Sky Sports among many outlets are underlining the fact that Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer is crucial to their title bid for next season. As it stands, there will be more outs this summer than players coming in. With Arsenal having an inflated wage bill due to the ‘deadwood’ players staying on the Arsenal books instead of finding new clubs. Sebastian Squillaci being a classic example of this.
Nicklas Bendtner, a player with some potential after his loan spell at Birmingham City for the 2006/07 season. With 13 goals that season, not many people could argue when he was given a squad number for the 2007/08 season and he made a total of 40 appearances, scoring 9 goals. But it seems his ‘ego’ took over his head at one point.
Bendtner told the Metro:
I am talking with five or six clubs at the moment over a permanent transfer. Things are agreed with Arsenal and I will decide which club I sign for in the next two weeks.”
Johan Djourou, a promising centre-back but lapses in concentration costs Djourou dear and a loan move to Hannover in January 2013 justifies this. With arguably his best performances coming in the 2010/11 season. Would be a decent 4th choice cover for Vermalaen, Koscielny and Mertesacker but not good enough to be a first team regular.
After a loan spell at West Ham for the second half of 2012/13, this showed Marouane Chamakh’s decline as a footballer. Having had a good start to his Arsenal career, the return from injury of Robin Van Persie lost Chamakh’s place in the side and then he lost confidence and form. He is now basking in his new role as Crystal Palace’s second choice striker.
So what does the new season for Arsenal hold? Well, in part, they need to get the wage bill down and clear out the deadwood from the squad. This will give them the funds to be able to buy better players to improve. With Denilson, Andrey Arshavin and Sebastian Squillaci already released, this will free up around about £180,000 off of the wage bill. A big summer ahead for Wenger but if negotiations are completed efficiently then there should be plenty of optimism surrounding the Emirates. Weeks ago, Arsenal were allegedly planning to open up that almost uniquely football orientated piece of occasional furniture, the War Chest.
But how likely is it that Arsenal will sign anyone? Not very likely. Wenger appears to treat the spending money as if it were it is his own and this could interfere with Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer.
Ilkay Gundogan is a 22-year old midfielder originally born in Turkey but playing for the German national side. Gundogan scored Dortmund’s penalty in there 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final and looks a good prospect. Dortmund value him at around £20m but with repeated rumours that Wenger is ready to break his transfer record of £15m, Arsenal fans have heard that every summer since he last broke it.
Lars Bender is an attacking midfielder and is a very promising player. Playing for Germany at youth level and now the senior side, the 24-year old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder could now be looking for a new challenger in his career. A move to Arsenal would be an attractive proposition but would Arsenal really need another attacking midfield player? There is no doubting his ability but the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and even Tomas Rosicky in the latter stage of the season would perhaps be concerned of their futures at Arsenal.
All events at The Emirates are Arsenal are blue chip, the club has a tradition of excellence. To maintain this they’ll need to spend this summer and a striker is a priority. The question is, will Wenger actually splash some of the reported £70million transfer kitty he has available to him.