If Arsene Wenger stays at Arsenal, will he loosen the purse strings?
Will Arsene Wenger splash the cash in the summer transfer window if the Frenchman stays at Arsenal?
After a turbulent season in which his future has been shrouded in uncertainty, Arsene Wenger managed to end on a high with the impressive destruction of Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup.
After missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in his Arsenal career, this was a bittersweet finale to the campaign, but it seems the Frenchman has done enough to keep his job if he wants it.
Recent reports suggest that the Arsenal board are ready to offer Wenger a new two-year deal, and once again show their faith in the manager who has delivered three league titles and a record-breaking seven FA Cup wins.
The Daily Star also claims that if the former Monaco boss stays at the Emirates, he will be given a whopping £100m budget in the transfer market to bolster the squad.
The decision to keep Wenger in North London will divide Gunners fans, but the 67-year-old could unite the masses once again by making some bold moves in the summer. For the first time in Wenger’s twenty year spell at Arsenal, his side will be without Champions League football while all their main rivals will be battling against the European elite. This could really provide Arsenal with the opportunity to dominate the league while the competition are fatigued by the gruelling games.
The bookies aren’t favouring Arsenal at the moment, though, perhaps due to the uncertainty over whether Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will still be at the club in August. With the two superstars’ contracts up in the air, the Gunners can be backed at 14/1 with 888sport to win the league next term.
Wenger’s transfer activity in the coming months could see those odds shorten – if he changes his frugal ways and decides to splash out on top quality players. Last summer the Frenchman did spend heavily on Granit Xhaka (£38.25m) and Shkodran Mustafi (£34.85m), but although the players have been useful additions to the team they were not really crowd pleasers. After rumours had circulated linking Arsenal with the likes of Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín, last summer’s acquisitions will have felt like a let-down to a lot of fans.
It could be argued that the only world-class players in Arsenal’s current squad are Sanchez and Ozil, and Wenger may be wise to seek another major household name as he aims to bounce back from last term’s 5th-place finish. Players like James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, and Alvaro Morata may all be available in the transfer window. Moving for one of these superstars could be a real statement of intent by Wenger.
Of course, the first priority will be keeping the wolves from the door and attempting to coax Sanchez and Ozil into staying. Sanchez is being courted by a number of top clubs including Manchester City, and it is imperative that the Gunners do all they can to keep him. Wenger’s problems are far from over, but if he panders to the fans’ will in the transfer market he could win over the disbelievers and put Arsenal back on the right track.