Arsenal: Welbeck’s injury and the club’s striker crisis

With the news that Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of action for up to three months, it has very much compounded the dismay that Arsenal have failed to sign a striker in the transfer window. Should they worry? Who should they have signed?

I have said before that Arsenal have a squad capable of winning the Premier League, however, the problem is, and has been for the last few years, that the entire squad needs to be fit and on form for an entire season.

If they aren’t, then the back up players need to be up to scratch. Had Arsenal bought a world class striker then their replacements in Giroud and Walcott would be more than adequate.


Are there any quality strikers available?

However, the question really is, who was available? It turns out Karim Benzema was never really available, Cavani and Ibrahimovic weren’t looking for a move and players like Suarez, Lewandowski and Aguero were never going to move.

In essence, the world class strikers weren’t actually there to buy, regardless of money. However, the Arsenal way is too avoid over paying for someone, so we will never know if they could have been prized away by a huge bid.

There were other plays available though. For example Jackson Martinez moved to Atletico Madrid. I think Arsenal should have made a real move to sign him. I know he is not a striker, but it became apparent that Reus was available for the right price. They weren’t interested in him.

And of course Anthony Martial was there to be purchased throughout the whole transfer window.


Admirable, but disrespectful policy?

In many ways their business minded transfer policy is to be admired, it does seem an excessive amount of money to pay for an unproven teenager. However, is this not disrespectful to the fans?

Arsenal have some of the highest priced tickets in the world of football, their fans invest more money into the club than most of their rivals as a result and Arsenal have spent £13 million across three months.

They will have made that back in under month through ticket sales alone, not to mention all the other benefits of having a world wide fan base.

So Arsenal supporters are simply paying to keep the people in charge of their club wealthy. Take it with a pinch of salt, I am not suggesting Arsenal should bankrupt themselves to keep the fans happy, but there has to be a compromise between improving and saving money.

It is clear to see that since the billionaire owners took over football a little over 10 years ago, Arsenal have been falling behind.


Need to flow with the times

Arsenal shouldn’t have to overpay for players drastically, but they should have realised that player prices have gone way up and they should be very open about their transfer targets.

They should have gone for Martinez at the start of the window. They should have gone for Reus or Pedro. They should have put in a bid for Khediera or even Dante from Bayern Munich.

They should show the fans that they are willing to invest the money that they are spending in order to keep the club in a state in which it can justify it’s high ticket prices.


Welbeck not a huge blow, but no excuse for inactivity

Ultimately, is Danny Welbeck a huge blow to them? No, but he is a loss and they would be better with him as an option. Should they have strengthened? Yes, but it was a difficult market this year and I don’t think they could have worked miracles.

However, should they have been more active? Yes, they should have been more active in general. Perhaps it went on behind the scenes and the media didn’t report, but it seems unlikely.

They should have been linked with more players. They should have put up more bids for players and they should have probably overpaid for a little bit of potential.

Arsenal could still do the job yet, but like the seasons before, they probably won’t and it’s because they weren’t prepared to pay the money.


This piece was first published at the excellent The Players Only Club here


Written by Jonny Troy

Follow Jonny on Twitter @Jonny_Troy

Check out his excellent football blog, where this piece was originally published: The Players Only Club

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