If any lessons have been learned by Arsenal after the failed transition of Wenger to Emery, it’s that they shouldn’t have gone shopping for bargains and should have spent their cash more wisely and appropriately in the right areas…defense !
Elsewhere Manchester City splashed £52m on Benjamin Mendy, Liverpool grabbed hold of the highly regarded Van Dijk for £75m and Manchester United pushed the boat out for Harry Maguire for £80m.
Maguire’s price was ludicrously inflated because he’s obviously not worth £5m more than Van Dijk, but it’s clear that you need to spend big to get the necessary quality.
Arsenal had a few bargains in the summer that are in the early stages of their career (William Saliba and Kieran Tierney) and they may or may not be value for money but then they decided to go for David Luiz who has so far been a glaring disappointment for £8m.
It’s unclear if Arsenal will secure another center back in the January window but they should look into spending between £54 and £70m for someone of quality.
It has to be recognized that Wenger for all his skills in acquiring creative and attacking players, was completely unable to secure the services of quality defenders at Arsenal in the latter part of his career.
The only obstacle for Arsenal to a January spend is the possible recruitment of a long term manager from outside the club and it will be interesting to see if the club buy a defender regardless of the plans they have in place.
Whoever gets the job will need to go back to the drawing board to reorganize the defense. That structure may even require the departure of up to six central defenders and perhaps Héctor Bellerin, who is phenomenal in attack but sometimes comes up short on his defensive duties.
It’s been muted that Bellerin could be on the move, mainly because he can’t wait another three seasons to win a major competition and who could really blame him.
At 24, his value is at its maximum and he still has the potential to grow. Currently at Arsenal his career is standing still and I wouldn’t rule out a massive bid from Spain when the season ends.
Others due to be considered for the chop at Arsenal are Sokratis, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Luiz, Chambers and Holding. If you are sensitive of my inclusion of Rob Holding, remember that he hasn’t really pushed on since his excellent performance in the FA cup final against Chelsea in 2017 where he bossed Diego Costa.
Yes, he has been injured but the man touted as the new Tony Adams isn’t remotely close to that stature at this stage of his career.
We will see changes, that’s a fact. How much will depend on who comes in but it will have to be a brutal cull to get the problem resolved.