Wednesday 21 February 2018

Gunners wary of making mistakes in transfers

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis:
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis: "We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money - we have to be very careful, very selective". Photo: PA

Jeremy Wilson

Arsenal's transfer limitations against the financial power of the two Manchester teams were reiterated yesterday by chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who stressed that his club cannot afford any mistakes if they now spend big on a striker or central defender.

Serious injuries to Danny Welbeck and now Per Mertesacker have placed a huge added urgency on the club's transfer planning just 17 days before their Premier League opening fixtures against Liverpool.

Failed bids for Leicester City's Jamie Vardy and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette underline the priority of a new striker but news that Mertesacker will not return after knee surgery before 2017 has also left Wenger acknowledging the need for "experience" at centre-back.

Arsenal have considerable cash reserves even after buying Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding already this summer but thew club's hierarchy appear uncomfortable to be competing in a market where leading players are costing above £50m.

Gazidis believes that the success of Leicester City last season was further evidence that money is relatively less important in a Premier League that is wealthy from top to bottom amid the increase in broadcast revenue.

"We can't afford to outgun competitors that have far more money - we have to be very careful, very selective," said Gazidis.

"That means we can't afford to make huge mistakes in the transfer market."

Xhaka will make his debut for Arsenal against the MLS All-Stars in San Jose tomorrow. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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