Arsenal

Why Arsene Wenger Must Spend Reported £100M Transfer Fund Wisely for Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal (R) and Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Arsenal (L) look on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Arsenal and Olympiacos at the Emirates Stadium on September 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2014

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is reportedly trying to tempt Arsene Wenger into renewing his contract by offering him an exorbitant budget with which to conduct his summer transfer business.

According to Metro, should Wenger sign his deal, he will be handed a £100m war chest to help him strengthen his squad. They write:

Arsene Wenger is set to be handed the biggest transfer kitty in the club’s history this summer by chairman Stan Kroenke.

The Gunners supremo is still a staunch Wenger supporter despite Arsenal’s title challenge collapsing, and the Daily Telegraph claims Kroenke is willing to hand the Frenchman £100m to strengthen the squad at the end of the season.

He may well need it. In the past, Wenger has been infamously reluctant to spend all the funds available to him. This summer, that kind of drastic action could be necessary.

Although Arsenal have progressed this season, there will be significant changes to the squad come the end of the current campaign. Very few areas of the pitch won’t require a degree of attention.

Arsenal’s primary focus will surely be acquiring a goalscorer to supplement Olivier Giroud. With Nicklas Bendtner banished to the sidelines and Yaya Sanogo hugely inexperienced, Giroud is currently the Gunners’ only credible option at centre-forward. Given the Frenchman’s obvious limitations, that is a rather impoverished state to be in, especially for a club renowned for its brand of attacking football.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Lukasz Fabianski of Arsenal in action during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

At the other end of the field, Arsenal will almost certainly need a goalkeeper. Lukasz Fabianski, who has emerged as a reliable back-up for Wojciech Szczesny, has already declared his intention to leave the club on a Bosman free at the end of the season. Their other supposed deputy, Emiliano Viviano, has not made a single senior appearance during his loan from Fiorentina. One would imagine he’ll be sent back to Italy with a minimum of fuss. Arsenal need someone who can stand in for Szczesny and put up a challenge for a regular first-team place.

It doesn’t end there. Arsenal’s defence will almost certainly require some additions. According to David Hytner of The Guardian, Bacary Sagna could leave London for Manchester City when his current contract expires in June. Club captain Thomas Vermaelen has also been linked by Metro with a move to the same club. Arsenal will have to find a new first-choice right-back and at least one centre-half.

Kirsty Wigglesworth

Already, the list of potential requirements stands at four. That’s before contemplating replacing the aging legs of Mikel Arteta or finding an alternative to the chronically inconsistent Lukas Podolski.

When you add it up, Wenger is left with quite the shopping list. Kroenke is apparently willing to loosen the purse strings. Now, it’s over to the manager. It's time for him to break the habit of a decade and give the squad the makeover it will undoubtedly need.

 

James McNicholas is Bleacher Report’s lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.

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