Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Arsene Wenger's Lack of Spending Is Ridiculous
Arsene Wenger’s approach to the transfer window has been ridiculed by one of Arsenal’s greatest legends, and it is difficult to argue with the views of Tony Adams as reports emerge that the Gunners may spend nothing this summer.
Arsenal announced the return of Mathieu Flamini on Thursday, adding to the earlier capture of Yaya Sanogo, but they still have not spent a penny on a transfer fee. John Cross of the Daily Mirror predicts that situation may not change before the deadline:
There is a very real concern now that those are the only two deals Arsenal will end up doing in the summer transfer window after missing out on a succession big name targets.
Arsenal have still not given up on making a dramatic signing before the window shuts on Monday night and are still keeping close tabs on Real Madrid trio Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil, who all remain possibilities.
But they are understood to have dropped their interest in Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye as they have refused to go anywhere near the Toon's £20 million valuation. That deal is dead in the water unless the Geordies do a dramatic U-turn.
For Arsenal to spend no money all summer would be close to inexplicable. Last season saw them sneak into the Champions League on the final day, and their title challenge evaporated much earlier than that as Manchester United finished 16 points clear of the Gunners.
While Spurs are threatening to break their transfer record for a third time in the same window, Arsenal are just watching as rivals all around them add to their squads. Chelsea have done it, Liverpool have done it, and Spurs have already crashed through the £100 million barrier.
Arsenal have weaknesses in most areas of the pitch, goalkeeper, centre-back, central midfield, striker, yet they remain idle as potentially squad-improving players switch to their rivals.
Kolo Toure, formerly of Arsenal and available for free, moved to Liverpool and is already impressing. Paulinho, a Brazil international and a reasonable price at £17 million, is earning rave reviews at Tottenham.
Willian, who can play on the left wing or more centrally and cost £30 million, will soon be boosting the fortunes of Chelsea. All three were shown no interest by Wenger.
Arsenal’s defensive shortcomings were exposed by Aston Villa in their opening day 3-1 defeat, while injury to Lukas Podolski leaves them looking extremely light with only Olivier Giroud up front.
This team is so gung-ho, and they are so open, that the balance is not right. They are too susceptible to the counter-attack and they never look like keeping a clean sheet.
It’s so scary, I sit there holding my breath every week. So to try and shell out £40 million on Suarez or Wayne Rooney would be money badly spent on yet another player who can open doors in the attacking third while the back door remains wide open.
I thought it was a ridiculous bid for Suarez – I would never have gone there in a million years. You have got the baggage as well, but I’m not even talking about the baggage.
Arsenal have not got a problem scoring goals, because Giroud scored 17 last season, they have got the pace of Theo, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Ramsey. They can score from all over the pitch.
Adams will not be happy to see the names to whom Arsenal are currently linked—Karim Benzema, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil—none of whom will improve the Gunners’ defence.
What's the highest position Arsenal's current squad can achieve?
Questions must be raised over the club’s scouting department, not only Wenger. If a defensive midfielder is needed—as indicated by Arsenal’s pursuit of Yohan Cabaye—the club have taken an entire summer only to recruit a player in Flamini who was at his peak five years ago.
Wenger can point towards 16 consecutive seasons in the Champions League, a successful move to a new stadium, and an incredibly bright financial future.
But Arsenal are not a club moving forwards on the football pitch, they have hit a plateau and their arch rivals Spurs are getting better by the year.
To spend no money, when a reported £70 million sits in the bank, truly begs the question as to how Wenger expects to hold off Tottenham's challenge once again, let alone close the gap to the champions.
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