Logic: Adrián is a decent player but £15 million? Are you having a laugh?
In Arsène We Trust Fan Club: Wenger signed Thierry Henry for £11 million, despite him scoring three goals in 16 games for Juventus. He turned out to be a decent Gunner...right?
Segments of Arsenal's fanbase are praying that the club sign Adrián, fervently believing Arsène Wenger will turn the Spaniard into a superstar à la Thierry Henry.
Let's look at the French forward's situation when he signed for Arsenal.
In the words of William Gallas (via The Sun):
All the coaches predicted a fine future for him [Thierry].
He was so good, a prodigy. At 14, his future was laid out before him.
Unlike mine. Oh no, people did not see me doing anything. Not a lot of people saw me turning pro at the time.
Do you know the name of the manager who gave Henry his professional debut at Monaco? Arsène Wenger.
Thierry failed at Juventus, though why do most people forget that it was under a then-relatively inexperienced manager in Carlo Ancelotti?
Does that matter more than Henry failing to acclimatise to Italian conditions out on the wing? Yep.
Carlo turned down the chance to sign Roberto Baggio on a free transfer at Parma, feeling the maestro would ruin the shape of the team.
Baggio transferred to Bologna and netted 23 times during the 1997-98 season.
This prompted a mea culpa from Ancelotti years later (via Matt Lawton at the Daily Mail):
If the same thing happened now, 14 years later, I would buy him.
"Come!" I would say, "and we will work it out I lost a great ability to improve the team with the ability of Baggio.
But that was a lack of experience. I had been a coach just two years.
And, as I said, my teacher had been Sacchi. I didn't have the knowledge to know I could change things.
Maybe I was a little bit scared to change because it was the start of my career.
Same thing happened with Gianfranco Zola, whose move to Chelsea would later lead to hundreds of thousands of kids becoming Blues supporters.
Again, Carlo admitted his error (from the PA via The Guardian):
I preferred to maintain the system that I knew well.
For this, Gianfranco had a different decision to make.
I think it was a mistake. It was my first experience in Serie A and I was not able to change the system.
He would probably not have gone to Chelsea if I had changed the system.
When Thierry first arrived in London, Arsène outlined his vision (via BBC Sport): "Thierry has pace, power and great dribbling. I would like to move him [from the wings] into the centre either as the second striker or the main target man."
To which, Carlo responded a decade or so later (from Orange Sport via Vanessa Keller at the International Business Times): "I didn't realise at the time that he [Henry] could be used as a central striker. I used him on the left and after he left, I was surprised he made a fantastic career as a center forward."
Henry was just another high-profiled victim of Ancelotti's tunnel vision during a period when the former AC Milan great was trying to survive in the cut-throat business of managing a Serie A team.
Adrián doesn't have the pedigree of Baggio or Zola, let alone Henry (who had scored twice during France's 1998 FIFA World Cup triumph), so please don't bring up Thierry as a reason to buy the Atléti forward.
In 2000, AC Milan plunged to sign Atlético Madrid's mercurial José Mari for €18 million, who went on to score five times in 52 Serie A games.
A year later, Wenger closed his eyes and bought Everton's Francis Jeffers for £10 million, basing the decision on potential than the Englishman's substance.
Wonder how that turned out...
Of all the Atlético players, why Adrián?
When he's playing out wide, he doesn't create enough shots for his teammates, let alone getting assists. He is playing with Falcao, arguably the best No. 9 in the world, and Adrián only has one assist from 14 starts.
He has scored three goals from 32 shots in combined La Liga/UEFA Europa League play this season.
Also, there are better Atléti prospects than Adrián.
What about 21-year-old Koke? He has the potential to be a mainstay in La Furia Roja's setup for many years to come.
Portuguese 23-year-old wide attacking midfielder Pizzi has been class on loan at Deportivo La Coruña
Arda Turan's combativeness means the 25-year-old Turk is a logical fit for Premier League football.
Would he sign for Arsenal? There's no reason for him to downgrade and he has said (from CNN Turkey via Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC): "This is my home. The team and fans, we are a family. I am very happy. If I still had doubts I would not be here."
All three would be much better transfer targets than Adrián, so here are five alternatives.