Arsenal Transfer News: Jamaal Lascelles Fits Gunners' Criteria

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2014

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Leeds United at City Ground on December 29, 2013 in Nottingham, England,  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger's bid to beef up his defensive ranks is reported to have led the youngster to Nottingham Forest, where interest is mounting around centre-back Jamaal Lascelles.

Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that Gunners chief scout Steve Rowley was on hand to watch the player in action against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend.

And, after giving a glowing report, Arsenal are alleged to be preparing an offer in the region of £3 million.

It's a prospect that sits at the other end of the spending spectrum to Mesut Ozil's £42.5 million arrival at the Emirates Stadium during the summer, but is a trait of the club that Arsenal need not lose touch with.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Danny Ings of Burnley in action with Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor on September 24, 2013 in Burnley, England.  (Photo
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ozil's acquisition smashed the club's previous transfer record almost three times over, but Arsenal's chief commercial officer, Tom Fox, is quoted by the Daily Mail's Jack Gaughan saying it's not necessarily a sign that similar expenditures will follow.

He contrasts Arsenal to the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, who regularly spend over £20 million on one player:

You can't compete against that. We're a football club in London and we are a global brand, but we would never try to compete against the financial resources of a country. I just don't think that's a very realistic thing for us to do - trying to chase those types of owners. Obviously it's just not possible.

Almost by necessity, we have a financial model that doesn't allow us to go into the market every summer and buy all of the best players that are for sale. We are competing against oligarchs, we are competing against nation states, we are competing against clubs all across Europe that have sources of funding that are significant, that make it very difficult for us to compete.

Arsenal have made a habit out of picking up talent in their younger years before nurturing that potential into first-team quality on a mass scale, and there's no reason for the club to lose touch with that strength.

Aaron Ramsey, Cesc Fabregas and Wojciech Szczesny are just three of the clubs stars—past and present—to have followed that path in recent years, and it is a trend that will likely continue with players like Lascelles.

Wenger: one eye on the purse.
Wenger: one eye on the purse.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal have significant backing of their own in the shape of American Stan Kroenke, but the Gunners have always maintained a more financially conscious financial model.

Lascelles, like so many young talents before him, has been watched closely by Arsenal, and is now showing a pedigree they believe can be developed at the next level.

The Mirror's Daniel Storey has tipped the youngster to become a star of the future:

Billy Davies' gem has appeared in 12 of Forest's 25 league fixtures this season, only once playing less than the full 90 minutes on those occasions, per

It's only an added benefit that the England Under-20 would fulfill one of Wenger's eight mandatory homegrown player slots for Premier League competition.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest clears the ball from Modibo Maiga of West Ham United during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Nottingham Forest and West Ham United at City Ground on January 5, 201
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Forest currently boast one of the best defences in England's second tier, with Lascelles ruling the roost alongside the on-loan Jack Hobbs.

Arsenal's recent splurge might have brought its own strain of success to Wenger's cause, but sticking with the beliefs on which the club has been based is crucial to their ongoing success.