As the summer transfer window heats up, the inevitable rumour mill begins to spin. Like every Premier League club, Arsenal must deal with the gossip about who may come to the Emirates and who may leave. For fans, the yo-yo effect is exciting, if not a little old. We love the idea of world-class players starting for the Gunners next season, but we know that realistically the odds of this happening are slim.
Indeed, it’s important we consider what we have before we needlessly enter the market. Admittedly the current squad isn’t great and does require investment, but the question is: is purchasing players the club’s currently linked with the way forward?
No, investing in what we have is smarter.
We can’t win the league
Never say never. Leicester City did it in 2016, and the Midlands’ side shocked the world in the process. Still, it’s been more than 15 years since an Arsenal squad mustered an actual bid for the Premiership trophy. If we’re honest, better versions of this team came nowhere near, particularly under Arsene Wenger.
This isn’t to knock the squad or revel in their failure. As supporters, we want the best for the club. However, it’s important to be objective when the Premier League betting markets believe Arsenal has 50/1 odds of breaking its duck. Why? Because this is no time for the subjectivity of emotions: an objective stance allows us to analyse our current form and what it is we require to alter the status quo.
One thing that ought to stay, even with a shake-up, is the likes of players like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe. This is essential since these quality stars are the future of the team’s aspirations. Without them, we won’t go far in either the short or long term.
Too many cooks spoil the broth
We saw this last year when Mikel Arteta had too many of the same players at his disposal. In theory, it’s a healthy problem to have because it means there’s quality in the squad. However, in reality, he brought on different iterations of the same players, who had nothing original to bring to the table, and consequently, nothing changed on the pitch.
Whether it was Dani Ceballos or Martin Odegaard, there wasn’t enough urgency or intensity in the side’s style. However, everything changed when Smith-Rowe transformed into a starter, using his dribbling and aggression to open up opponents.
We’ve been watched this story before, only this time, adding more players to the ranks may harm Smith-Rowe’s development. After all, he’ll have to play a bit-part role, especially if the sporting director spends millions on new prospects.
It’s hard to compete
The world-class men that we need aren’t going to come willingly if other teams’ express interest. Jack Grealish is most likely out of our reach after a Euro 2020 tournament that generated plenty of hype. Outbidding Man City and Liverpool, two of the biggest clubs in England, isn’t a smart strategy.
Another silly tactic is to enter the transfer market for the sake of adding players whose talents aren’t distinguishable from what we already have.
Buying mediocre players isn’t going to help the club in the foreseeable future. We should only enter the market if we’re sure. Otherwise, it’s better to have faith in what we have, including Arteta.
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