Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes the Gunners need to “get the chequebook out” if they are to compete with their Premier League rivals.
Arsenal have struggled to sustain a league title challenge since 2004 and their fifth-placed finish last season highlights how they’ve stagnated while clubs around them have strengthened.
Sead Kolasinac’s free transfer from Schalke was the club’s first deal this summer, but tireless speculation about potential arrivals has proven frustrating for supporters who are keen for a squad overhaul this summer.
As reported in the Daily Star, Petit gave his thoughts on Sky Sports saying, “They need to get the chequebook out on the table. Why? Because you want to compete in the Premier League, when you see how much money Manchester City, Manchester United spend to win the Premier League, and Chelsea on wages as well.
“I think they have got a salary cap which means they cannot do whatever they want in terms of wages,” Petit continued.
Collectively, both Manchester City and Manchester Unityed have either equalled or broken Arsenal’s club-record fee to sign a player on six occasions since Mesut Özil’s arrival on deadline day in 2013.
Petit explained why financially, the club are in a much better position now than previous years when they were still paying off the loan for the Emirates Stadium.
“They’ve got the money in the bank, they’re one of the richest clubs in the world and I think financially they have no problems.”
However, he also believes Arsenal’s lack of consistency in terms of youth progression from the academy means the club cannot afford to keep spending low.
“If you don’t put the money on the table, then you need the academy to feed the first-team. You need good players but good players for me is not enough, you need winning mentality and that is something that is very rare in football.”
Petit highlighted Rob Holding, a £2m signing from Bolton twelve months ago, as the only exception to Arsenal’s current situation with regards to youngsters getting first-team opportunities.
The same issues of old continue to haunt the Gunners’ chance of achieving major silverware, which also hinders their progression.