Former Arsenal legend, Ray Parlour has urged club boss, Arsene Wenger to splash the cash to turn the Gunners from ‘also rans’ to ‘title contenders’. The Gunners are said to have huge money in their coffers, a situation that has provided Wenger with his biggest war-chest since he became Arsenal manager. Parlour urged Wenger to spend big.
“They need to go out and spend money now, reports are saying there’s €82m available at the moment. If I was Arsene Wenger, I’d say go out and spend €116m and get the right players to have a real go of it next season.
The whole point in moving stadium was to try to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona but now they are trying to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, who will probably get stronger next season. That’s the most important thing for the fans, but now the club are in such a good state of mind with the stadium – they paid off a lot of money on that – and financially, they are in a very good situation.
“The players that work for him on a regular basis would be very excited to have the likes of Rooney in the side, Higuain, who is a very good player at Real Madrid, and Fellaini, who has had a great few seasons at Everton. That’s the big question now, whether they can attract this sort of players to the club.”
Parlour not only mentioned the players Wenger should sign, he also pin-pointed areas where he should strengthen.
“When you look at the side they’ve got, they’ve got very good players but they have to strengthen down the spine of the team.
Striker-wise I know Higuain has been mentioned and Rooney would be a fantastic signing for Arsenal.
“They maybe need another midfielder who can win the ball back as well. I think [Mikel] Arteta was fantastic last year but another player who can slot into that role just in front of the back four, which is so important in today’s football, would be ideal.
I definitely think they need another central defender too. [Thomas] Vermaelen was obviously in and out of the team last year and didn’t really play a lot of football and we don’t know what’s going to happen to him this summer.
And maybe a goalkeeper, when you look at the lack of competition at the moment for [Wojciech] Szczesny. [Lukasz] Fabianski did really well when he came back into the side, but I don’t know if that’s the answer or not. If they can get the right players, they will definitely be a force next season.”
On the areas Arsenal need to strengthen, the former invincible was spot-on. The Gunners need a new striker (any or both of Rooney and Higuain will do), a natural defensive midfielder, not a pseudo one, a center-back and a goalkeeper who will jostle with Szczesny for the starting berth. Fabianski just cannot do it.
He hyped Arsenal’s chances of winning the league next season for one obvious reason. The change of guard at other clubs that will be posing as Arsenal’s main rivals versus the stability at the Emirates with Wenger now the longest serving manager in the Premier League with an uninterrupted spell at Arsenal could swing the pendulum
“I think it will be the most exciting Barclays Premier League season next year, with new managers coming in and out,” he continued.
You don’t know how [Manuel] Pellegrini will settle in but I’m sure he will do a great job at Manchester City, David Moyes has got his chance at Manchester United, and obviously with Jose Mourinho coming back to Chelsea it is going to be interesting.
“So it may be an opportunity for Arsenal to say: ‘Okay we’ve got the stability in the manager at the moment, can we get the right players now?”