Arsenal capped an impressive transfer window on Monday night by snapping up Danny Welbeck from Manchester United for around £16 million.
The England striker followed Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina, Calum Chambers and Mathieu Debuchy through the entrance door while deadwood like Nicklas Bendtner and Johan Djourou were finally struck off the wage bill.
But had you just touched down on planet earth last night, you would be forgiven for thinking that Arsene Wenger had failed to deliver anything he set out to achieve this summer. That was due to the torrents of criticism flying his way from Arsenal fans on social media.
That criticism came despite the fact that Wenger had spent more than ever before as an Arsenal manager and had the second highest net spend in the Premier League behind perennial splurgers Manchester United.
The criticism was not only unfounded, but borderline ludicrous. It failed to take into account the fact that Arsenal already have a squad bulging with talent both young and old, which Wenger left within a whisker of being completed with his latest addition.
The British core
Welbeck will not be alone when he turns up to his first Arsenal training session. He will join the growing contingent of homegrown stars who are quickly filling the main positions in Wenger's squad.
The British core at Arsenal is not only numerous, but make up a list of the most talented of their generation. Let's take a look at some of these names, and try to find the recurring theme.
Calum Chambers (19), Jack Wilshere (22), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (21), Aaron Ramsey (23), Kieran Gibbs (24), Theo Walcott (25) and Danny Welbeck (24). We can also throw Carl Jenkinson (22) into the mix despite his loan move to West Ham.
You can also add Wojciech Szczesny (24) to that group, who despite being Polish, has spent the best part of the last 10 years becoming a solid member of the squad.
So the recurring theme as you may have guessed by the less-than-subtle addition of the player's ages is that all nine players mentioned are between the ages of 19 and 25. They are all in their prime development years and ready to continue their improvement together.
This is no accident. After growing tired of losing the unloyal foreign talents like Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Wenger changed his tactic of sourcing the best of Europe's young stars and focused on garnering local talent with similar interests, social habits and the potential to grow longstanding relationships.
With nine players all capable of playing different positions, the British core is now complete, packed full of talent that could break into Europe's elite if managed properly. Supplemented by world-class stars like Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, the pressure is now of Arsene Wenger to deliver superstars on the training pitch rather than the transfer market.
Such is the essence of today's society, fans will always crave a new star regardless of the talent currently in the team. Whatever they currently have quickly becomes old and boring, as they turn their attentions back to the open transfer market.
The reality is that few world-class stars rarely become available. One of the few that did this summer was Sanchez and Wenger worked hard to make sure he became an Arsenal player. It was a feat few fans, busy asking for more, will ever be able fully appreciate.
But now Arsenal have a huge pool of potential talent and the pressure on the terraces should not be to 'spend some f****** money' but to 'develop some f****** talent'. That may not be attractive to the youth of today, who are used to getting what they want pretty much immediately after they realise they want it. Developing talent takes years, but the dividends are that much higher and the risks substantially lower.
Besides, Wenger's totalitarian reign at Arsenal puts him in charge of both transfers and training. He has shown his skill in the market, but must now deliver by making good on his vision.
There is little point analysing the talent already at Arsenal. Anyone sitting in comfort in those padded Emirates Stadium seats will tell you that Ramsey can be a £50 million player and Wilshere still has time to deliver on his massive potential.
Similarly, Welbeck is already being labelled as an untapped pool of talent, capable of being a potent scorer if given the chance. Only time will tell whether it will be a successful move or not but the potential alone makes the acquisition a worthy one.
Superstar = Super disruption
A superstar signing like Radamel Falcao would wow the fans, but would do nothing but disrupt the close knit feel the British core is helping to create at Arsenal. Even if Arsenal could afford £300,000-a-week wages, the deal would undermine what Wenger is trying to do.
Instead Wenger went for the sensible option by snapping up one of England's brightest talents to emerge in the last five years, who should slip in as if he had always been there. He saw an opportunity and took it with just hours to decide.
Welbeck won't have to learn the language, he's committed long-term and he's already adapted to the Premier League and the rigours of the English game.
First chance Falcao gets, he'll be off to Real Madrid, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of fans and players alike regardless of how many goals he scores. If Welbeck ends up scoring 100 goals for Arsenal, the addition will be hailed as one of Wenger's best.
The homegrown core at Arsenal won't be looking for transfers the way Nasri or Fabregas were. Neither felt loyal to the Gunners the way the current crop of stars will. The pair came in having developed abroad with the intention of moving on when the right offer came in.
But British players are different. They tend to stick around, rarely tempting foreign clubs or being tempted by them. For them, Arsenal is the pinnacle and few will be looking beyond the club's mission.
As previously stated, Wenger has worked hard over the last decade to secure the best local talent. Wilshere was brought in from Luton Town as a nine-year-old while no expense was spared bringing Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers in from Southampton.
He has signed the potential superstars, but Wenger must now rekindle his ability to create them as he once did. The likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and the aforementioned Fabregas have all flourished under the Frenchman's guardship, but it has been a long time since a true star emerged from the London Colney Academy.
Wenger should not be under pressure to fix Arsenal's problems with expensive foreign imports but to deliver on a project that is almost a decade in the making. If he can deliver on this promise, Arsenal will have a formidable squad capable of challenging the best in Europe.
He has three-years, until the end of his current contract, to turn these players into world-class stars or at least continental-class. If he fails, he will have to consider whether he can take the Arsenal squad any further. The potential is seemingly endless for Arsenal, but impetus is now away from the transfer market and firmly on the training pitch.
Develop some f****** talent!
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