Written Before the start of the Season:

By: Tarik Demoura

As the new season approaches, and with Granit Xhaka the only notable addition to the ranks at Arsenal. Fans and pundits alike have the knives out for Wenger’s reluctance to spend big.

Granit-Xhaka-674122Is it that simple I ask? Does Mr. Wenger deserve the criticism for his prudent approach? With the money coming into the league, prices for players has risen to crazy levels. Pogba at 89 millon, Higuain 75 million, and John Stones 47.5 million, depending on what you read. Wenger has always said that the players he wants to bring in should represent value for money and must meet certain criteria. Such as being better than what he has in the squad already, be of a certain age, and have sell on potential. No doubt those players would in theory improve the Gunners squad, however there are no guarantees and is it understandable to be cautions and look at all the options.

I’m not saying that Arsenal don’t need to invest in real quality in certain areas and I do think Mr. Wenger has been over-cautious in the past. That said, bringing in players is not as simple as splashing the cash there are many factors that go into a transfer deal. Negotiation with both selling clubs and then the players/agent are not straight forward affairs and deals will always take time. Even then it may fall through at the last-minute. Add to this that rival clubs competing for the same players or just attempting to push the price up, make signing players a lot more complex than we may realize.

If you take the 42.1 Million that was paid for Ozil, the 37 million paid for Sanchez and this window, the 34 million paid for Xhaka shows that Wenger is willing spend when needed. Now there is no hiding the fact that Premier League clubs are cash rich so rival English clubs no longer need to sell there players and clubs around Europe will inflate their prices. The 50 million Euros Lyon are asking for Lacazette or the Reported 34 million Euros Arsenal will have to pay for Mustafi are two examples of these two players who have no Premier League experience and at this stage can not be considered top class.

Shkodran-Mustafi-and-Alexandre-Lacazette-695257I think that is the point, these are the players that are available not necessarily first choices and the delays are more down to doing all you can to get the players you want. I don’t believe that Mustafi and Lacazette are the players that Wenger wants but how long do you wait? To long and you miss out altogether like last summer or go for second and third choices and live to regret it. So while we wait to see what unfolds and who may or may not come in at the Emirates. The current squad should prepare for the start of the season and looking at the squad as a whole I think there is cause for optimism.

The biggest factor apart from adding to the squad is to keep the squad fit and available. Arsenal’s injury record is the worst in Europe and most teams would struggle to cope with the injury’s to key players. We had, Cazorla, Sanchez, Welbeck, Wilshere, Walcott and Chamberlain all out for long periods of time in the last campaign. If we had those players fit for most of last season we would have made more of a challenge for the title. Leicester and Sp*rs used 15/16 players all season and had no major injury’s a big factor to their success.

So while bringing in new players is needed, and if arsenal can have the majority of the squad available for the majority of the season this will give them the foundation to gain the consistency and rhythm needed to challenge for honors. This more than anything including a new big name signing will determine Arsenal’s season. What will happen no one knows and that is why we love football and whoever your support a new season means new hope.

Written By: Tarik Demoura, follow him on Twitter; @tarik_demoura

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