Much has been said already of Arsenal’s potential big spending summer. Much of it by the negative nancys.
“We spend £200m we should be targeting the title, not just top 4” is the most commonly used line by those fans who seem to spend more time hating one the club then supporting it.
Whilst spending big this summer should increase expectations, all we are actually doing is playing catch up on those other teams in the top 6.
In the last 24 months we have seen a huge amount of underperforming “stars” depart the club.
The likes of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers have all left the club.
Those 7 players cost us close to £250million. With the majority leaving for nothing.
Huge investment last summer and (potential) even bigger investment this is just us making up for our poor (and under) investment previously.
If we spend close to the rumoured £200m, that will be a squad that has cost us £700m – still less then both Manchester City and Chelsea.
We can also expect Manchester United to spend big again this summer, whilst Liverpool’s spending has also not finished.
By the end of the summer we would have spent around the 4th or 5th most in the Premier League on our squad.
Now some will now point out our poor “net spend” but this does not really matter. In fact all it shows is how poor business has hampered us.
We could have further closed that gap on those above us if it weren’t for so many poor sales (created due to the poor buys and huge contracts handed out).
In recent years we have also consistently had the 5th highest wage bill in the Premier League.
Wage bill is the single most important factor when considering where a team finishes.
To put simply, the more a team spends on wages the higher they are likely to finish in the league.
We have dramatically reduced that wage bill in recent years. This has freed up a lot of the funds we are now spending.
The investment we are seeing this summer (and last) is only making up for nearly half a decade of poor investment.
To highlight further, Mikel Arteta has been at the club for just 2.5 years. But how many of his first starting XI were in the final starting XI of last season?
Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka.
Of the 18 starters and subs, there will likely be just 3 remaining by the end of this summer.
My final thought on this is where Liverpool and Manchester City squads are is where we are aiming to get to.
At that point, we will be spending £100m+ a season on one or two players rather than 5 or 6. Each one improving our starting XI.
Our investment will continue…but we still have a long way to go to catch up!