I’ve lately noticed a notion among some people that none of our players are good enough, even to the point of suggesting that the only reason they won’t leave is because they aren’t good enough for other teams to buy them from us. So I decided to put myself in the shoes of other clubs and think about a few things from their point of view. I’m going to look at some of our core players on the team and see what they would seem like to someone on the outside looking in.
Club A — “We need a young shotstopper who has the potential to be world class to act as successor to our current aging incumbent.”
“He must command his area well and have a sense of confidence that should permeate to those in front of him.”
“He should also have experience playing for a big club at the biggest stage in Europe.”
“How much would such a keeper cost us”
Szczesny, who fits the above description to a T, would cost any club at least around 15 million pounds.
Club B — “We need a centerback who is just coming into his prime.”
“He needs to be tenacious in the tackle, read the game well enough to make key interceptions and have the pace to keep up with quicker forwards.”
“Should also be decent in the air and an eye for a key goal in the other box would be a bonus.”
“How much would such a centerback cost us considering this level of quality and combination of skills isn’t easy to find”
Thiago Silva joined PSG for 42 million Euros last year, so Laurent Koscielny, even if not considered at the same level, would cost about 25 million.
Club C — “We need a young fullback who has an engine that allows him to keep running up and down the flank tirelessly.”
“He needs to have an eye for the tackle and be able to mark tricky wingers while also keeping up with them on pace.”
“Should also link up well with the man in front of him and be able to put in a quality cross every now and then and assist in the attacking process.”
“Considering how hard it is these days to get a quality left back, how much would such a player cost?”
Kieran Gibbs, would cost you about 15-20 million pounds having just signed a long term contract.
Club D — “We need a young midfield general whom you can build the team around.”
“He needs to have a combination of Spanish flair/technique and English fight/grit”
“In time he should be able to pick out a pass, lead the team and make players better in future”
Jack Wilshere, the future of Arsenal, would cost anyone about 40-50 million easily.
Club E — “We need a tireless fighter in midfield who will do everything he’s asked to do with aplomb”
“Should be able to do it all, tackle, pass, mark, intercept, and make effective late runs into the box”
“Must be the ultimate professional and never stop trying to impact the game no matter where he plays”
Aaron Ramsey, I would argue, would cost another club about 15-20 million to pry away from us.
Club F — “We need a forward/winger hybrid with electric pace that will trouble anyone in the world”
“Should be young and progressing rapidly with an eye for goal, reasonable control and a calm, composed finish”
“Should also be able to take set pieces and have the understanding to create for others when needed too”
Theo Walcott, would cost any team at least around 30 million to buy.
Club G — “We need a versatile playmaker who could play through the middle or out wide and be an endless source of creativity”
“He should also be able to score the occasional goal and have good shooting ability from outside the box”
“Being able to take set pieces would be another bonus and the ability to take a man on and beat him would be ideal”
Santi Cazorla, a man we bought (or robbed) from Malaga for a mere 12 million, would cost anyone around 25 million to buy in fairer circumstances.
These are but a few examples of what we have as part of our core and there are several more I could list. The point is that some people complain about our wages being paid to youngsters, they complain about trusting youth and relatively unknown players so much, but with this kind of quality that we’ve discovered and developed (or in the case of Santi, stolen), maybe we do spend some money after all and maybe there is some truth to the saying “we don’t buy superstars, we make them” after all. I think we have a LOT more quality at this club than what we normally tend to appreciate at acknowledge and when you FAIRLY think about what it would cost a club to purchase these players from us, or what you’d take in order to be willing to part with some players, maybe we’d appreciate them more than we already do. That is one of the reasons why I wrote this, to show that the idea that we don’t have any good players is well off the mark.
The other reason why I wrote this piece is this — You read every day on twitter, on FB, on blogs and even in the media about how we need to spend on proven superstars to find success as a club and I disagree. I think our success will come from signing the right players for our system who can be nurtured into superstars. Now to be clear, I am not saying it wouldn’t be nice to get one or that I would say no if we were to buy a big name, I am however saying that it doesn’t depend solely on that or the price tag. We could get someone for next to nothing and turn him into a superstar (Kolo Toure for example).
I’d like to wrap this post up by saying a few things about the transfer window. For one, I have full confidence in the club and Arsene to sign the right players (and these need not be the fantasy names that we can all think up) and I would gladly give them the time to do their business this summer (the first summer in years that we have money and that will have squad continuity). Secondly, it has been a little over 10 days since the season ended, and there are still 3 months to go in the transfer window. I believe panicking at this point of time that we won’t get anyone and starting to get angry at the club for not buying yet, is borderline ridiculous. I understand people are concerned about how we will buy but I wonder when people will realize that they have zero control over this and no amount of agitating on their part is going to make a transfer happen for the player they want in the time frame they specify. The only thing this panic and anger achieves is to make things far more stressful for yourself and makes the summer, which is tough enough as it is without our beloved Arsenal playing every week, far more torturous for others. So what I’m saying is, be patient and hold off on your panic and anger at least until the start of the season. I know it isn’t easy, but please try.
PS. This blog was inspired by a little exercise that @GeezyPeas conducted yesterday on twitter on the value of Ramsey. So credit goes to him for sparking off the idea.