Another window has come and gone and I have never been a big fan of deadline day as usually I just ignore everything that happens during the period but writing a football blog sometimes forces you to be in the know of some things and just reading tweets gives you a pulse of what a general opinion on an issue is.
The Arsenal timeline was on fire, tweets were flying in with most castigating the club on the Draxler miss and on signing Kim Kallstrom due to his age and subsequent injury. Various opinions were formed and to be fair everyone is very well entitled to theirs and writing a blog doesn’t mean your opinion is any superior.
I think supporting Arsenal for a long time should have schooled us on how the club conducts its business and hence shape your expectations. At the start of the window, as much as I felt we needed a signing I didn’t think we would make one however the injury to Theo Walcott tilted my opinion towards the manager making a signing to help cushion the loss of goals that come from Theo but even then I had my reservations.
Most felt that player would be Draxler as the media had built the deal so much it seemed a certainty but for price negotiations as he was priced around the 37m pounds. Did Arsenal put in a bid? When is a bid actually put in? Does making an inquiry and haggling about figures actually equate making a bid? Deals like this tend to indicate that having too much information at our finger tips doesn’t necessary make what we read true but it would be a lie if we say we haven’t found a sequence with all these events. We were on with Higuain for so long during the last window only for Florentino Perez to say the same thing; Arsenal didn’t put in a bid.
Most deals that end like this always end up been as a result of how Wenger evaluates the financial aspect of the deal. Is the player worth the amount being requested by the selling club? How much does a player really worth? Is Neymar really worth the official and unofficial amounts he was purchased for? Gareth Bale? MesutOzil? Players worth are usually determined by a whole lot of factors aside from the most obvious which is Talent then age, when you are buying the player summer or winter, if the selling club has time to find a replacement, how much the selling club perceives the buying club really needs the player, agents involved, relationship between both clubs and a host of others. So if you are going for a player at the beginning of a transfer window when the selling club has all the time to find and sign a replacement we don’t expect that the player would cost the same when you go at the end of a window especially at the end of a winter window which is when we have made a habit of.
Wenger only signs exceptional players, at least that is what he tells us and he has an eye for spotting young talent but he wouldn’t pay over the odds for them. Hazard for instance was heavily linked with us and we botched the deal, Chelsea went on to sign him for 32million pounds an amount we most likely couldn’t afford to invest in a young player then, could we be passing on another opportunity to sign one of the brightest talents in Europe yet again? He fits all the bill for being expensive, he is young, he has a resale value, we are buying him in January, the whole world knows we need a striker why did we think we could get him for anything cheaper than what the club had earlier quoted as his buyout clause in the first place. Right now Hazard is worth more than the 32m that was paid for him and the Hazard deal doesn’t look like much of a risk anymore.
Sometimes a players real worth cannot only be measured directly, the effect of certain players transcend money. Money is tangible you can count it, how about the lift it gives the fans, the lift a signing might give other players, a clubs brand can be completely changed by a major signing. Ozil cost us 42million, but can you place an amount on his effect on everyone in and around the club? For the first time in long time we felt like a buying club again. In financial terms how many people were more willing to renew their season tickets on the back of that decision to buy Ozil.
I don’t think Draxler is worth 37million but should we have paid that amount for him I wouldn’t have been pissed either because of what it does for our brand. It shows we can pay top dollar for talent; he is young so it also shows that we are long term with our desire to succeed. I hear Bayern are going in for him, should a battle to sign him start after the World Cup we can kiss him goodbye because then it might come to wages and that’s a battle we won’t ever win. Should they get him they will have Lewandoski (25), Gotze (21), Muller (24) and Draxler (20). A group of players coming into their prime all playing together is certain to secure any clubs future.
Arsenal is a big club and we as a club are valued very highly on lists of profitable sporting ventures and biggest brands in football. When we do deals with other clubs in the same bracket with us we do deals with a view to extracting maximum value from our sales. How is that we expect that other clubs wont demand just as much from us too. Nasri, Adebayour, Toure and RVP were amazing deals on paper and we posted profits all those windows but how much did it cost us in intangible assets, how much did those sales hurt our brand, it doesn’t look really bad for now as Gazidis and his team seem to be doing amazing things with the clubs marketing department but imagine if we kept our best players, won a few trophies in the last few seasons and Gazidis can walk into a negotiation telling the would be sponsor you are dealing with the Premiership champions you might want to consider increasing your valuation.
There is a term in Project Management called ‘bench marking’ and when you benchmark you try to compare whatever project you are undertaking with a similar project a competitor has done or is doing. The competitor can be internal or external in whatever case study but take a football club for instance, are we not meant to be bench marking ourselves with our competitors? Compare your players with players of our direct rivals and see how you can remain competitive. Our current squad is amazing and I sincerely believe we are not far off from the quality we need to win the league and we just need a quality option to play with Giroud or alternate with Giroud. So what is the value that players go for in that bracket? Do we intend to keep paying what Arsene thinks the player is worth or what the market thinks the player is worth? These are questions we must ask ourselves going into future transfer windows as we might not be able to compete against clubs sponsored by countries like PSG, Man City and Monaco but next time we get heads up on a player in the Draxler mode we must take quick advantage and seal the deal before the big hawks come hunting.
Hope you have a great night or day dependent on when you read this. Cheers!!
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