How will Arsenal approach the summer transfer window?
Over the last couple of years, Arsenal, 18/1 to win the Champions League with Coral this term, have significantly changed their strategy in the transfer window. With the debt for their stadium finally paid off, they can afford to spend big, an no longer need to sell their prized assets.
Signing Mesut Ozil for £42.5m 18 months ago, signaled a massive shift in their tactics as they announced in one fell swoop to the world that they should be taken seriously again. Following it up a year later with the superstar signing of Alexis Sanchez for a modest £30m proved that the Ozil deal wasn’t a fluke. Snaring Danny Welbeck from fierce rivals Manchester United also suggested that they have pulling power once again.
Since the start of last summer, if counting January transfers, the club have spent £100K shy of £93m, and on quality as well. By no means a small amount of cash, though not too insignificant for the club’s accountants to merely dismiss so easily either. It was, by all accounts shrewd expenditure as Arsene Wenger combined quality, experience and youthful potential. Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers represent those traits in that order respectively; the club can be pleased with those deals.
Paying £16m for Welbeck, might not have been something Wenger wanted to do initially, though the club recognised a bargain, for someone of the attacker’s quality. However, it poses the question. What can Gunners fans expect in the summer transfer window?
Having answered the call for a defender in January, with the signing of centre back Gabriel Paulista, Wenger has shown that he will strengthen. Although the Brazilian isn’t world class at the minute, he does have the potential to be, and his arrival seemed to placate fans.
It is likely that Arsenal will spend big again this summer, with an obvious void in the middle of the park, which has been there ever since Patrick Vieira left the club. Several names have been bandied about, and it is no secret that Wenger is an admirer of Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho; a player very much in the Vieira mould.
Having been quoted the Portuguese player’s buyout clause of £37.5m in the summer, and probably rightfully stalling, Wenger may be tempted to try again in four months. There is the very realistic possibility that a move could be made for someone whose name hasn’t even by mentioned by the media, afterall, noone expected moves for Ozil or Sanchez, and the bids came completely from left-field.
While the club may not bring in as many names as last summer, fans probably can expect Arsenal to splash out on more quality in the next transfer window, though who comes in is as usual, anyone’s guess.