It’s only been 11 days since Arsenal’s final game of the season finished with a big German holding a small pot, but that’s been more than enough time for the relentless and merciless machine that is the transfer rumour mill to take over our lives and our social media feeds.
Usually when this happens, it’s because of one of four reasons;
- Arsenal are trying to buy a big name
- Arsenal are trying to buy a youngster who nobody’s heard of but are basing their opinion on him on one YouTube clip anyway
- Arsenal are desperately trying to keep their best player from leaving
- Arsenal are desperately trying to flog off their unwanted players to the first possible bidder.
This time is different though, because even though the season has just finished, Arsenal find themselves dealing with all four of these problems simultaneously.
1. The Big Gun
Arsene Wenger has precedence when it comes to spending big money on players, and the same criteria gets ticked off again and again; the player is always young or just about to hit his prime. Granit Xhaka was 23 when he was signed, Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Özil were 24, and Alexis only a year older.
At 18, Kylian Mbappé is clearly in the same mould, a player for both the present and the future. But………….€130 million? For a player with twenty nine professional starts to his name?
It’s very hard not to look at that sort of fee and think that it could be better spent somewhere else. It’s like your wife sending you out to get the shopping in for the week and you only buy the biggest pot of caviar you can afford.
Great, the first meal you have will be awesome, but after that, all you’re left with is an empty stomach and an angry spouse.
If Arsenal were merely one player away from competing for major silverware, then justifying such a price tag would be a lot easier. But we’ve just seen that the squad as currently constructed isn’t good enough to finish in the top four of the league, never mind winning it.
Arsenal have already brought in Sead Kolasinac, who should slot in at LWB straight away, but they still need another centre back or two, a right back and a centre midfielder if Jack Wilshere gets let go.
That’s on top of needing a striker to play with Özil and Alexis.
If Arsenal are going to spend that sort of money in the summer, it needs to be spent throughout the team, not just up top.