It’s become a routine staple in any Arsenal fan’s footballing diet of late; Arsene Wenger refusing to spend lavishly whilst the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea continue to break the bank to aid their ambitions.
Whilst it’s an extremely honourable, and somewhat old school, method of executing transfers, there’s few who can contest the theory that it was the main driving force behind the barren trophy spell which continued to loom large over the Emirates Stadium until Wenger’s men lifted the F.A Cup last season. To put a finer point on it, the lack of big-money additions has cost Arsenal their reputation as the most feared team in English football.
With the financial shackles now firmly said to have been removed it’s time for the Gunners, and indeed their long-serving manager, to bring themselves up to speed with how business is done by the biggest fish in the footballing ocean. Luckily for Wenger, a recent transfer pursuit has given him the ideal opportunity to do just that.
Arsenal’s pursuit of Sami Khedira
It was Spanish sources who yesterday had the honour of breaking the news that Arsenal were looking to follow up their soon-to-be-completed move for Alexis Sanchez by offering €30million for Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira. The German international is rightly seen by Wenger as being the perfect candidate to marshall the defensive zones of his midfield, and his inclusion would give the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla license to get themselves forward without fear of being punished heavily when caught on the break.
However there remains one potential obstacle in this otherwise flawless scheme; Khedira’s ridiculous wage expectations. It’s said that the 27-year-old is looking to be paid an annual wage of €10million if he’s to consider making a switch to the Emirates, which will no doubt give Wenger more than just a little food for thought.
For all of the Frenchman’s guile and wisdom as a coach, he has garnered a reputation for avoiding huge outlays where he can, and the decision to make Khedira the highest earner at Arsenal will not be one that he makes lightly. Regardless of that however, it needs to be one that he makes correctly.
Khedira worth the expenditure?
The German international is a consummate professional who goes about his business in the middle of the park whilst rarely putting a foot out of line. Having become the defensive general at Real Madrid he’s proven that he can be relied upon to thrive when the stakes at their absolute highest, and his command of the area in front of the back four is second to none.
What’s more, his demands aren’t actually that insane all things considered, just extremely high for an Arsenal prospect. What Khedira's wage expectations translate to works out at about £150,000-a-week, which, for those not clued in on such matters, is £10,000-a-week more than the club’s current highest earner; Mesut Ozil.
Such figures though pale in comparison to what Chelsea, City and United pay their biggest stars. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres are currently on deals which see them taking home £185,000 and £175,000-a-week respectively at Stamford Bridge, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney earn £200,000 and £300,000-a-week apiece, and City also pay incredible amounts to Sergio Aguero (£220,000-a-week) and Yaya Toure (£200,000-a-week).
Paying for the best
Essentially the debate boils down to whether or not Wenger is prepared to put his morals aside and cave in to what is accepted as the norm in modern day football. You have the pay the biggest money for the best, and there’s no doubting that Khedira could well change the Gunners’ fortunes.
Will Wenger recognise this? Or will it be another promising transfer race that ends in disappointment?