Ivan Gazidis has talked about Arsenal’s transfer intentions, and has hinted that the club will look to the lower leagues to find players, in much the same way that Leicester did.
The Premier League champions plucked players like N’Golo Kante and Riyah Mahrez from relative obscurity in France, the Arsenal Chief Executive has highlighted that as a potential market for Arsenal.
Speaking to ESPN, he said, “Leicester identified players from the French second division, so maybe there’s talent that we’ve been overlooking. They did their talent identification well, they had great unity within the group, as well as quality.
“It wasn’t built on money. It was built on the great fitness work they did. It was built on all of these other elements. I think that’s going to be a continuing trend within the Premier League.”
Arsenal have spent £35m on Granit Xhaka, but the Swiss international remains the only signing of note so far this summer.
Gazidis, despite the fact that Arsenal have more cash at hand than any other club in world football, and are flush like everyone else with an outrageous amount of TV money, still played down the club’s spending power.
“We’re making progress in what is a fiercely competitive world, against competitors that have the capability to spend far more money than we do,” he said.
“We’re doing it by being very, very disciplined; spending money where we believe it makes a difference, but also giving young players a chance and believing in ourselves and our values.”
Is that a sign that the club aren’t willing to use the money they have to sign players to make the team truly competitive? It may just be playing it down as we try and act in the market, but seasoned Arsenal watchers will be somewhat worried.
Still, don’t worry, the fact that the Premier League is more competitive now is a bonus for us because that means you can get away without massive spending. At least it seems like that’s the implication when he talks about how more teams than ever are potential title contenders.
“I think it’s fantastic news for the Premier League, I think it’s fantastic news for fans of football,” he said.
“And I think it’s good news for fans of Arsenal because I think the keys to success will be how well you do things, and not just about financial firepower.”
Is there a ‘deep sigh’ emoji? Because I really want to use that now.
That’s as close as we can get.