A summer that promises to deliver so much seems destined for disappointment. Arsenal fans ( not all but majority ) were believing there will be a significant change in their club’s activity in the transfer window this time around after they managed to get 4th in the EPL last season ahead of bitter rivals Spurs. Every gooner including myself thought this will be the first season in the last 8 years that we will see real investment in the team by the club. And it was a much more needed investment.
To even raise our hopes, Wenger and Ivan Gazidis all alluded to the fact that we now have money and we are ready to spend it. Gazidis in particular doing a question and Answers section with journalists and then Arsenal fans, made it clear that we can for instance sign and pay the wages of high caliber players like Rooney.
One month on, nothing has been done. No signing. Oh, we signed Yaya Sanogo from France on a nominal fee. We thought that was a good start, but weeks later, we expected to have signed at least 2 more players after all we reportedly have the money to spend and the balance sheet of the club shows this for a fact. What has gone wrong, is this window bound to end like the last 8 windows before it?
First, it was announced by virtually all the media houses that we were close to the signing of Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain. Everyone was happy, many rate him ( I don’t ) and those of us who do not rate him were happy that at least he is better than what we have. What happened to that deal? Apparently ( apparently cos I was not there ) we had agreed a deal with Higuain and verbally agreed with Real Madrid but Real Madrid along the line changed their mind and upped the price.
Who to blame? Arsenal or Real Madrid? Arsenal. My question is, what took us so long to pay the fee needed when we already agreed a deal with Real Madrid? Why didn’t we do it the way other clubs do it by ensuring we negotiate with Real Madrid and Higuain concurrently? While we were trying to agree a fee with Higuain, Real Madrid upped their price, if we had done it concurrently, there is a good chance of using having Higuain in the bag by now.
Okay, that is Higuain gone, off to Liverpool we go in an attempt to sign Suarez and that is the problem. Very big problem. Suarez just like Cesc did couple of years ago is set to make or mar our very promising summer. According to many reports all of which cannot be wrong, we have now bid 2 times for Luiz Suarez. First bid was 35 million pounds when you add all the add ons. That bid was rejected and rightly so. In the current market, it will be stupid of any club to sell a player as good as Suarez for 35 million. Forget all the baggages he comes with, he is worth more than 35 million even with the baggages. 2 weeks later, the second bid came in, cheeky it was. A 40 million plus 1 pound bid. That was supposed to be good enough to get Suarez from Liverpool as according to replaces, a bid of more than 40 million pounds is good enough to get Suarez since he has a clause to that effect. However, that clause doesn’t exist. And if it does, it is not on paper. This is where I have a problem with the club, we should have known better. Liverpool would have been forced to sell to us Luiz Suarez by now if the clause actually exist but it doesn’t exist. It is just a verbal agreement which has no evidence and it is Liverpool’s choice to honour the agreement or not.
It is very possible that Suarez and his agents have misled us but Gazidis, Dick Law, Wenger and whoever does the negotiations should have known that a verbally agreement no agreement. If it was, we should have signed Higuain from Real Madrid. After all we already verbally agreed with Real Madrid. Seems we didn’t learn our lessons from that deal? We do not live in an ideal world and it is only in an ideal world that people honour verbal agreements. As things stand now, we will very likely either up our bid to 50 million or look else. Okay, Suarez can still put in a transfer request but I am certain there is no law in place that states a club must automatically sell once a player puts in a transfer request. Gabi Heinze comes to mind here.
What is even more disturbing is the fact that we do not seem to be looking for covers in other areas. It is well documented and even Wenger will agree that we need covers in the defense. After letting go Squillaci and loaing Johan Djourou, we very much need another defender and a defensive midfielder as only Arteta can’t do the job for the whole season ( forget Diaby ) but nothing seems to be happening in that area as well.
Does it mean we can’t possibly negotiate for players in other areas while trying to sign a striker? We were reportedly interested in Fellaini but feelers are that we are waiting on the likely availability of Fabregas before we make a move. Wonder what happens to squad depth. I see no reason why we can’t have Fellaini and Fabregas in the same team. Arteta is ageing and shouldn’t be expected to play all the matches next season, Wilshere has his injury woes and we have got to be careful. Based on this alone, not signing Fellaini cos of Cesc is madness.
What happened to the goal keeping department? No movement there, nothing. We sold Mannone to Sunderland and as it stands, we only have Fabianski and Szczesny to rely on. How sensible is that?
Time is thicking away and I sincerely hope the club know this. The anger and frustration in the social media is well documented. And rightly so. They promised us big things, they hyped up our expectations, we can’t afford to be disappointed now.
Do we still have time? Yes, we still have lots of time to do business. However, I am of the believe that this window will end just like the others if we continue to be stubborn. Clubs know we have money to spend and the market is such that many clubs are after a small number of players and as such, if we are not ready to pay a little more than players are worth, we may as well forget it all and that will be disastrous.
Wenger and Gazidis, over to you.