Arsenal

Why Arsenal Sitting Tight in the Transfer Window Is the Wrong Move

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Marouane Fellaini of Everton scores his team's first goal to make the score 1-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and  Arsenal at Goodison Park on November 28, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2013

Arsenal are still keeping their powder dry.

It is a phrase that will haunt the Arsenal fans. After the disastrous summer of 2011, in which Arsenal lost both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, chief executive Ivan Gazidis told the official Arsenal website:

We have kept some powder dry and I think we have done that deliberately. We have looked at the market, looked at the players who were available and who we really wanted and whether we were able to achieve that over the summer.

That powder has remained dry for some time. The following summer, the signings of Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla were offset by the sales of Robin van Persie and Alex Song.

Infuriatingly for Gunners fans everywhere, Arsenal had turned a profit once again.

Now, for the first time in almost a decade, Arsenal are free of the financial constraints that have forced Arsene Wenger to oversee a period of prudence. However, the club have yet to make a single summer signing.

Sometimes teams think it’s strategically intelligent to wait until late in the window before making their move. The theory is that selling clubs will drop their prices as the end of the window approaches.

There is no point in Arsenal playing that game: The Gunners declared their hand long ago. When asked if Arsenal could afford a star of the calibre of Wayne Rooney, with a possible £25 million fee and £200,000 per-week wages, Gazidis emphatically told Sky Sports:

We could do that, we could do more than that.

We have a certain amount which we've held in reserve and we also have new revenue streams coming on board. All of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you. We can think about all kinds of things.

Arsenal have talked enough. Now it’s time for action.

Everyone is well-briefed that Arsenal have money in reserve. Clubs simply won’t stand for the Gunners claiming poverty again. Arsenal will be forced to pay the going rate.

In the case of reported target Marouane Fellaini, there is no point hanging around. According to The Express, the Afro-haired midfielder has a £23 million release clause. Everton will be unwilling to sell Fellaini for a penny less than that amount. However, should Arsenal submit a bid that triggers the clause, the Toffees would be powerless to prevent Fellaini from moving to the Emirates.

Arsenal have the money, so why the delay? Fellaini will not get any cheaper.

In previous summers, Arsenal have had the excuse that their transfer policy was due to be dictated by the possible departure of a major star. However, this year no key player will depart the Emirates.

Those who have left are merely deadwood. The free transfers of Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci and Denilson have instantly created space on the wage bill for new recruits.

Working efficiently can help you acquire targets early in the window. Liverpool have already moved to sign Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Luis Alberto. 

Arsenal fans will hope their own floodgates are about to open: Majid Mohamed of The Independent reports that Arsenal are hopeful of signing Gonzalo Higuain before July 4th.

There is no excuse for waiting a moment longer.

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