Arsenal is one of the, if not the most, frustrating clubs to support when it comes to transfers. This is something that is not at all hinged on our financial position all the time, as is becoming clear during this transfer window.
Admittedly I do not know the nitty-gritty of how transfers work in terms of who plays what role or the actual process of a transfer (except the aspects that we are all familiar with), however, I do know a few things. The club has scouts who identify potential targets (a job that is mostly done by Wenger when a top player is in question). I also know that Wenger has complete control over who we sign and how much money is spent, with the exception of a scenario where it is a big money transfer in which case the board must sanction the release of these funds. Finally, I know that Dick Law heads the team that negotiates transfer fees and contracts once a player is identified and Wenger gives the go ahead to chase him.
That said, it is obvious that there is something that throws a spanner in the works in every transfer that has even the slightest complication. I recently read an article that suggested that the main reason why Arsenal transfers are so complicated is because Arsene Wenger is notoriously indecisive. I am inclined to believe them. When Arsenal were chasing Juan Mata, the transfer had reached a point where Arsenal and Valencia had agreed a fee of 17 million pounds, and all that was left was for the club to sit down with Mata and agree contractual logistics. However Wenger changed his mind and dilly-dallied allowing Chelsea to swoop.
I know this for a fact, because months later (after he had signed for Chelsea) Mata was asked about the transfer to Arsenal and he said that he didn’t know what happened because as far as he was concerned, he was hours away from being a Gunner. He explained that once Valencia allowed him to talk to us, he waited by the phone for Arsene’s call to arrange contractual negotiations; a call that never came.
More or less the same thing happened with Yann M’vila where everything was agreed only for Arsene to change his mind citing disciplinary concerns. Given that Wenger is notoriously private about transfers, those are the only two examples I can give but I am sure they aren’t the only ones. This gives an indication that Wenger tends to over think every single detail to a point that it begins to work against us. Maybe it would be more beneficial if, at the beginning of a window, Arsene would give his wish-list and lets the club pursue them.
Another fault that we have during transfers is that apparently we can’t multitask. Let me explain. Right now we are chasing a striker, a DM, a keeper and a defender. We even have names of players that we would like to see fill those positions. However for the past 2 months we have been firmly fixated on bringing in a striker (Higuain and (or) Suarez to be precise) and for the time being, have put these other positions on the back burner.
Real Madrid have put us in this position by employing dirty tactics as they keep raising Higuain’s price but still, while we wait for that to pan out, we could have signed Wanyama and Cesar already. Wanyama told me personally that he waited for us to make a move until it reached a point where he wasn’t sure whether we were interested anymore, so he moved to Southampton instead.
Cesar is trying his best to hold off any transfer while he waits for us to make our minds up but that will only last for so long.
Think of it this way: yes, Real have really stalled our plans to bring in a striker but that shouldn’t affect other transfers. Southampton completed the Wanyama transfer in half a week. Given the current circumstances, it would take even less time to sign Cesar. It was reported that Fellaini is willing to join us and is waiting for us to open negotiations. Ideally, by now we should have most if not all other target transfers tied in a bow and then focus our efforts on the complicated ones, which is bringing in the strikers, not the other way round.
The more we wait the more of our targets get snapped up and derail our plans further leading to the famous last minute deals which more often than not backfire.
Maybe a change of tact is what we need, so as to eliminate these sleepless nights we Gooners spend monitoring transfer stories to see if Wenger will come good on his promises. Oh what it is to be a gooner!!!
Written by: Marcus