Guest Article By Samuel Ogunmefun
I grew up knowing Arsenal to be a title challenger both in Europe and domestic competitions, but that was a lifetime ago. What I had witnessed over the past decade is an average team put together in a hurry and built on hopes.
Arsenal fans around the world had cried out to the board to change the way things are going but nothing changed…until now.
Over the years, I had witnessed several Arsenal January dealings to be frustrating and sometimes it bogs down morals of numerous fans, which has also resulted in our inability to sustain a title challenge during the past decade.
Surprisingly, for the first time in over two decades, Arsenal faithful are optimistic about our top 4 challenge owing to the change of approach of the club’s hierarchy, who suddenly woke up from their slumber and realized that Arsene Wenger cannot continue to hold all the cards with regards to who comes in or goes out.
Let us analyse the reasons for our resurgence and all of them point to one man:
Appointment of Head of Recruitment (Chief Scout)
The club decided to bring in chief scout (Sven Mislintat) from Dortmund and we can see the immediate impact he has had in our negotiations in recent days. The Alexis’s deal that had proven difficult to handle over the past few months became a win-win for both parties involved and you might find it difficult to agree with me, but I believe the North London club had the better part of the deal between Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis (as the former is a true Arsenal fan and wants to play for us). He should also be credited by pulling off the club-record signing of Aubameyang.
Ability to attract high profile players again
Looking back to few Arsenal targets such as Mbappe, Lemar, Vardy and so on who decided to opt for other clubs or stay put in their respective clubs rather than join Arsenal because they never saw us as a serious or title contending club, but all that is beginning to fade away with the high profile signings of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan.
Ability to get rid of our average players for good prices
The fact that clubs like Tottenham, Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester city to mention a few can recoup so much money from the sales of their players(e.g. Modric, Bale, Coutinho, Suarez, Kante, Drinkwater, Van Dyke etc) and Arsenal struggle to get the best price out of the departing players. However, that has changed since the arrival of Mislintat. We sold Walcott, who is 29 for £20million, sold Coquelin for £10.6m and even Giroud for £18m at 31, I can only say that’s the way to balance the books.
With all these businesses concluded on Wednesday night, Arsenal fans around the world can begin to breathe a sigh of new life as we are now beginning to see signs of changes from the board to move us back to our glory days. I can only imagine which team will mark out Aubameyang, LACA, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ozil for 90mins (may God help them).
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