BREAKING: Chelsea leave Arsenal laughing at record transfer mistake after managing to downgrade strikers
Arsenal’s transfer redemption made sweeter by Chelsea striker downgrade in spite of record Premier League spending.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 30: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Chelsea FC at Friends Provident St. Mary’s Stadium on August 30, 2022 in Southampton, England.
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 30: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on August 30, 2022 in St Albans, England.
Mikel Arteta and Thomas Tuchel has had contrasting starts to the season despite spending differences that leave the Blues facing plenty of questions.
Arsenal have watched on as their London rivals entered their new era of ownership spending more than they ever had done in a summer with Roman Abramovich. Reports suggest the Blues spent in the region of £278 million to bring in eight players.
This follows on from the mega signing of Romelu Lukaku for £97.5million in 2021 and another £200million-plus summer spend on seven players in 2020. Despite the huge spending, Arsenal should not feel intimidated by their rivals’ expenditure.
As they say, it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it. The fact that after more than £300 million worth of investment in two summers, Chelsea needed to break the Premier League spending record to suffice their needs tells us how poorly the money was used.
Even then, whilst Arsenal looked to bring in their eventual upgrade on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the form of the brilliant Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea managed to do the opposite. Rather comically, the Blues downgraded their striking options in a summer where they spent more than anyone before them.
Now, based upon both Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku’s time at the club, they hardly pulled up trees. But let’s not forget, the pair were two of the most prolific goalscorers on the continent prior to their switch to west London.
Joined by a misfiring and out of form Kai Havertz after just one season of Lukaku and two from Werner the pair are not with the club for the current campaign. From these two-prior regular goalscorers and Havertz to just a 33-year-old Aubameyang who the Gunners were happy to see leave for nothing less than nine months ago.
Ben Chilwell cost the club £50 million in 2020. Two years later, Chelsea just took the spending for the same position over the £100 million mark after bringing in Marc Cucurella from Brighton.
I could go on, happily. However, switching the frame to Arsenal, their Deadline Day did end in failure.
Despite apparent needs at wide forward and central midfield, a late-night pursuit of Douglas Luiz was unsuccessful. Unwilling to go over a £25million third bid the Gunners admitted defeat and will tackle the first half of the season with Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Granit Xhaka and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Whilst five players might appear enough, currently, three are out through injury. But the mistakes I highlight in the Chelsea recruitment plan is exactly what the Gunners haven’t done.
The money they spent on Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, Marquinhos and Zinchenko was necessary. The three senior players, in particular, have added so much more quality to the squad, evident by the former Manchester City pair’s early displays.
Spending for the sake of spending or overspending on questionable talent was a curse of the club for years toward the end of Arsene Wenger’s reign and throughout Unai Emery and Raul Sanllehi’s brief stint. For that now to be over is a blessing.
Should it be deemed what’s available is not to the standard required or not cost-effective to complete, we must not be tempted to fall back into that transfer trap. Even if it means not having all bases covered, the risk of repeating the damaging mistakes of the past is too great.
Besides Arsenal find themselves with three options for every position. Yes, it requires versatility on the part of several squad members, but this is a characteristic that was required in most of the recent signings.
Where Arsenal and Chelsea finish will ultimately determine whose squad was the best built. That said, the pressure on the Blues is far greater after what was a record-breaking window, I hope, for all the wrong reasons.
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