Unai Emery will only have £45m to spend in summer according to reports in the Daily Mail but Arsenal should look to Tottenham for inspiration.
Yes, Stan Kroenke did say Arsenal’s era of austerity was over all the way back in 2013, but the Gunners again find themselves in a position their North London rivals have been in for the last decade too.
Tottenham are now involved in their second title race since 2014 and yet their net spend since then, as of summer 2018, was £50m compared to Arsenal’s £166m. When you compare that to Manchester City who have a net spend of £496m and Manchester United with £417m it becomes apparent that there are other factors than money that lead to success.
Money doesn’t make a successful team. It certainly helps, but looking at Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United’s against Pochettino’s Spurs provides a prime example of the importance of a great scouting network and quality coaching.
Tottenham didn’t break the bank for the likes of Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, and Christian Erikson who were bargains. Instead, they had knowledgable scouts to spot the talent when they were at a career stage where the club could afford them.
Young English talent is out there to be brought through the ranks too, and while Arsenal have given opportunities to the likes of Jack Wilshire and Theo Walcott since their move from Highbury to the Emirates, there haven’t been enough breakthroughs for their financial position.
£20m on a player doesn’t go a long way in today’s game, but it would make a large difference if the money was invested in better youth facilities and a greater scouting system. The benefits of which can be felt for much longer than spending money on a mediocre signing when a more expensive one isn’t viable.
Focusing on improving existing players will also help Emery overcome his budget restraints, just how Pochettino has done. The Gunners’ boss has a clear philosophy and it will take time for the players to adjust, just as Pep Guardiola’s players did following his first season at City. This clear ideology will help Arsenal shape and improve the players they have and identify who will fit into the system.
This brings the manager to his next best way to improve his squad – selling the dead wood. Players who just don’t cut it, Mesut Ozil for example, should be sold and cleared off the wage bill. It’s obvious. Arsenal can then earn money to spend on players that better fit the system. Spurs have been criticised for not spending in summer, but avoiding the presence of dead wood on the side’s fringes is always a good thing.
It will hurt Arsenal fans to admit it, but the way Tottenham have dealt with their lack of transfer funds has been a model that the Gunners’ hierarchy should replicate.
Net spend figures from Sky Sports via the Irish Independent.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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