Arsenal reported a profit of £6.7 million in Monday’s financial results and then vowed to back Arsene Wenger if he wants to add another high-profile signing to the capture of Mesut Ozil.
Year-on-year profits were down nearly £30 million on the previous 12 months, but club chairman Sir Chips Keswick quickly promised that Wenger could spend big again, amid links to Schalke star Julian Draxler and Borussia Dortmund flyer Marco Reus.
Keswick told Arsenal’s official website:
It is appropriate to reiterate that the money we generate across the business is always available to our manager, Arsene Wenger, and that he quite properly makes the decisions regarding how to invest those funds based on his extensive football knowledge, experience and judgement.
With the Ozil transfer I believe we have made a significant statement and when Arsene decides the time is right to invest again, Stan Kroenke, myself and the rest of the Board will be delighted to support him.
Ozil’s impact during his short time at the club has already been significant, creating the opener at Sunderland before playing a part in all three Arsenal goals against Stoke.
Happy birthday to Schalke's Julian Draxler. He's completed 85% of his passes in the Bundesliga this season. pic.twitter.com/GQsmtSU3fA— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 20, 2013
The evidence supports the argument that further big-money buys would help end Arsenal’s eight-year trophy drought, and the Gunners are reportedly looking at two of the most exciting young talents in Europe.
Mike McGrath of The Sun (subscription required) recently claimed 20-year-old Schalke star Draxler is a “long-term” target of Wenger. McGrath reports Arsenal face a transfer battle with Juventus to land the attacking midfielder, although there is a severe contrast over the expected price tag.
Draxler scored 13 goals in all competitions for Schalke last season, per ESPNFC, and boasts the necessary physical strength to cope with the exertions of Premier League football.
Dangerous around the fringe of the penalty area, Draxler is always willing to test a keeper from range, but also has the subtlety to spot a runner.
Reus, meanwhile, operates from the left flank and arguably resembles the type of player Arsenal need right now. Lukas Podolski has been hit-and-miss since his arrival at the Emirates, while Santi Cazorla is better centrally than when used out wide.
Wenger is thought to have £30m left in his transfer kitty even after splashing over £42m on Mesut Ozil as the transfer window drew to a close.
And while that may be enough to tempt Dortmund to part with Reus, it is thought his buyout clause is closer to £34m.
Who would be the better signing?
The German international has pace to burn, but it is his clever movement—taking him goal-side of defenders—which makes him so dangerous.
Reus scored 27 goals for club and country last term, creating another 14 for his teammates. This year he has had a hand in four goals for Dortmund, who reached last year’s Champions League final.
Reus, from a positional sense, would be the better signing for Arsenal, who appear willing to spend if Wenger gives the green light.