I am not sure whether the Arsenal boss would say the same thing in private, but speaking in public today he did not condemn what many football experts see as a hugely inflated transfer fee of nearly £50 million for Raheem Sterling.
Arsene Wenger is famous for his views on the crazy price of transfers in modern football but as he explained in a report on the Arsenal website, the owners of Man City can easily afford to splash top dollar on players, unlike Arsenal.
But even though Wenger expressed his belief that Sterling is a real talent, he also revealed that the Gunners were never going to try to challenge for his transfer, and not just because of the massive price tag. The boss explained that he was more than happy with the many options at his disposal in the same sort of area of the pitch that Sterling operates in.
The Frenchman said, “It looked a done deal for a while, because Sterling said he wanted to leave. For me Sterling is a top-class player. It’s a good buy for Man City. An expensive one, but they can afford it. Personally I like him. I didn’t make a bid because he plays in an area where we have plenty of players. We have Welbeck, Walcott, Chamberlain. Sanchez, Wilshere can play there, Gnabry. He’s a wide player basically, or behind the striker.”
It remains to be seen whether Sterling will be worth the money to Man City but I can certainly see why Arsenal did not go for him. The question is, who does Wenger think we need?