It is the season of transfers and Arsenal are not left out of the vicious cycle. The Gunners are in the market for new players spread across different positions to bolster the squad. Wenger has been given an unprecedented transfer warchest of 70 million Pounds to spend this summer.
Arsenal have been linked with plethora of players from the lofty to the ridiculous. Top of the list are Rooney, Fabregas and Jovetic. As good as it sounds to hear Arsenal been linked with big money signings, we don’t have the transfer warchest to bankroll the moves. The attack is just one of the numerous areas Arsenal need to
strengthen ahead of the new season; the defence, goalkeeping and defensive midfield are the other areas. It is impossible to expect Wenger to sign both Rooney and Jovetic owing to the fact that both players play virtually the same role, even buying Rooney and Fabregas is also looking very unlikely. A move for both players would eat deep into Wenger’s transfer warchest.
Both Cesc and Rooney are rated at 25 million pounds each which amounts to 50 million Pounds. If that is added to the monies we are likely to spend to plug other holes; Goalkeeper (10 million Pounds), defensive midfielder (12 million Pounds), Grenier (10 million Pounds), central defender (10 million Pounds), that makes 92 million Pounds which means we have overshot our budget by 22 million Pounds. How then can we plug the deficit? We don’t have good sellable players. This summer, we are having many of our fringe players going for free; Arshavin, Fabianski, Bendtner, Squillaci and Chamakh while the likes of Andre Santos and Denilson might have their contracts also canceled because they are surplus to requirements at Arsenal and cannot seem to find permanent residence at the clubs they had loan spells owing to the artificial wages Arsenal bestowed on them. The only sellable players we have are Thomas Vermaelen, Johan Djourou and Gervinho. Vermaelen is unlikely to fetch us more than 12 million Pounds while Djourou might not fetch more than 4 million Pounds.
Gervinho might be going on loan rather than an outright sale and his destination might be Lyon to pave way for the smooth transfer of Grenier. All these sales still leave us with a deficit of 6 million Pounds. Wenger is not known to spend all his warchest and we don’t know if the 70million Pounds is for the summer alone or both the summer and winter windows. With this, it is obvious that we can’t realistically expect to sign Rooney and Cesc Fabregas in the same window ( whether we actually need both is a discussion for another day ).
That said, the real battle is in the transfer of Rooney and Fabregas. Seem Arsenal won’t be able to buy both of them and might have to settle for just one. That brings me to the crux of my piece. Who should Wenger go for, Rooney or Cesc? It is said that a known devil (Fabregas) is better than an unknown angel (Rooney) and reasons are highlighted below. Fabregas was an Arsenal player before moving to Barcelona which means he understands the Gunners’ style of play and won’t take long for him to settle in unlike Rooney that will be joining freshly and will have to adapt to Arsenal’s style which is not like Manchester United’s .
In terms of wages, Fabregas’ wages is tolerable. While at Arsenal, Fabregas earned 110k Pounds and coming back, he can’t earn more than that. The current Arsenal’s wage structure can accommodate that unlike Rooney that earns a pocket-tearing 250k Pounds per week. Should he even accept a pay-cut, Arsenal will still have to shatter
the current wage structure to grant it. Bending the rules for Rooney could create tension in the dressing room with other top players demanding for an upward contract review. I doubt if Arsenal can afford to grant everybody increased wages.
In terms of playing style, Fabregas offers something different and difficult to get in the transfer market while Rooney on the other hand offers something different but common and available in the market. Rooney is prolific, at least more prolific than our current strikers but the good thing is that we can afford to get what he will offer us for cheap else where. Instead of churning out 25million pounds for Rooney, we can afford to get Benteke and Villa for a combined fee of 25million Pounds. Villa boasts of more experience than Rooney in big games and can offer us the versatility Wenger wants while Benteke will offer us that Premier League experience and long term solution we crave.
I believe Fabregas’ body language will be that of gratitude for been given a second chance after goofing with his forced move back to Barcelona and he will want to give his all to atone for the past mistakes while Rooney’s body language could be that of arrogance, believing Arsenal is a step below his station (considering the club hasn’t won a trophy in donkey years). Hence, he might frown at competition for places, feeling he should walk straight into the team.
I won’t mind Rooney at Arsenal but he is a luxury transfer but will run to get Fabregas because he is a necessity that will aid even the current crop of players.