.
The singings of Nicolas Anelka (£500,000), Patrick Vieira (£3.5 million), Marc Overmars (£5.5 million), Freddie Ljungberg (£3 million), Robert Pires (£6 million) and Cesc Fabregas have all handsomely repaid the manager whose reputation for spotting and developing talent from Europe is highly regarded on the continent.
Wenger has proved over the years that there is value to be had in the transfer market, but his gamble on players who have barely enjoyed one or two good seasons of top-flight football in Europe appears to have greatly backfired.
The north London club have looked increasingly uncompetitive with football betting tips of Arsenal finishing in the top four generally thin on the ground, but if Wenger can offload many of his flops and use youngsters such as Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain along with three or four world class signings, then the Gunners’ fortune could turn around.
This summer’s transfer activity could be crucial for the future of Arsenal football club and the incoming arrivals at the Emirates Stadium could help redefine Arsenal’s standing both in the Premier League and Europe.