Being Miserly? Indeciseveness May Be Costly For Arsene

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal - FA Cup Fourth Round

This was the summer it would all be different.

With an estimated €116 million transfer kitty securing a diamond-crusted path to the top table hosting Europe’s most cash-rich clubs, Arsenal were no longer gazing enviously at the elite.

Finally, London’s most successful club could negotiate on equal terms with the continent’s financial superpowers when it came to signing the world’s top players.

Bona fide stars Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, Gonzalo Higuain, Marouane Fellaini and Cesc Fabregas, whose fees would all comfortably smash the €23m barrier and Arsenal’s transfer record, have all been the subject of serious and sustained interest. Indeed, all of them remain targets.

Yet in the eight weeks since the end of the last domestic season and the opening of the Premier League transfer window, the sole new arrival is Yaya Sanogo, a France Under-21 striker who was signed on a free after running down his contract at Auxerre.

So, why are Arsenal two days into their pre-season tour of Asia and still without a senior signing?

Speak to senior sources about Arsenal recruitment and they reveal that the power rests principally with one man – Wenger. As one figure told Goal, “The problem is that Arsene dithers and changes his mind all the time”.

Even Southampton and Swansea City have broken their respective transfer records in capturing Victor Wanyama and Wilfried Bony respectively.

With the biggest transfer kitty in Arsenal’s history burning a hole in the well tailored pocket of Wenger, the call for a tangible return is deafening.

With established management, scouting and executive departments in place at the Emirates Stadium, there appeared no obvious obstacles to a series of early, statement signings. What better demonstration of a club’s ambition than a press conference in late May unveiling a marquee player?

In romance terms, Arsenal have teased, flirted and shown a bit of skirt. But they have not been able to formalise any relationships.

In the era of Twitter and social media frenzy, the blame game has been in overdrive. Fingers have variously been pointed at Wenger, Gazidis, contract negotiator Dicky Law, owner Stan Kroenke, the board of directors, the scouting network and even the journalists reporting and uncovering the the negotiations. Moreover, few top clubs are more secretive than Arsenal.

Fellaini would also be an Arsenal player if Wenger sanctioned the €116,000-a-week contract that the player’s camp feel he is entitled to. The Gunners have so far offered merely to match his €87,000-a-week Everton deal.

The list goes on. Supporters must dig deep into their reservoirs of patience and hope the club will deliver.

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