We’ve heard it all before, pretty much every season – next summer will be the one that Arsene Wenger forgets about his own financial values and start spending the money available to him on great players, with Arsenal looking at Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina and Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund as potential big signings.
Announcing profits (£17.8 million last season) is never a good idea for a club that knows the kind of pressure they and their manager are under due to a lack of success, at least to the standards he set almost a decade ago. Yes, it’s been almost a decade since Arsenal won their last league title, but they’re acting like everything is fine.
Whether it’s Wenger’s fault by believing too much in his own “brilliance” or the ownership not giving him the amount of funds he has needed to improve the squad, it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that Arsenal have lowered their goals as the seasons have gone by, from Championships and European titles to simply finishing in the top 4 and making it out of the group stage in the UCL. This season, at the moment at least, they’re looking at the top 4 from below.
There are contingency plans in case Arsenal don’t make the Champions League for the first time since the 1999-2000 seasons, although according to rumors, the shortlist for incoming players if they make it to the Champions League is different than the one they have if they fail to reach it.
Two of the biggest names mentioned according to reports are two of Europe’s brightest young stars. Stevan Jovetic, 23, has been with Fiorentina since 2008, and after missing the entire 2010-2011 season due to injury has become the team’s most important players as a scorer and leader, with 25 league goals in 47 matches since his return from the year-long absence. In Italy it’s suggested that Juventus are closer to signing him, but potentially, Arsenal financial capablities might be greater.
The bigger name and more expensive player Arsenal might choose to go for is Mario Gotze, who might be the most talented u-21 player in Europe. Already capped 20 times for Germany, Gotze is a two time German champion with Dortmund, and the question is how will this season affect Dortmund’s status – become a feeder club and break up the successful core that has been running well for a few years, or manage to hold on to its best player except for that one man who will be sold, as their plan was after winning the first title, giving up on Nuri Sahin and a year later Shinji Kagawa.