Finances, finances! That’s all you ever hear when Arsenal are mentioned. No other club is derided as much in the Premier League or elsewhere for its apparent lack of funds. The Covid-19 situation has allowed the press to go on a speculative fishing expedition to fill the sports pages and they appear to be having fun at the expense of supporters.
This is usually a seasonal game when the summer transfer window approaches, one where the journalists identify potential targets, mention the lack of cash, and then proceed to suggest players who could be sold to facilitate the rebuild.
They seem to have gotten tired of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s possible exit because they have exhausted every scenario and it’s now the turn of Kieran Tierney, who hasn’t had a single season with the club. I’ve covered this story and think that it would send out the wrong message if Arsenal did sell the defender to Leicester, but what if Arsenal had to sell one to rebuild. Whom would you choose to sell or keep?
The one that the majority of fans would prefer to stay would surely be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for his goals. Without that contribution, Arsenal would have been in far worse trouble in the final disastrous spell under Unai Emery.
Those goals were undoubtedly the difference between an uncomfortable mid-table position and hovering just above the relegation zone. Arsenal were shipping goals earlier this season and only Aubameyang bailed them out with his predatory instincts.
This season as well, there’s still a chance for Auba to claim the goal scoring title, now that the league is ready to resume play. Odds have already opened with the Arsenal striker being rated just behind Leicester’s Jamie Vardy to finish as top goalscorer, though it’ll be worthwhile to compare betting sites out there as some sites are rating Auba higher than others.
Having said that, Arsenal can’t seem to tie the striker to an extension at present, although I hear Mikel Arteta is going to personally intervene. In terms of the player’s personal desires, they remain unknown, but he has the opportunity for one final move and the chance to play Champions League football. That suggestion may irk many but it’s an unavoidable and undeniable fact which the club and supporters have to deal with.
Kieran Tierney, on the other hand, is a hot young prospect (22) and injuries aside, he has the potential to be a future Arsenal star for the next 10 years. However, he is an unknown commodity this side of the border, and fans have seen many hyped players fall short in an Arsenal shirt.
This conundrum is what they refer to as cheques and balances but what do Arsenal need more? Please don’t say money!
At the end of the day, Arsenal are at a crossroad that requires a major shakeup but without the cash, it’s not going to happen. It will be just another case of looking for cheaper players who may or may not come good. We’ve had years of that, so the simple option would be to cash-in and use the funds from the sale to reinvent the side.
I’m slightly torn on this imaginary subject, my head says Aubameyang should be sacrificed, but who will get 20 goals a season and at 31, it’s a chance to get a sizeable chunk to reinvest but my heart says he must stay.
With Lacazette’s future also in the balance, losing a star striker of this stature is a massive gamble that could create more problems than it solves. Martinelli will be the answer and the future, but perhaps he could do with another season or two to find his feet.
On to Kieran Tierney, should he stay or go? There’s no real financial incentive for Arsenal to sell him because he will only generate the same money they spent (£25m) and the player can grow under Arteta to become integral to a developing team.
Tierney is a man who is totally committed to furthering his career and could potentially be a candidate for the captaincy in the future.
So decision time!
If I had to choose, I’d keep Tierney because he can have a longer career at the club. I’d miss Aubameyang’s contribution, but it may be the right time to consider selling before he walks for free. It’s a huge gamble but its one that could allow Arsenal to build a more dynamic, compact, and competitive group of players.