According to René Girard, manager of French club Montpellier, Arsenal are very close to sealing the transfer of striker Olivier Giroud. The Frenchman, who is a member of the French squad playing in Poland and Ukraine, will confirm his new destination as soon as the competition is over.
The addition of Giroud, alongside Podolski and RvP, should provide Arsenal will with one of the most potent strike forces in the Premier League; if of course RvP can be persuaded that his future lies at the Emirates. This of course is the bottom line; how can we ensure that our best players remain at the club rather than move on to our competitors?
While I dislike the term ‘playing the Arsenal way’, there can be no doubt that AW’s trademark style of play is the style that most if not all teams would like to emulate and when it comes to how best to run a football club, does any club do business like we do at Arsenal?
However one major irritation in recent years has been an inability to retain our best players, even if the transfers have made good business sense.
Adebayor bought for £7 million and sold for £25 million.
Kolo Toure bought for £150,000 and sold for £16 million.
Nasri bought for £15.8 million and sold for £22 million.
Cesc cost us nothing and was sold for £35 million.
This represents a remarkable profit of more than £75 million on four players.
It is hard to estimate the value that these players gave to Arsenal during their time at the club. The other immeasurable parameter is the value that Arsenal would have gained if these players had remained at the club. Perhaps a Premier League title, a cup or two and maybe even a Champions League title; we can only wonder.
So why would three of these players choose Manchester City, a team who have yo-yoed between the Premier League and the lower leagues and who are now financed by Arab oil money over Arsenal?
Could it be that the temptation of a massive salary increases played a part in their decision? If someone offered to double or triple your salary would you say no?
Could it be that the prospect of massive player investment in the club and the real prospect of silverware proved sufficiently tempting? When a player looks back on his career is he more interested in seeing winners medals or the knowledge that he played the occasional Champions League match?
There is no need to state the obvious. Every player wants to be financially rewarded and every player wants silverware. The players who have jumped ship are convinced that their ambitions are more likely to be achieved by moving to Manchester rather than remaining in London.
So how can Arsenal reverse this depressing trend?
Ivan Gazidis has already stated that the club will reform the salary structure and reward players according to performance. This is excellent news and something that should never have been allowed to drag on for such a long time, even if it was AW’s intention to maintain a level playing field as far as wages were concerned.
Gazidis has also stated that the club will invest in bringing in quality players rather than in quantity. If this decision is implemented it will show the club’s intent to challenge for top honours and will make Arsenal an attractive club for both new and existing players.
For now all that we the fans can do is to hope that RvP will be sufficiently convinced that his future will be best served by extending his contract at Arsenal.
Johnny Hasson is a live long Arsenal fan. In his spare time he can be seen watching anything sport related on TV or playing Smart Live Roulette online.