It is so easy to waste money on deadline day transfer.
You get desperate and end up over paying for a target.
Or you miss out on that target and end up spending big on someone who was perhaps 9th or 10th choice. Someone you do not really want.
With Arsenal potentially set to lose £200million over 3 seasons, wasting money is something the club can not afford to do.
Take the transfer for Houssem Aouar.
It is clear Arsenal want the Frenchman. We have bid a couple of times for him, those bids have been publically rejected by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.
Reports are Arsenal’s last bid was £38million plus add-ons, whilst Lyon are holding out for a deal that would be worth £60million. It is a big difference.
It is easy for fans to sit their and say “just pay the money” without looking at the bigger picture.
Lets go back a little over 12 months to last summers transfer window.
Arsenal paid the asking price for Nicolas Pepe. £72million. It is a deal that has come in for much criticism over the last 12 months.
We spent a lot of money on Pepe and it has not quite worked out. Some Arsenal now criticise the club for wasting money on signing him. That signing him is one reason why we have less money to spend this summer.
The Auoar situation is similar.
Arsenal value him at one price, Lyon at another.
If the teams are unable to meet in the middle, Arsenal or Lyon have a simple choice. Either Arsenal have to pay more, Lyon paying less, or walk away.
If the transfer does happen, it will usually end up with the buying club paying more than they wanted to for a player.
Taken into account that we have been burnt with Pepe’s transfer fee (and this is not a criticism of Pepe, he is a fantastic player), it is understandable why Arsenal are reluctant to just “pay the transfer fee”.
Someone sitting on Twitter does not know the true finances of the club. It is very easy for them to say “just spend the money”. But Arsenal might not have that extra £20million.
Likewise, spending that extra £20million could impact further transfer business, whether it is this summer, January or next.
Spending £72million was a huge investment, and you have to wonder whether Arsenal gambled. Took a little money that we would earn (and spend) in the future and add it to the Pepe transfer to get it over the line.
In basic terms, did we take £30million out of this years budget and spent if on Pepe last year?
It could then be a similar position to Aouar.
£38million is affordable. £60million could impact other transfers.
It is important that Arsenal do not overpay for players.
Another balancing act for clubs is who to target when deals fall through.
Football clubs will have a list of targets per position. If Arsenal wanted a target man striker, there would be a list of maybe a dozen players, in order of preference. Miss out on the top one, go onto the second one.
The risk on deadline day is how low on your list you are willing to go.
If Arsenal decide not to pursue Aouar today, and their second choice is unattainable, as is there 3rd and 4th, they then have a decision to make.
Do they keep going down the list, and end up buying a player for the sake of buying, which could end up with them buying a player they do not really want. Or do they decide that no signing is better than signing someone they do not want.
Take Lucas Perez.
In 2016 Jamie Vardy was clearly the clubs first choice transfer target. Vardy decided at the last minute that he would rather stay at Leicester. On August 27th, 4 days before the transfer window shut, Arsenal made the surprising signing of Lucas Perez.
No one had ever really heard of Perez, and his signing was certainly out of the club. All fans knew was what they could see on Wikipedia. That he had scored 17 La Liga goals in the season previous, but was very much a journeyman striker.
Did Arsenal really want him? Or was he a signing for signings sake.
Perez cost Arsenal £17.1million and was sold 2 years alter to West Ham for just £4million having scored 1 league goal.
Arsenal would have been better off not signing Perez. After all, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott could all play upfront.
Instead of paying big money for Lucas Perez, we should have perhaps just promoted Chuba Akpom for the season, saving the club a lot of money.
So Arsenal face a similar situation today.
Do Arsenal go back to Lyon and offer the money they are demanding? Potentially pay over the odds for him, impacting future transfer dealings?
Do Arsenal go for the second choice on the list – seemingly Jorginho?
If the second or third choice is not available, do Arsenal keep going down the list and buy someone just for the sake of it?
Or do Arsenal decide to hold their nerve, not waste money overpaying or signing a player they do not want, and use a player currently at the club to fill the position?
Look at someone like Bukayo Saka. If Arsenal want to go 433, can he be the man to play on the left hand side?
He has shown on the wing that he has the defensive work rate. He is a good passer and can run with the ball. When you compare his statistics to Aouar from last season – passing and tackling, he is not too far behind Aouar.
Maybe Saka is the option?
One thing is for sure, Arsenal will not waste money today.