“What happened last night with Martial with Monaco… Martial has scored 11 goals in the French Championship. That sums it up all the way.”
So begins Arsene Wenger’s explanation of why Arsenal didn’t buy a striker, or any first team outfield player, in this summer’s transfer window. The Arsenal boss says there wasn’t a player available that could strengthen his squad.
In fact, the Gunners are the only team in the top flight of any of Europe’s top five leagues that failed to make an aforementioned purchase, and Wenger is on the defensive after the Arsenal Supporters Trust questioned his logic.
[ PL Playback: It’s time to change the rules of the transfer window ]
On the defensive doesn’t mean he isn’t calm. In an interview with Bein Sports, Wenger coolly explains that his quality of player wasn’t available for any sort of reasonable price (citing Manchester United’s big-money buy of Anthony Martial as his prime example).
Was there not a player that could strengthen his squad, or would he not meet the price? Would Kevin De Bruyne have upgraded his wings? Was
Christian Benteke not an upgrade over Olivier Giroud? Nicolas Otamendi not a younger, better version of either of his main center backs (or at least critical depth for Europe)?
In any event, Wenger also makes some salient points about FIFA’s relaxing of the Financial Fair Play rules, guideline changes that aided previous abusers Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in their quest to add players this season.
“The Financial Fair Play today is too complicated to be efficient,” Wenger said. “There’s a need to simplify the process.”
He’s right, of course. But being the sane voice is a universally-insane transfer world makes you the outlier. And if Arsenal wants to compete for European glory, having more money in the bank isn’t going to be something supporters tattoo on their arms.