Maybe it’s the media undermining Arsene Wenger once again, but maybe there’s some truth to the news: Arsenal are finally going to spend big in a transfer window, with David Villa and Victor Valdes mentioned as potential new arrivals, although they don’t sound like the names some Arsenal fans would like to hear about.
It’s not that the Gunners don’t spend money – £48.7 million this season alone on four new players. The problem is settling for OK, and building for width with a lot of good players at best, instead of investing that money in two excellent players, for example. The loss to Bayern Munich was another example, as if some Premier League defeats to Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, how far Arsenal have fallen from Europe’s elite, if they were ever there, not to mention the English Premier League.
Arsene Wenger can talk all he likes about the quality in his squad. There’s quality, but not enough to be more than a team that competes for a Champions League spot at best. Wenger has always been praised on his ability to spot and groom talent, but never for his tactics and game management. When the quality of player decreases, the manager doesn’t have enough of his own to bring to the team.
The question of who is at fault for not spending the right way – Wenger for being caught up in his own “genius” or the board for not liking to ruin their profit announcements doesn’t matter. The question is where Arsenal go from here – a club with a huge fan base that has high expectations. Back and try to be one of the best clubs in England and later on Europe, or settling for fourth place for the next five seasons while everyone improves around them?
According to some reports, Wenger will have £70 million at his disposal next summer, if he makes it into the Champions League. Wenger, according to the sources, has compiled two separate shortlists – one for the UCL scenario, and one in case they don’t, which would involve “major” spending. One theory is that Wenger will try to make his side look more “nasty”, with players like Pepe Reina, Etienne Capoue, Vincent Wanyama and Stevan Jovetic on his target list.
Besides David Villa, constantly showing up in the news linked with Arsenal, there is the Real Betis wonderkid, the one dubbed as the “next Ronaldo”, Alvaro Vadillo, 18. Vadillo hasn’t made too many appearances for Betis (only 5 this season), but English clubs like Arsneal, Manchester United and also Barcelona and Milan are showing a lot of interest in him. For once, Wenger would like to beat out the bigger names of Europe for prime talent, hopefully also holding on to him for more than a season or two.