Friday, 19 July 2013

Give Us A Sign(ing) Please Arsenal

The summer is ticking slowly by and the exodus of unwanted and unneeded players at Arsenal continues, but still Yaya Sanogo is the only player to arrive at the club. He arrived from Auxerre on a free transfer which means Arsenal haven't actually put their hands in their pockets yet. The savings made on wages from the departing players have been substantial and are probably somewhere between €400,000 and €450,000 per week which is somewhere between €20 million and €25 million per season.

The latest player likely to depart is Andre Santos who seems to be on his way to Flamengo in Brazil with Arsenal forgoing any fee to ensure the deal goes through. It appears Arsenal can only get fees for their high profile players and those with a lesser profile have to be handed out for free to encourage clubs to take them when Arsenal decide they no longer require their services. There's still a few of them left at the club, but hopefully the rest of them will be on their way pretty soon. 

The first team squad now has plenty of room in it for new arrivals and I'm starting to get just a little anxious as players continue to arrive at other clubs. When players Arsenal have supposedly shown an interest in end up at another club it's never easy to take and that's just what's happening at the moment. Transfer negotiations are never easy with so many parties involved, but the club have to pursue their targets and make sure they get them.

Arsene Wenger didn't exactly fill us fans with confidence when he spoke on the Asian tour a couple of days ago and said the club are not close to signing anybody. He could be playing his cards close to his chest but it's hard not to believe him at the moment. I have faith in his ability to find the players Arsenal need to make them contenders again, but I'm not so sure he will spend the money it takes to sign those players.

The transfer market is being hugely influenced by the vast amounts of money being thrown at some clubs by wealthy owners. When they come in for a player it's hard for Arsenal to compete in terms of fees and wages and their influence only inflates the prices of other players. It doesn't matter what value Arsenal put on a player if the club selling him feel he is worth more because of the prices paid for other players.

Arsenal will have to pay the market rate for top quality players no matter how much that rate is above their own valuation. When the season starts the team/squad quite simply has to be a lot stronger than it was at the start and end of last season. The team did very well to scrape through to fourth place, but it wasn't a pretty sight to see far too often.

The boss just cannot think that the team which went through the last 10 league games taking 26 points are good enough to put in a realistic challenge from day one. While that record at the end of the season was impressive it came about when the team had exited all other competitions and were able to concentrate on the league. When the new season kicks off the team will immediately have to start playing twice a week for the foreseeable future and the squad depth isn't there to do that.

A couple of injuries could be enough to spring some young players who are not ready into the team and we all know how injury prone Arsenal players are at the best of times. Ask Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky or even Jack Wilshere if they are confident of making it through the season uninjured and I'm sure you'd be lucky to get a positive answer. The best way to avoid those injuries to players is for them to get the rest time they need thanks to a strong squad giving them the opportunity to do just that.

I'm not going to panic just yet and I'd almost prefer to see Arsenal sign nobody than bring in Luis Suarez. His behaviour on too many occasions has been deplorable, but the one thing I just cannot overlook is the racism he showed towards Patrice Evra. I can understand anybody disliking Evra because of his attitude, behaviour or comments, but to racially abuse somebody is simply not acceptable.

For Arsenal to sign a player who has been found to have racially abused an opponent sends out all the wrong messages about the club. I desperately want to see some top quality players brought in as soon as they can be but there are limits to who the club should pursue. Don't get me wrong, I will support Suarez if he dons an Arsenal shirt but I would prefer not to have to do so.

I don't think Suarez is the greatest finisher anyway and he misses far too often from very good positions in my opinion. I think Higuain is far more leathal in front of goal and I wouldn't be surprised to see he has a much higher conversion rate than Suarez. In an ideal world which would give the fans a choice I don't doubt that Higuain is a far more popular choice than Suarez.

It's not up to the boss to sign players just because the fans want them though and he has to do what he thinks is best for the club and the team. If Suarez is that player then we might have to get used to seeing him in an Arsenal shirt once he has served his ban for biting an opponent. Maybe the boss thinks he can reform Suarez and maybe he can, but I doubt it very much.

With so much money saved from the wages bill the only money needed to cover the new players we need is the money for the actual transfer fees and Arsenal have already confirmed they have that money. If that money is still sitting in the bank come August 17th and then Seotember 1st I can only imagine the abuse the boss and the club will get from some quarters.

It would be a huge risk not to spend that money and if it is taken and doesn't pay off it could spell the end for the boss. That's not something I'd like to see and I hope it's not what happens this season. I respect Arsene Wenger and the job he has done at Arsenal and it would be a shame for his tenure to end on bad terms.

It's in his hands and those of the club too and this summer is the one where they eventually have to start to move the club forward again. It's been too long since Arsenal had a team that could genuinely contend at the top but they have the resources to do so now and have to use those resources to try to make it happen. Nothing is certain in football and they could spend the loot and still struggle but I truly believe the backlash could be too much to cope with if they don't spend it.

So do us and yourself a favour please Arsene and spend, spend, spend like you've never done before.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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