Alisher Usmanov has revealed that he believes Arsenal need to add one new player in order to challenge in Europe next season and that a coach like Wenger is a gift.
The shareholder also opened up about Arsene Wenger’s struggle when it came to lack of investment into the Emirates, claiming it put his career back 10 years, and described Le Professeur as a ‘gift‘.
“Except for one position, I think Arsenal are ready to successfully fight for European cups,” he said.
The Russian has previously attempted a couple of Arsenal takeovers, one of which being in 2011 in order to prevent the current owner, Stan Kroenke, from owning the club. However, Lady Bracewell-Smith, who at the time had decided to sell her 15.9% stack, sold to Kroenke instead.
Usmanov continued, “Arsene had a very, very difficult position when club shareholders didn’t want to put their money into constructing the new stadium. Because of this Wenger lost five years, maybe the best of his career, without a trophy. In reality, 10 years.”
He added, “If I had the right, I would keep Arsene until he wants because until he cannot perform his activity as a manager, it is a gift for any club to have a coach like Arsene Wenger.”
The set-back due to building our new stadium isn’t lost on Arsenal fans who suffered though nine trophy-less seasons before our 2013/14 FA Cup win. We witnessed our best players leave for more money and the promise of silverware.
Wenger came under, mostly unnecessary, fire on countless occasions but remained true to his philosophy, stood by the club and has come out the other side.