One point from the two most recent matches against our top four rivals and Man Utd is not great. But to take our minds off that, Arsenal’s half year accounts to the end of November 2013 will be out soon. One figure of interest will be the cash balance. Arsenal hold by far the biggest cash balance of any Premier League club, for no apparent reason other than a generally conservative stance on the part of the Board, and a manager who is a one-off in terms of both his control over team spending and his desire to only spend when he considers he’s getting good value.
Unless there’s a more sinister third factor: that Stan Kroenke is insisting on holding ever bigger amounts of cash in Arsenal in order to satisfy his creditors elsewhere that he always has a large supply of cash on tap if he should need to call on it.
If it’s the third one, then it isn’t going to be spent, and we can all forget about improving the squad to a position somewhere close to the sugar daddy boys, and settle for occasional title challenges if we’re lucky. (The team is clearly pretty much comparable to the oilies so far this season, the squad equally clearly isn’t.)
If it’s one of the first two, or both, then which is the bigger factor doesn’t really matter. Either way, Arsenal’s pile of cash has grown steadily for quite a while now. Like this:
Or this if you prefer something more visual:
I’m guessing the November 2013 figure as it hasn’t been announced yet. So shoot me.
I get a little tired of people saying there was no money to spend before this season, and as soon as it was there Arsène went out and bought Ozil. Look at the cash balances! It’s been over £100m since 2009! There is so much revisionist BS about what was available when. Arsène-worshippers seize on any half-witted comment from a pundit or ex-player about the stadium being paid off and cash being tight for years before that. Not an ounce of truth in any of it.
What frustrates me is that spending some of the spare cash earlier (or indeed at all) might have been enough to make the difference between ending the season in first place, and coming third after a valiant effort where we led at halfway but ultimately didn’t have the strength in depth of the oilies. Because if there’s one thing that Chelsea and Man City have proven it’s that spending money to win things in football does work.
Just for the record, and to save you pointing it out, I know the following things:
- Arsenal don’t have as much money as Man City or Chelsea, so can’t buy as many players as them (which is not a good reason not to spend what is there)
- Buying players does not guarantee success (it just increases the chances)
- If you buy someone you have to pay them, so that adds to the budget too (so if you’ve run out of dross to get rid of, keep a few mill back for the extra salary)
- Arsenal don’t have a never ending supply of money, and have tended to make profits largely from the sale of players in recent seasons (also not a reason to hold onto nearly this much cash)
- The cash position varies through the year as income fluctuates seasonally, while expenses are largely constant (but we can work out roughly how much is available to spend)
- Arsenal can’t spend all the cash they hold because some is needed as guarantees for the stadium debt, which contrary to Gary Neville’s assertions is not paid off, and bills need to be paid from it
- Buying too many players at once is as daft as buying none – as Spurs have shown – but adding two or three experienced players per season is required to keep improving
- If the cash pile had been spent 18 months or two years ago then it would still be a lot smaller now (still not a reason not to spend any)
2014 is the long-awaited promised land of new sponsorship deals, not to mention extra riches from TV money, so spare cash is going to be a lot higher by the end of the year than it is now. And who knows, a bit of a gamble on a couple of players when we were challenging for the title around 2008 might have been enough to swing it then, and as a result we might be in a far better place now (yes, better than second in the table – I’m talking trophies in the cabinet).
Still, the January opportunity for bringing in players has ended, so the die is cast. We succeed or fail this season with the players we have (plus a crocked Swede and an invisible French U-21 who hasn’t played since signing last summer), and that’s that. If we fail Arsene will blame injuries and ask who was available to buy. If we win the League with this squad it will be a great achievement. I hope we do. But it will be in spite of not spending more than because of it.
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27 thoughts on “Ker-Ching! Arsenal’s Cash Balance Keeps On Growing”
Intersting, you should however put this in the perspective of other elements – for instance player wages and amortization (largely the biggest component of our operating expenses) have increased some 70% between 2007 and 2012. Or even compare that to the “price” of a big, high quality transfer between now and then – that increase in cash doesn’t buy you more or better quality (think Bale, and what you could have gotten for 100m in 2007?).
And thank you for stating the last point (“if the cash pile had been spent 18 months or two years ago then it would still be a lot smaller now”), people so often forget about that.
You say cash balances growing like it’s a bad thing.
Spending some money is meaningless unless it gets you what you want.
You’ve already made some points to go against your own narrative, albeit with a dismissive air, so I won’t go into that. But we have tried to sign Hazard, Gotze, Jones, Reina, Jagielka etc (yes, going by reports, and while I am distrustful of transfer gossip, I believe the sources for most of these were reliable) We failed, and you can put that down to a variety of things. But we have had SOME money all throughout. ENOUGH money to buy very good/great players for something like 3 years and tried to do so.
Would signing someone have helped? Probably. Enough to propel us from 3rd to 1st? That is more difficult to answer, and when signing somebody now restricts your ability to buy an Ozil in the future, you have to balance that out. In the end, it is a judgment call, and like it or not, the manager is in a better position to make a judgment on that.
As for what will be done with the money. I suppose we’ll see. Don’t expect Ozil like signings in droves though. While it is great to be able to afford great players, a) they aren’t that many of them, most aren’t available or are drawn to other teams. b) it isn’t even a good idea to make your team all about superstar signings and will not be the Arsenal way. Money or no money.
Spending a club record on Ozil happened when most ‘Arsene-worshippers’ were saying it would happen. So far, the club (and the manager) have lived up to the expectations of the new deals bringing more spending power. And what’s equally important is that no player we wanted to stay, engineered a move. That is the real reason we’re better this real. Stability in the squad.
“Would signing someone have helped? Probably.”
That’s all you need to say. Go with the odds.
Take a quote out of its context and you can say whatever you want. And you can quote me on that.
What about the players that arsenal spent years developing ? ARE YOU saying dump them don’t develop buy buy buy
Exactly, this is a good point. If we had spent ANY more money at any point over the last few years on any area of the squad we would have automatically have been forced to sell all the good players we’ve developed in our squad. I’m sure that’s there somewhere in the premier league rules…
Phil, I broadly agree with what you’ve written.Money has gone unspent and I also believe that even more money could’ve been available had the Board decided to go with a share issue. We’re a conservative club, we all know that (and probably knew it when we started to support the club) and all have our frustrations in this regard. But most things boil down to Wenger and his judgment; we all have a view on his decisions and, in particular, his refusal to pay what he considers to be over the odds for a player.
However, I take issue with your concluding point – “If we win the League with this squad it will be a great achievement…But it will be in spite of not spending more than because of it.” Couldn’t you say that with every title-winning club? Isn’t there always the potential to add another player or two to the squad? I think you’re trying to have your cake and eat it here. Wenger will always have a choice of whether to pay for X or Y player or go with what he has and the ‘fun’ for us fans is to see whether his judgment is proved right or wrong.
It was Wenger’s judgment not to go over-the-top to get a Higuain, Ba or Suarez and he will ultimately stand or fall by that decision in May. But give him the credit he deserves for his judgment if he is successful. Most people, myself included, never expected Arsenal to be doing as well as we are in mid-February. Wenger has always had massive belief in the quality of his squad despite the mocking of many ‘fans’. He’s worked hard to build it up, select and nurture the players and, if they prove themselves good enough to win the league, it’s because his judgment was spot on. They’d have won the league because Wenger’s squad was ultimately proven better than the 19 other teams, not in spite of what else they might or might not have done.
I actually think he’s already proven a lot of people wrong simply by showing that his squad is capable of challenging. I think that people are unrealistic if they expect a team to go from a battle for 4th place to winning the league inside 12 months and that we should consider this season to be a massive step forward whatever the outcome. But, if the squad goes that extra yard and wins the league, it will be down to fantastic judgment on Wenger’s part and i’m sure it will be the sweetest and greatest success of his career. Many pundits will need to eat their words.
My concluding point was really a comparison with others – yes, you could say every club could add another player or two and make a better team, but most clubs add as many as they reasonably can with the money available, while Arsenal don’t. Obviously some go too far and end up in administration, but only Arsenal limit their spending to a lot less than is available.
“We’re a conservative club, we all know that (and probably knew it when we started to support the club)” – When does a ten year old understand the fundamentals of the way a club is run, Chris? As I certainly didn’t at the age of ten when deciding to support Arsenal . . . That really is an odd comment from someone who further down this page purports to have supported Arsenal for 40 odd years.
To all intents and purposes, Arsenal are like a ‘Newco’.. New stadium, new crest, new owners.
On Wednesday after the game in the ‘5Live’ studio, Mark Pougatch – who I believe to be an Arsenal fan – asked one of his colleagues “Is there enough ambition at Arsenal?” The response was a resounding “No.” Pougatch then went on to say Arsenal had £80m of unspent transfer-funds in a bank vault, and described Arsene Wenger as a manager who unnecessarily handicaps his teams chances of success with his frugality.
Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis are Arsenal’s version of what Gillett & Hicks were at Liverpool. The difference is that their fans are driven by on-field success, and as soon as it became evident that they (Gillett & Hicks) were more about money than they were football, they were hounded out of the club. That’s real passion from people who genuinely care about the club and how they move forward. Nothing like that exists among the Arsenal supporters because they’re all too busy seeking some mythical higher moral-ground. Kroenke is despised by the fans of his sporting franchises in America, as is his son Josh. Fans have been known to wave banners with sentiments such as: “Dear Mrs Kroenke, is Stan a failure in bed just like he is in Sports?”
J.W.Henry and the Fenway Group have immersed themselves in the culture of the club, they get what it means for the community of Liverpool to have a successful football team on and off the field, which sadly is quite opposite from what Arsenal fans get from Stan Kroenke. The fact that we’re still in the same position eight years after the stadium move in 2006 is all the evidence needed to see that. The only way out of this complacent malaise that has been allowed to dominate the club’s whole philosophy is for the hierarchy to understand that having an exciting football team that wants to succeed at the highest level is as important to the majority of fans as making money is for them. Just like J.W.Henry at Liverpool.
Are you saying that its Kroenke who hasn’t spent the money that Phil highlights? I’d love to see your evidence. Personally, I don’t have a clue whether all of the money has been made available to Wenger or not.
The Kelly comparison is a bit pointless. I think its a bit of a lazy comparison (probably made simply because of the nationality) – why not compare to Kenwright or Levy or Ashley? It would be equally lazy to just say that Kroenke’s team is playing Champions League football, Kelly’s isn’t, therefore Kroenke is the better owner. In reality such comparisons aren’t so straightforward or worthwhile.
What I would say, though, is that Kelly cares about PR and understands the need to say how much he cares. If people think that Kelly is in the game for anything more than money just because he speaks a good game then they’re very naive. I think many fans really get annoyed with Kroenke just because he’s so aloof and makes it abundantly clear that he isn’t really interested in what the average fan thinks. Popularity quite evidently means little to Kroenke and it irks fans to think that they’re not listened to. He’s far from perfect as an owner and he quite obviously doesn’t love Arsenal in the way that fans do but, if he doesn’t talk to fans, does it mean he will be any less successful as Arsenal’s majority shareholder? I don’t think so personally. Talk is cheap at the end of the day.
Who is ‘Kelly’? Is he J.W.Henry’s side-kick? It isn’t Kroenke’s job to spend the money Phil highlighted in the Post, surely that’s the managers job? All I did was repeat something that Mark Pougatch stated on ‘5Live’ after the Man Utd game.
Yes of course I compared them because of their nationality – two American billionaires buying two massive English football clubs quite clearly with the idea of making pots of money, but with very different philosophies about how to do it. Why mention Ashley, Kenwright or Levy? Mike Ashley isn’t in the same league as Kroenke or the Fenway Group. A Tottenham fan owning Newcastle???
Bill Kenwright is a minor celebrity, but Everton have always been in Liverpool’s shadow, so he’s not in the equation either. As for Daniel Levy, he’s a CEO, not an owner, and Tottenham operate on a considerably lower budget than Arsenal. That’s why I didn’t mention those three. And my bigger point was about the perception of the respective clubs fans, and the lengths Liverpool’s were prepared to go to as opposed to Arsenal’s, who passively accept whatever they are told to accept.
Arsenal are acting very elitist in their ticket-pricing which is causing rifts and deep divisions among their own fan-base, because apart from the signing of Mesut Ozil, when it comes to spending money, they have a very small-club mentality. With the prices Arsenal charge they should be serving up scintillating football fit for a king, and sweeping all before them, collecting trophy after trophy that makes us the envy of every other club, instead of the slow-paced impotent one-dimensional product served up by an ageing manager who is looking increasingly as tired as his tactics. And unless they get the product right on the park, this could be a very damaging strategy that leaves us too far behind genuine super-clubs who continually grow their brand by winning the major prizes on offer.
1. But all other owners are “in the equation”. You just opted for Henry because its currently fashionable to love Liverpool and he’s American. If Sp*rs have a good run then idiots like you will no doubt be lining up to compare Kroenke with Enic. Your comparison with Henry is lazy and ill-informed – try asking the residents who live around Anfield what they think of Henry and how in touch he is with the local community.
2. Do Arsenal fans really accept whatever they’re told or do you they just not react in the same way that you would like them to? Not every fan thinks militant one-eyed rabble rousing is the most sensible way forward. And not everyone thinks that everything Kroenke and Arsenal do are bad. Some people have a sense of perspective and don’t use an article from Phil about Arsenal’s money balance to advance their anti-Kroenke agenda.
3. Hicks and Gillett did not leave Liverpool because of the strength of the fans opposition. Anfield was as full as it always was under their custodianship. They left purely and simply because they messed up their finances and the banks weren’t willing to continually rescue them. Henry merely exploited that opportunity and time will tell whether he does better. At the moment Liverpool are way behind Arsenal in every sense.
4. Ticket pricing is a massive issue and one that I think Arsenal get wrong. But anyone that genuinely thinks there’s necessarily a link between ticket prices and success on the pitch is over-simplifying things to extremes. If anything, if you genuinely compare income with all other clubs, Arsenal finishing 4th is par for the course. Of course we’d all love Arsenal to perform even better than 4th, but some people don’t act like spoilt brats and understand that Arsenal must overcome the substantial financial might of three other clubs to do that.
5. So Wenger plays tired, one-dimensional football? This is the same football manager whose style of play is the envy of many across the world? Have a day off mate. Had you gone to games in the days of Neill, Howe, Graham and Rioch then you’d really know what one-dimensional football is.
6. Arsenal are one point off top, in the quarters of the FA Cup, in the last 16 of the Champions League. Are Liverpool? Are Sp*rs? Are Man Utd? We’re doing better in the FA Cup than Chelsea, better in the league than City. We’re financially very strong, can spend £40m on players if Wenger likes, sell out every week and play fantastic football. Whilst there’s a lot to criticise Arsenal and Kroenke for, things could be a lot lot worse. Most fans of other clubs would give up their right leg to be in Arsenal’s position.
In support of your point #5:
“Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta claims Arsenal play the best football in England”
Firstly, Chris, we’re two Arsenal fans with our own individual opinion of the club, I don’t recall having spoken to you before, so there’s no need to be disrespectful.
I’m a long-standing Arsenal supporter of over 40 years, I remember Bertie Mee, Terry Neill, Don Howe and George Graham.
In terms of their history Arsenal represent one of the biggest, most famous football clubs in the world. Despite the obvious different time-lines, Henry Norris and Stan Kroenke are completely opposed in their ideology.
Norris used his considerable wealth to make Arsenal the most powerful club in the country. He built Highbury, bought the club their place in the top tier after WW1, and fortunately appointed the best manager in the country at the time, Herbert Chapman, in 1925. Thanks to Norris and Chapman, Arsenal went on to become the biggest and the best. By far the classiest too with their marble halls. George Allison deserves a lot of credit for taking Chapman’s legacy still further.
From the mid 1950’s the club was allowed to stagnate for far too long, and although not the greatest of managers, Arsenal won their first European trophy followed by the ‘Double’ a year later with nine players brought to the club by Billy Wright. Bertie Mee gets the credit for being the manager when those three trophies were won, but he quickly started breaking up that side, which led to a mini-decline.
Terry Neill was a lazy, unambitious, uninspiring choice by the BoD, who lost three out of four cup-finals, two in the same year, and twice as overwhelming favourites. Apart from the memorable ’79 FA Cup win against MU, Neill didn’t elevate the club to the required level. Only Arsenal regularly lose big cup-finals to under-dogs, Cardiff, Swindon, Ipswich, West Ham, Luton, Zaragosa, Galatasaray and Birmingham.
Whoever has owned Arsenal down the years, the BoD has been made up of aristocrats and Etonians, connected, if not related to royalty. The Bank of England club very much embedded within the establishment, and cash-rich.
I know the club I’ve supported all my life, and I know what they represent if not more than you, certainly equally as much.
I wont accuse you of not knowing your football, but the last line of your third point is blinkered in the extreme – “At the moment Liverpool are way behind Arsenal in every sense”.
I don’t know about you, but I support a football club whose success I measure from what they do on the park. Titles and Cups, and Arsenal are a long long way behind Liverpool, which is why globally Liverpool are perceived as a bigger club than Arsenal.
League Titles – Liverpool 18; Arsenal 13.
European Cups – Liverpool 5; Arsenal 0
Cup Winners Cup – Liverpool 0; Arsenal 1
UEFA Cup – Liverpool 3; Arsenal 1
FA Cup – Liverpool 7; Arsenal 10
League Cup – Liverpool 8; Arsenal 2
Total major trophies – Liverpool 41; Arsenal 27
And if you check your history you will find that Arsenal have spent more time than Liverpool in the top flight of English football, so essentially we’re a club that has failed to maximise its full potential, and realistically shows no sign of closing that trophy gap.
If we’re going to discuss Arsenal let’s at least do it honestly and acknowledge our short-comings.
A few thoughts
The cash is largely being held because they can’t repay the stadium debt easily. The debt has been securitised and insured and is largely owned now by the great and the good of the UK fund management industry. They won’t sell it unless it’s at a price in excess of it’s fair value and it’s actually relatively low cost so there is not much need to.
Kronke can’t get his hands on it as there are covenants in that debt which mean cash has to be retained from player sales to be re-invested in that team. Most of that cash is from the sales of RVP, Cesc, Nasri, Adebayor etc
Regardless of that Kronke doesn’t own the club he’s just the majority shareholder. The board decides whether to pay a dividend not Kronke. Yes they are all his lap dogs but legally they have to do what is best for all stakeholders…not just him.
Wenger has admitted that until this year they really didn’t have money to spend on players despite what the board said.
Financially the club is on track with forecasts and going forward with the new commercial deals and what should be a decreased wage bill after the cull of the dead wood last summer there should be plenty of cash this summer.
If they don’t spend heavily this summer after eight years it is inexcusable. There’s a real chance to push on and make the gap too big for Spurs among others to ever close !
They decided in 2006 (Fiszman, Edelman and Dein) to securitise the debt and not try to pay it off as fast as possible and thus hamper the team, so saving cash instead of paying it off makes no sense.
70% of the cash from player sales has to be invested in the team, but as wages are included and they constantly increase that happens without having to buy anyone.
The Board are supposed to act in the interests of all shareholders, yes. They clearly don’t, but that hasn’t stopped them so far. And how can anyone justifiably claim that the Board can’t afford to pay dividends when they are sitting on well over £100m of cash? If Kroenke wants a dividend, he’ll get a dividend.
Arsene saying there was no money before ‘this year’ (I assume you mean before summer 2013) is preposterous, as the accounts and all independent analysis show. If he did say it, and you’ll have to point to the exact quote, then he’s not being truthful.
They have done well to cull the deadwood, but I can’t see the wage bill decreasing much, or at all. Just going up less.
Your last paragraph – yes, totally agree.
Since we are wandering up conspiracy theory alley, has anyone considered that Wenger is 64 year old, is probably gone after 2 years max – the 3 year contract is probably to dampen the succession speculation – and that Arsenal needs to build a war chest to attract a new coach?
See – it is possible to dabble in conspiracy without diving down to the depth of the “sinister”. I mean, what is the topic anyway? An occult B movie – or premiership football? Sheesh…
With respect, it’s difficult to understand the relevance of any of your comments to Phil’s article. The article was about Arsenal’s unspent cash balance, as was my first comment above – have a read. Your first comment was a transparent rant against Kroenke and a ridiculous comparison to what Henry has done at Liverpool (in your opinion). This is an open comment page and i’m as entitled to debate your comments as you are to putting them on here. As I felt your comments were, frankly, pretty pathetic, I commented.
You accused Arsenal’s fans of passively accepting whatever they’re told to accept. You talk of me being being disrespectful but this was disrespectful in the extreme. When did you suddenly know the views of all Arsenal fans? You don’t have a clue what all other fans think or what they accept or otherwise. You’re just another keyboard warrior banging out simplistic criticisms of Kroenke whenever there’s a bad result.
I’ve been a fan and historian of Arsenal for over 40 years too, but the history lesson and cock measurements are unnecessary and they’re even less relevant to Phil’s article. You inferred that Henry is in some way superior to Kroenke – in response to an article about Arsenal’s cash balance. I’m unclear what relevance Liverpool’s trophy haul from years ago has to that nor what you think Henry has done to achieve that.
Next time, try to keep your comments relevant rather than using people’s websites to advance your anti-Kroenke agenda.
I believe your comments are meant to have been a reply to the post by “We are The Arsenal” February 18, 2014 at 1:02 am” – not to my comments.
On the contrary, it’s essential to learn the historical roots of the club to better understand who they are and how they arrived at where we are today.
I’d hardly say I’m a ‘keyboard warrior’, I don’t feel the need to call people insulting names.
The trophy count was in response to your suggestion that ‘Arsenal are way ahead of Liverpool in every sense’ when in reality it’s quite the opposite.
Arsenal are a massive club that has significantly under-achieved if you compare our trophy haul against other major football clubs across Europe.
Ivan Gazidis compared Arsenal to Bayern Munich, but that doesn’t really work, Arsenal are light years behind them.
Is it relevant to Phil’s Post? Yeah I think so when trying to determine the direction and ambition of the club. Isn’t Phil wondering, like most Arsenal fans, why we have so much surplus cash when it was blatantly obvious that the squad needed strengthening?
Apart from hoping that FFP has enough teeth to come to our rescue, do Arsenal have a long term strategy for success on the park? And who sets the tone at the club, who challenges them to succeed? Clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool Barcelona, Real Madrid, MU, Chelsea are successful because it’s an expectation. Manchester City are now in that company, whilst Arsenal seem completely comfortable with merely qualifying for the CL without seriously challenging for trophies. Having cash reserves is great, but what’s even better for a bread and butter football fan is knowing you’ve got a powerful side full of quality that has a real chance of winning the CL, instead of accepting elimination in the first knock-out stage after the Group games. Think big, you’ll be big, and it’s my strong conviction that as far as Arsenal are concerned, the holy trinity of Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger do not think big enough.
I’d rather have a world-class striker capable of scoring the winner in a CL Final than £120m sat in the club’s bank vaults doing nothing, and having Olivier Giroud as the first-choice striker exposes deep flaws in in the club’s fundamental philosophy. It is a considerably significant down-grade from Thierry Henry.
It has been proven that spending money and winning major silver-ware has an astronomical effect when selling the club brand across the globe, it is one of the reasons a club like Liverpool can attract bigger-name players than Arsenal, and why they would never sell Luiz Suarez to us.
Financially, Arsenal have always been a major player, from a football perspective in terms of European competition, Arsenal have never been serious contenders, and they’re still not, so where’s the correlation between the two?
There was no mention of ‘austerity’ or ‘self-sustaining model’ when the move to The Emirates was heralded as the move that would propel us right up alongside the Real Madrids, Munich’s and MU’s. City’s Sheik billionaires hadn’t arrived at this point, but Abramovich had been at Chelsea two years and spent £millions on players when Arsenal moved, so it either went completely under the club’s radar, or it only became relevant to use as an excuse when Chelsea’s success highlighted Arsenal’s failings.
Arsenal have been in the same place since they moved, which is eight years this summer, no nearer to any of those clubs we were promised we’d be challenging. But we should all be happy because by selling star players without replacing like for like in terms of quality, raking in CL and PL monies along with BT and Sky’s contribution, added to all their commercial sponsorships and general fleecing of their fan-base, the club are loaded, whilst offering nothing substantial in return, right?
To be fair to Giroud he doesnt have to be Theirry Henry to be good for the team. In fact he does some things Henry couldnt offer at all. The real issue we have up front is that we need wide forwards who complement Giroud better ie who combine, speed, creativity and efficient finishing. If Henry was 25 yrs old today he would be exactly what we need at the wide forward. In Suarez, that is who Wenger was looking to buy – a striker that can do the job from out wide
Walcott is a good option on the one wing, but Cazorla is for me more a backup to Ozil, thant he real solution. Podolski comes around sometimes but not consistently and not a a high enough level. I think Wenger has high hopes to maybe use Gnabry over there at some point, but he is not ready yet.
For this reason we were bidding for Draxler. I think it was a bad choice not to buy him, but truth is we dont know what Arsenal offered exactly and what Schalke asked for exactly. My guess is they were probably asking for MORE than the 37 mil release clause he has which is open in the summer windows. Ursurious, but IMO he is probably worth it, just to get the team over the hump. Then again having had the fingers ever so slightly singed by Ozil, well maybe one can understand the hesitancy. But Arsenal is very inconsistent. They knew they had htis need for some time now and still Aubameyang for example went to Dortmund this summer for like 10 million and he fits the bill for this striker/winger role.
So there is room to critisize Arsenal here, but its not so cut and dry as some would make it out to be.
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