Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Must Play Transfer Game or Face Being Left Well Behind

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wenger Must Play Transfer Game or Face Being Left Well Behind

Article excerpt

Byline: Harry Redknapp Read him every Thursday

ARSENAL should never have left themselves short of players for the start of the season but I can see why Arsene Wenger is struggling to find quality signings.

I watched most of the games at Euro 2016: where were the decent players? There weren't many who jumped out and made me think 'if I was Arsenal manager, I'd sign him'.

I do worry about the standard of players in general. There are so many put on a superstar pedestal and they have done nothing to merit that status in their careers. The television money has gone up, inflating fees as a result, but that doesn't mean the quality of players has got any better.

Look at the team that won it. Portugal didn't have any superstars aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn't have an amazing tournament himself.

Arsenal fans want Wenger to sign Alexandre Lacazette but how can he be worth anything like the PS60million Lyon are apparently asking? That asking price is probably twice as much as he is worth. You don't mind giving PS5m more for a player in some circumstances but paying double the price when he didn't even make the France squad for Euro 2016? They already have Olivier Giroud, who led the French attack in that tournament, so there is a strong argument to suggest Lacazette cannot be an upgrade if his country turned its back on him.

Every club is looking for top players and everyone says Arsenal need a centre-half. Manchester City have spent a fortune on centre-backs and what did they end up with? Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi cost about PS30million each and they've been poor.

What do you get for your money now? John Stones couldn't get in the England team and now City have paid PS50m for him. Arsenal are struggling to find players because they have set high standards for themselves. Injuries in pre-season have cost them Rob Holding is a good prospect but nowhere near ready and Calum Chambers came in as a right-back from Southampton but it is still a big gamble to pay PS30m for Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia or PS40m for Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez. …

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