With just two free transfers this summer and a loss to Aston Villa to start the season, Arsenal's board and manager were the targets of outrage from fans and the constant butt of even more jokes than usual from rivals. They said they had a large cash reserve waiting to be spent, but Arsene Wenger wasn't spending it. Any of it. Why not? Well, it turns out he's either a masochist and/or a bit of a procrastinator as he ended up obliterating both their transfer and wage record on the final day of the window to land 24-year-old midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42.5 million with the player getting a five-year deal worth £140,000 a week. This makes Ozil the most expensive German player in history.
Just like that, cheap, old, unambitious Arsene Wenger blows away Arsenal's biggest payouts — including those for Sylvain Wiltord in 2000, Jose Antonio Reyes in 2004, Andrei Arshavin in 2009 and Santi Cazorla last summer — none of which have never topped £18 million. He also went a step further by topping the club records for Man United, Man City (£30 million for Dimitar Berbatov and £35 million for Kun Aguero, respectively) and every other Premier League club except Chelsea (who would like to forget they paid £50 million for Fernando Torres). "Spend, spend, spend," fans demanded and, on his own terms, on the right deal, he did so in a way that makes them choke on their lack of faith.
In addition to Ozil, Arsenal have also brought in Italian goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on loan. And through this deadline day activity, Wenger (and the Arsenal board) proves that his stubborn refusal to participate in the monetary orgy that is modern transfer business is a rule he's willing to break for a good deal. And he found arguably the best deal of the summer. He could have used another striker too, but there's always January deadline day for that.
So in a span of 48 hours, Wenger shuts up his critics on nearly all fronts by beating Spurs in the north London derby, spending a club record on a single transfer and bringing in Mesut Ozil, making Real Madrid fans beg for him to stay at the unveiling of world record transfer Gareth Bale. Now all Wenger has to do is end that pesky trophy drought and he will be demanding animal sacrifices to atone for the sins of doubt perpetrated by the inferior masses.
- Sports & Recreation
- Arsene Wenger