If you look at the mornings reports, you will see plenty of articlesÂ stating that Arsenal are ready to “spend big” and when asked whether Arsenal could spend over Â£20 million on a single transfer fee or over Â£200,000 per week on wages, Ivan Gazidis said:
“Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.
“It is going to be [on] players that Arsene believes in.
“He is pretty blind to price tags, he looks at what he sees with his eyes and makes judgements based on that, not on reputations and prices.”
Although he also warned that even though Arsenal had the capabilities to spend big, that he would not necessarily do so.
But I’m sure most reports will ignore that, put 2 and 2 together and get 5, and add even more fuel to the Wayne Rooney speculation.
The point is Arsenal have had money to spend in the past and have either not used it, or wasted it. In previous seasons we have brought in Lukas Podolski (Â£11 million), Olivier Giroud (Â£13 million), Santi Cazorla (Â£16.5 million), Nacho Monreal (Â£8.5 million), Gervinho (Â£11 million), The Ox (Â£12 million), Andre Santos (Â£6.2 million), Per Mertesacker (Â£8 million), Mikel Arteta (Â£10 million), Park Chu-Young (Â£2 million), Laurent Koscielny (Â£8.5 million), Sebastien Squillaci (Â£3.5 million) and Thomas Vermaelen (Â£10 million) over the past 4 summers.
Of those 13 big money purchases (big for us anyway) how many could you say were a success? We’ve obviously sold a lot of players on the way as well but the players we have brought in are not of the same quality. Mertesacker, Koscielny, CazorlaÂ andÂ Arteta have been outstanding for us, Park, Santos, Squillaci and Gervinho have been major flops and the remaining players (Vermaelen, Podolski, Giroud, MonrealÂ and Oxlade-Chamberlain) have been decent but not superb on a consistent basis (yet).
We have the funds (through selling players, sponsorship and other deals) to compete but does Arsene have what it takes to pick out a gem in the transfer market? Combined we have spent roughly Â£110 million on those players mentioned and while some have been fantastic, others have been a complete waste of money and the rest decent squad additions.
When was the last time Arsene puchased someone that was truly world class and exciting? Arshavin promised so much and had the potential to be that player but he lost it quickly. The only players that I considered to be world class that we’ve had at the club over the last 10 years were Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. We had a lot of “very good” players like Nasri, Adebayor, Hleb, Eduardo, ReyesÂ andÂ Clichy but they were nowhere near the calibre of player we had when we had The Invincibles.
I was excited about the apparent “war chest” at Arsene’s disposal at the start of the transfer window but the longer it goes on, the more likely we are to only spend a small part of it on mid-range players who may or may not be good enough to make us reach that next level.
We’ve been fighting for the Top 4 for the last 8 seasons, so can we make the additions we need that will help seriously challenge for the title or are we destined for yet another season that will end in a last day scrap for 4th?
The general idea is that after 8 seasons of tightening our belts, being patient and saving like a little squirrel saves acorns ready for the winter, that our time is now to spend big and seriously compete.
Will that happen? We will have to wait and see.