Thursday, July 18, 2019

Can Arsenal really compete with their summer transfer budget?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 25 Jun 2019

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Media reports have suggested for the last few months that Arsenal head coach Unai Emery will have just £50million to spend on new recruits this summer. It is unknown if that budget is close to the mark. However, it is similar to the budget from last summer. In truth, the Gunners cannot progress with a budget of that size.

Emery fighting with one hand tied behind his back

Arsenal brought Unai Emery in to move the club forward and back into the Premier League’s top-four. The Spaniard came very close to guiding the Gunners back into the Champions League after they finished fifth in the table, just a point behind arch-rivals Tottenham.

The team from north London also made it to the Europa League final, where they suffered defeat to Chelsea. In reality, Emery is fighting with one behind his back in his attempts to take the Gunners back into Europe’s elite competition.

Arsenal have become renowned as a club who watch their money very carefully. It has now got to the point where the club’s hierarchy is hampering the team’s chances of becoming a force in English football once again.

Tierney bid a prime example

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal bid £15million for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney. As you would expect in this crazy transfer market the Hoops turned the bid down flat. It seemed like the sort of desperate bid of a club, who are simply not willing to invest for a brighter future.

Left-back is an area of the Arsenal team that needs strengthening and the signing of Tierney would certainly seem like a logical one. However, the valuation of Arsenal of the full-back was an insult to the Scottish champions.

Last summer Tierney had been linked with £30million moves to Everton and Manchester United. He has not enjoyed the greatest of seasons, but still, he is worth more than £15million of anybody’s money.

Arsenal probably knows this too. However, the problem the Gunners have is that they cannot really afford to pay any more money for the full-back, as they have other weak areas of the team that need to be improved this summer. Centre-back being one of their reported priorities.

The club from north London have an ageing squad, so they need to plaster over many cracks this summer. Due to their reported meagre transfer budget, the Gunners are unlikely to be able to strengthen their squad to any significant level.

Outsiders for a top-four finish

Arsenal will head into next season as odds of 5/4 to finish in the Champions League spots. That means out of last seasons top-six they are the least favoured team to clinch a spot in Europe’s elite competition next season.

The only saving grace for Arsenal in the new campaign is that rivals Chelsea are banned from making transfers, while Manchester United have still not significantly strengthened their squads.

Those two factors may well help Arsenal in their pursuit of Champions League football in the coming seasons. However, from the outside looking in, the Gunners look well short of being a top-four team.

Not many top-flight clubs have made many moves in the transfer market as of yet. Arsenal are one of the teams that need to, as the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham will be even stronger next season.

Arsenal are a great club and it would be good to see them challenging for the title again in the near future. However, the sheer lack of their hierarchy is frightening and I fear that will be a factor in the Gunners returning to glories anytime soon.

Will Arsenal have a big enough transfer budget to strengthen their squad significantly this summer?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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