Arsenal has a pretty well-known policy when it comes to paying players and working the transfer market. The team likes to spend within its means, won't dramatically overpay top players and, thus, has become somewhat of a feeder club.
Though at least it is a club that generally has young talent to step in and take over.
The Gunners boss says he is clearing the decks to bring in new signings with Barcelona's David Villa top of his wanted list with Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh already gone and Sebastien Squillaci and Andrey Arshavin likely to be on their way out.
Wenger said: "If we find one or two in the transfer market, then why not? Let's first keep the players we have and maybe add one or two because we've lost Chamakh and Djourou now.
According to Wayne Veysey of Goal.com, "Arsene Wenger is a long-time admirer of Villa, who turned 31 last month, and is prepared to pay up to £13.8m (€17m) to sign him on a permanent deal and match his current €136,000-a-week wages."
Wait, what? Really?
So players like Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri demanded too much money and were expendable (while still being in their prime), but a 31-year-old striker who is now injury-prone and past his prime is worth overpaying for?
How does that make sense?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for bringing Villa on this season. The team could use another pure goal scorer, and it's not like it's my money the team is spending.
But it seems odd that Arsenal could potentially (unlikely though it seems now) allow a young Theo Walcott to leave the side over a contract dispute, but would then pay Villa €136,000-a-week wages. It seems completely backwards to me.
Is this the new Arsenal system? Allowing its most promising players to depart and replacing them with older, short-term fixes that may be cheaper than the young stars, but are hardly better bargains?
Yes, the system might help Arsenal balance the books and keep the team hovering around fourth place in the Premier League, but it seems incredibly contradictory. At some point, it's not the money you're spending, but how you are spending it that is truly important.
Is Arsenal better off with Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and potentially Villa? Or would you rather still have van Persie?
And which option is the better bang for the buck? I would argue, after seeing Arsenal's up-and-down performances this season, that the answer to that question is van Persie.
Do you agree? Does Arsenal's system confound you as well, or do you agree with the team's book-balancing-at-all-costs tactic, even if it means bringing in players of Villa's age?
It's an interesting debate, though it's certainly not a new one. But if Villa indeed lands with Arsenal, it will add a new twist to an argument that has infuriated Arsenal's fans for the past decade.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets have always brought great bang for the buck.
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