If Arsene Wenger wants to restore Arsenal to glory, the last thing he can do is turn the English side into a feeder club.
The Frenchman is fighting for his job and if he wants to stick around, the manager has to keep his best players in house. Wenger has made a stand with disgruntled forward Samir Nasri, refusing to sell him to a league rival.
Nasri will remain with the Gunners next season, despite the fact that his contract is up next summer. It is a gamble, but for a proud club like Arsenal, behaving like a mid-tier club is below them. There is no doubt that it's a gamble, but if Wenger can bring silverware to the Emirates, it will pay off during the contract negotiations.
"Now The Sun reports the midfielder is ready to see out his contract at Ashburton Grove and leave for free next summer.
Furthermore, it has been reported the Gunner has told his teammates that he is not going to sign a new contract with the club.
For his part, Arsenal manager Wenger has maintained he would be willing to risk losing the midfielder for free in order to keep him at the club for another season.
He said: 'I'm willing to keep him for another year, even if it means we risk losing him for nothing in a year's time. I think the board agrees with me as it is a technical decision. Our goal is to win the championship and we need good players to do that.'"
Will Arsenal win silverware in 2011-12?
The young Frenchman talks tough now, but the reality is, if Arsenal wins trophies in 2011-12, it will be hard for him to exit without looking like a total hypocrite.
Nasri has complained about how he wants silverware to his name and if Wenger and his teammates give him what he craves, then he has no claims with the Gunners, other than his pay rate. If he accepts a move to a club like Manchester City, a squad with less success than Arsenal, it will expose him as a fraud who used hopes of a title to get a boost in salary.
Next year is a pivotal season for the club and the forward, who both have a lot to prove after a disappointing 2010-11 season. A promising campaign devolved into a pathetic collapse, frustrating supporters around the world.
The promising young Frenchman had a lot to do with this, having long stretches of inconsistency, which usually coincided with Arsenal's biggest matches of the year.
If Nasri fails to fulfill his potential in another disappointing campaign, it will put the two sides at a standoff. On the other hand, if the forward excels in a thrilling, successful season, it puts the club and player on common ground, opening room for a new deal.
Had Wenger sold Nasri, it would have been a tough sell and if the club is going to win multiple pieces of silverware, selling young talent isn't the way to do it.