Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Losing out on Luiz Gustavo Would Be Disastrous
Is this really going to happen? Are Arsenal really going to miss out on Luiz Gustavo?
German paper Die Welt is reporting the Brazilian midfielder will move to Wolfsburg this summer, despite interest from the Gunners (h/t ESPN FC).
At the time of writing, nothing has become official. Metro's Jamie Sanderson reported Arsenal still have a chance, but the German club is offering a higher transfer fee and more money to Gustavo.
Arsenal still in for Gustavo, but Wolfsburg have offered bigger transfer fee and wages. They're confident of getting him.— Jamie Sanderson (@Sanderson) August 14, 2013
Bundesliga expert Daniel Busch cited a Kicker report that Arsenal wouldn't pay €20 million to Bayern Munich for the player.
Arsenal were not willing to pay €20m for Luiz Gustavo so he will go to Wolfsburg, according to "Kicker". #AFC— Daniel Busch (@dan_bu) August 14, 2013
The Football Ramble's Luke Moore put it best.
Absolutely no reason Arsenal should be missing out on a target to Wolfsburg. Ridiculous.— Luke Aaron Moore (@lukeymoore) August 14, 2013
There is virtually no area in which Arsenal aren't an upgrade over Wolfsburg.
The Gunners are in the Champions League and can offer a first-team place on a Premier League team on very good wages. If Gustavo wants to help his standing in the Brazil pecking order in the buildup to the World Cup, you'd think he'd want to play in the Champions League and have a first-team spot on a Premier League club competing for a title.
Instead, he has chosen to go to a club that finished 11th in the Bundesliga last season and have little to no chance of contending with either Bayern or Borussia Dortmund for a league title.
That must mean it would come down to money.
If Arsenal somehow lose out on the 26-year-old, it's a damning indictment on the club and how Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis conduct business. Rather than paying that extra couple of million to get a player who will demonstrably help the club, either Wenger or the board—or possibly both—have decided that it isn't worth it.
What are supporters supposed to think?
They have to pay a king's ransom for season tickets. They have also had to sit and watch as the club has on balance done next to little to try and get closer to winning trophies. While Wenger has brought in very good players like Thomas Vermaelen, Santi Cazorla, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, he's also purchased Andrey Arshavin, Sebastien Squillaci, Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh.
Wenger can ask the supporters to exercise "patience" all he wants. They have been more than patient, and enough is enough. They deserve to see the club spending some of its massive transfer surplus, and Gustavo would have been the perfect option.
Perhaps he's a bit overpriced at £20 million, but you're not paying that much over the odds for him. Whatever his wage demands are, likely they aren't exorbitant either.
The argument could be made that Gustavo is a world-class player. Personally, he's just right on the periphery. With a strong season at his new club, there's no doubt he'll earn that kind of label.
The Brazilian midfielder is entering the prime of his career. He's a superb ball-winner who's capable of passing the ball out of the attack. He would be a great fit for Arsenal, giving them the defensive presence in the midfield they have been lacking for five or six years, at the very least.
What exactly are Arsenal planning to do with that rumoured £70 million transfer budget, discussed in a post by Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph?
Fernando Duarte of The Guardian mentioned a £14 million fee the Gunners were setting aside for Gustavo. What's the major issue with paying that £6 million more? The club clearly has the money. The Emirates isn't as much of a financial burden as it was in years past, and Arsenal have a massive kit deal with Puma starting next season.
You could possibly excuse Arsenal if this were earlier in the summer. However, the season is going to kick off on August 17, and the window closes on September 2. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to find a midfielder of Gustavo's quality.
Gooners have conditioned themselves to watching the club stumble over itself in the transfer market. They deserve to get some answers from Wenger, Gazidis and Stan Kroenke. You won't want to be one of those three at the 2013 Arsenal Annual General Meeting.
The club is on the precipice of a tipping point, if it hasn't already gotten there. Arsenal can only put money before winning for so long; until it does, the club irreparable harm.
But hey, the way Giroud has played this preseason, he's like a new signing, right?
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