Board member reveals Wenger could “buy most players”

Board member reveals Wenger could “buy most players”

Arsenal’s non-executive director Lord Harris of Peckham says Arsene Wenger can target pretty much any player he likes this summer claiming the club’s budget means it would be easy to eclipse the £42.5 million fee paid for Mesut Ozil.

Speaking to The Times (paywalled), Harris – who has been on the Gunners’ board since 2005 – made clear that the end-game of the club’s transfer business is to create a squad capable of winning the Premier League and Champions League.

“We want to win the Premier League and the Champions League. If we buy two or three players then I think we can.

“We want to win. We don’t want to be second, we don’t want to be third and we don’t want to be fourth. We will support Arsene with the players he wants to buy. He has always been encouraged to spend.”

Unwilling to be drawn on an exact ‘warchest’ figure, the 71-year-old did let on that breaking Arsenal’s record transfer fee was well within grasp, if the manager felt the right player was available.

“We would. It would be easy. I wouldn’t say it [the total transfer budget] is £100 million, I wouldn’t say it’s £50 million and I wouldn’t say it’s £150 million.

“If Arsene has asked for any player then we have always backed him to go and buy. With the exception of Messi, Ronaldo or Bale, we could buy most players.”

Harris also touched on Arsene Wenger’s contract situation revealing that the Frenchman had verbally committed himself to a new deal as far back as the autumn before joking the 64-year-old could stay on past his mooted three-year deal were he to keep winning trophies.

“He gave us his word back in the autumn, just after the season started, and it was just a case of sorting it out.

“If he wins the league and the cup and the Champions League in the next three years, then I am sure he will stay [on after that].”

Unsurprisingly positive stuff from the club’s hierarchy given last weekend’s FA Cup win. And yes, for you cynics out there, the Gold Level season ticket renewal deadline is 1 June.

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114 COMMENTS

    • That’s it.Make it public we have money and the price of any player we need will now double. Doh

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    • He could have bought most players for several years now according to newspapers and Arsenal financial numbers. However we all know Wenger will likely go for 2 or 3 free Bosman signings and perhaps burn 20-30 mill on a decent player, unless it is one of the best players in the world like Özil, then he might stretch it past 40 mill.

      No way in Hell he will burn 100+ mill on players, it is just not going to happen. Why would he abandon his principles now after all these years. Maintain Green numbers in the financial protocol. Nothing is more important than this. And if we by accident win a trophy while still spending a fraction of the kind of money our rivals do, then that is a welcomed bonus, but at the end of the day not that important.

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    • To be fair, people said this last year, then we got Flamini (even though it was for free) and then we spent a huge amount on Ozil.

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    • Pretty sure that season ticket renewals are always around the time that the transfer window is open…

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      • Off topic but I have just arrived in dirty old London Town for the first time and wanted to share this moment with y’all. Going to the Emirates stadium tomorrow and excited beyond words! Since I’m a kiwi who has supported the arsenal for the past 8 years I’m sure you can appreciate my happiness. Just wish I could see a game there, but life ain’t always fair when you live on the opposite side of the planet. I’m not afraid to say I shed a few tears with our FA cup triumph this year! Onwards and upwards!!

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        • It’s unreal mate went and did the tour before the fulham game and it was a cracker of an afternoon! Said to myself i wouldn’t buy merchandise and be suckered into it by the gift shops ploys saw an 89 away jersey and BAM. contributed to paying park chu youngs wages.

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  1. Lord Harris of Peckham just sounds like a made up title.

    This is good though, I’m feeling relatively positive about a transfer window for the first time.

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  2. these interviews are much easier to believe since we won a trophy…before that it was “yeah, yeah. you guys said that last transfer window…”

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      • The reason why I am negative towards our chances in this window is because the right players doesn’t seem to be available. I don’t expect us to get Martinez, neither do I believe we can get Benzema.. Then who else is there to get which would boost our title chances?

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  3. Fighting talk… And most unlike Arsenal. I’m not sure I like this.
    No, wait, yes I do. Although I’m not sure that it’s in our best interests to boast (a la United or Spurs) about how much money we have, in case it drives up prices. Although then again, it might also convince top names of our ambition… So carry on, sir. I’ve got no idea what the consequences will be, but the fact that we can now say this kind of thing makes it all fine!

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  4. I’ve been a resident of Peckham for almost 19 years and not once did I realise we had a lord, or that it was the same lord who made all the schools into Harris academies, or that he was an Arsenal director…

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    • Yes it’s the dude with the schools
      Nice to see a Southey on here,ps don’t you think it’s funny that spuds try to wind us up about not really being a North London club and that we’re originally from South London lol
      I love that we’re from South London ,idiots

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  5. it’ll be interesting to see how van Gaal does at the Glazerhawks this summer – for all the talk about how important European football is, I’m fairly certain that money is the main factor – although if we sign somebody for less salary than they would have got at ManUre and they cite European Cup football as a factor, I’ll eat a nice tasty slice of pork pie by way of demonstrating humility.

    Getting Cesc back would be good, Milner to convert to RB/utility midfield enforcer alongside Flamini, plus a top top top striker. Not too much to ask, now, is it?

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      • Because Cesc is a misfit at Barcelona.
        They just keep moving him around the whole playing field, and don’t know how to utilise him.
        On top of that if they want to buy more players, they’ll need to recoup some of the money..

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    • For a top top top striker I think there’s only two that will feasibly move clubs – Costa and Cavani. Both of which have been linked heavily with Chelsea. We need to step up our game if we want a big striker signing.

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      • Grant Holt is big, he’s fucking massive. Although I don’t know that we’d be able to get him to be fair.

        I do sometimes wonder what the younger generation of Arsenal fans would make of watching Martin Hayes and Niall Quinn up front, with Iain Allinson on the bench. I suspect they’d desert in droves off to pastures more glamorous to cheer on Gary, Ossie and Glenda – real, proper superstars.

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  6. Don’t understand this logic of telling everyone how much money you have.

    We are just going to get clubs putting up the price for players they wish to sell.

    I’m sure Wenger must be pissed about these stories.

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    • In return they run around in an Arsenal shirt next season and, if you ask very nicely, they use their foot to guide a spherical object into the back of the net. Mighty interesting stuff, this transfer business.

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  7. We’re losing between 3 and 5 players. Lord posh of Peckham palace better aim higher than “2 or 3″ additions pls thx

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  8. Not sure turning Milner into a right back is the correct way to go here. I think we need a more defensively minded right back who can go forward a bit to provide balance to the team. Gibbs always tends to be the one bombing forward so we when we get caught on the break (which does happen from time to time) the right-back is in position and the defenisve midfielder (Scneiderlain would be ideal) can cover Gibbs space or man. If we brought back Cesc, got Greizeman or Vela, Remy, a right-back (not sure who) and Scneiderlain I would be happy enough. If Tommy V leaves then we need a centre-half as well. Oh and a reserve keeper is needed. David Marshall would fit the bill nicely.

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    • yeah, it might be better to have an established defender and teach him to get forward some, given our collapses this season. all the same, milner does, as they say, have a phenomenal work rate. and i think he can cross.

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      • and we’d be poaching one of city’s few homegrown players, which would force them to overspend wildly on english ‘talent’ because every would know how desperate they are.

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    • If Tommy V leaves I would suggest we would need two centre halves. Sagna was our other one, and it would be criminal not to go into a season without four centre halves. We got really lucky this season with BFG and Koscielny staying fit almost all the time.

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    • Typically Fat gooner chooses to ignore that fact that we won The FA cup

      Even if we win the champs lge, i bet you’ll still have something negative to say

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      • Fatgooner sold his username and pw to a professional troll consortium based in Malaysia, for an undisclosed fee. His posts are now made by paying customers of an online trolling university – coursework for the “Football Troll” module.

        At least, that’s what I heard.

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  9. He is responsible for all the Harris Academy’s (schools) in London. Very real title and very real philanthropist. Renewed mine last week not because of who we are or are not going to buy but because being there live is an amazing feeling. Oh yeah and I love Arsenal ;-)

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  10. Does this mean we can finally afford to sign that Sagna chap to play at right back? I hear he’s quite good

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  11. Relax guys clubs have known we have had money to spend for over a year now. Lord Harris didn’t say exactly what the figure was. Gazidis made the bold claims of being an ambitious club with loads of new cash to spend around this time last year. We signed Mesut Özil, and have tried big bids for Higuain, Suarez, Bender, and Draxler.

    The club wasn’t used to shopping at tag high end of the market, but we have an excellent platform now, the negativity around the club is gone, and we have more money coming in as well. Everyone knows that this summer is our big chance to catch up the likes of City and Chelsea, I’m convinced we will spend money, the board and Arsene Wenger aren’t stupid.

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    • Agree, but most people still focus on size of war-chests and spending money instead of buying well, strengthening, and bringing in quality.

      Sp*ds spent loads of money last summer and they are still Sp*ds.

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      • yeah, the “seven players Wenger MUST BUY TO WIN”-articles I keep seeing is so ridiculous I want to puke. Why would anyone (other than Sp*rs of course but they’re always gonna Sp*r) disrupt an entire team a couple of years in the making by buying seven(!) new players?

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        • ^this. This is why Wenger will not be bringing in a dozen new players this summer.

          We have a good squad already. The minimum we need is a striker and a replacement for outgoing players. The maximum is a striker, replacements, one versatile player to provide cover in case of injury and an improvement at ONE (maybe two) positions. If we replace our starting striker AND our starting right back, we don’t need 3 other new starters. We led the league in injuries, but even on our worst weeks injury-wise, we were fielding a solid midfield.

          A bit of depth would be nice—but a couple of versatile players and one winger will cover us in case of injuries without upsetting the balance of a team that had a really good league campaign, kept up with Bayern when we were at full strength (before they quit for the year, too), and won the FA cup. The contrast between our home and away performances against the top sides points to a mental/tactical problem, not a huge gap in quality. Let’s not be upset when Wenger doesn’t build a brand new team this summer.

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      • Tottenham Hotspur:

        First they had Gareth Bale. Then they had GBP86mm.

        Now, they have neither.

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  12. I like these words.

    I … I feel truth in these. And isn’t it nice to know they pressure Wenger? In the dark times “Wenger has too much control” becomes a truncheon to beat our manager with. So now we know at least someone up there lets Wenger know they want to buy.

    Anyways. Here’s to a veritable Toad in the Hole of signings … juicy bangers up front, gorgeous Yorkshire pudding clogging up the midfield and salt and pepper and gravy to spice up, season and lubricate that right-hand side.

    Arsenal Arsenal Arsennnaaalllll

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  13. 71. Hill-Wood was around that age too wasn’t he, and Sir Chips must be nudging 80 too? Jesus we have an elderly board. Is that a similar situation at many other clubs?

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  14. Mmmm…..Toad in the Hole.
    That’s my dinner sorted tonight, thanks Policeman’s bangers ‘n’ mash. ;)

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  15. A few things:

    1. “2 to 3 players” is a rehearsed line.

    2. If they (Board and all others inside there) stop talking, we wouldn’t have much to talk about on the blogs.

    3. …a question (probably warrants no answer), are they really only six who decide some of those big decisions? Amazing but that’s how things work.

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  16. We don’t need to spend money. I heard there’s an amazing international striker who’s available and out of contract this summer. I think his name is Bendtner. Sign him up!

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  17. I hate this time of the year. Luckily we have World Cup this year so thats a nice distraction. Anyway, Lars Bender pulled out off it due to injury. Shame, else we can see whats the fuss about.

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  18. Lars Bender pulling out gives us a better chance at signing him (hopefully) Haven’t the board and Gazidis been saying these kinda things for years? Heaps pressure on Wenger and/or makes us look a bit foolish when we inevitably make an arse of the transfer window.

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  19. I think other clubs are perfectly aware of our financial clout by now it’s been a long time coming, we knew once the stadium was paid that we would be spending big. Well I always thought an hoped we would. Been a long time since we were able to strengthen our squad two years running I just really hope they do it right an replace the players that are probably leaving with hopefully cover in defence an midfield with big competition for places, adding more rotation to avoid what I think is our biggest problem that our players get too overworked which leads to injury (not saying that’s the only reason we get injured but I think it’s a factor). I think Giroud showed signs of serious quality last year just needs a good start again and arsenal playing well he’ll be burying plenty. I’d love more than anything for us to buy someone 50mil plus an have him fight for his place but I just can’t at the moment think of a player who we can buy who’s really loads better. I think it would be better to advance him again an bring more support with a player who’s competition for him someone like remy, realistically what super striker is available? If we are to buy big I think it will be somebody quite unexpected. Unless someone knows something I don’t? Will see but do have a great squad even without added signings it’s just injuries that cost us so dearly. With Rambo putting his feet up an relaxing enjoying the World Cup he should be a lot sharper than other players knackered out from no break, if he stays injury free I predict him to be considered one of the worlds top players by the end of next season people may call that a mad prediction but I think he has the potential to be one if the best players I’ve ever seen at this club he was on fire until that injury an he ended on fire he could destroy the world next year. hopefully theo will be well recovered too he’s due his amazing season always believed he had the potential to be a savage an it’s got to be this one he proves how good I think he really is. So a few players and added belief and confidence from winning the trophy we should be smashing teams next season. So glad Wenger will now finnally get a real chance at proving things again without all the financial burden he’s had.

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    • What is really exciting is the prospect of Giroud coming on with a world-class striker when Wenger does his “we need to score, so let’s switch to a 4-4-2″ thing. I’m genuinely confused as to why we never had Giroud/Podolski up front this season—but I think Giroud would be excellent playing off another striker.

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  20. If you consider Ramsey and Walcott were probably good for 15 to 20 goals between them had they stayed fit we would have went pretty close
    Giroud does what he can with the tools he has but finished on 16 premier league goals.A 25 to 30 goal striker would have made our goal difference stats not far different to Man City

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  21. Heard all before so many times. Even before gazidis the same lines came from various board members only to lead to the usual panic on transfer deadline day.

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  22. This might be left field but what about Hulk? He scored a lot of goals at Porto has pace, skill a vicious shot and obviously strength plus he can play along the front line although he’s not known for tracking back…

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  23. I’ve just read on LadyArse that we’ve released Bendtner, Park and Aneke, amongst a few other lesser known youth players. Shame about Aneke, I thought he might be a goody but he hasn’t quite cut it.
    It appears we’re keeping hold of Afobe, Akpom, Eisfeld, Wellington and Ryo, at least for now, if their list is correct. I can’t honestly see any of them making it, sadly but would love to be proven wrong. I would especially love to see Akpom get a chance but it seems like Sanogo is ahead of him and his route to the first team is blocked. He looked pretty decent in the last preseason then didn’t get a sniff this season.

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  24. Let’s see:
    – officially leaving we have: Sagna (RB#1), Bendtner (ST#4), Park (ST#5), Källström (CM#5), Djourou (CB#4), Fabiansky (GK#2), possibly Viviano (GK#3), possibly Vermaelen (CB#3).
    – currently on loan that could come back: Campbell (WG/ST), Coquelin (DM/RB).

    So assuming all go and the loanees get into the squad for next year, purely number-wise we need: GK#2 and GK#3, RB#1, ST#4, CB#3. That’s 5 players.

    Of course we may go for some improvements: a ST like Griezman or Vela would be above Sanogo and challenge Giroud & Walcott.

    The main worry is CB#3 for me: attract someone good enough, but not to the point of breaking the Kos-Per partnership.

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  25. Incredibly stupid comments really, why give potential selling clubs a hint of our spending power? It just gives them the incentive to increase the transfer price.

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    • Yeah not sure what help stroking our ego will do for us in the market.

      Wenger is nominally reticent about needing to add simply bc he has to bargain for a good price by maintaining a strong position. Anyone who has done some rudimentary haggling in a camel market or otherwise should know this.

      Looks like a suit covering his arse and pushing the ball into Wenger’s court.;)

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  26. Cos he can afford most players. 42.3m wasn’t chum change.

    but expenditure of this sort of magnitude would have an impact on other incomings.

    Last summer, Wenger also brought Flamini and Snaogo in (not to mention Viviano on loan), and they were rather cheap to balance the big money signing.

    I suspect this summer will be different cos he has to reinforce RB, CB and GK.

    That would have an impact on the striker.

    If we can bring those 3 positions in for 30m+ max, we can commit another 30m+ to a good quality striker.

    Spending should top off at 60m IMO.

    Frankly, I don’t see DM as a priority. This should be revisited next summer. Arteta, Flamini (and to a lesser extent) Diaby should be good for this season. So no DM.

    However the CB could add depth in midfield. He should also be quality enough to force his way into rotation with metersceilny.

    Any attacking mid additions would IMO be dependent on if someone leaves. highly unlikely.

    There may be a couple of youth signings in addition but that is about it 9which is still plenty to add)

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  27. If the stories that Sideshow Bob will sign for £50m for PSG shows that the bar has moved up again this year.

    What price now a decent Golden Boot striker if a dodgy tosser can command that price?

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  28. I repeat:

    I have Utter massive faith in our mighty glorious FA Cup winning Gunners!

    But…Zero faith when any suit starts talking about already working hard for next season.

    The last day of the transfer window is already calling our name.

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