After farewelling captain Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he will spend big if the right player became available.
The English Premier League club reportedly received an initial fee of 29 million euros from La Liga outfit Barcelona for Fabregas, depriving Wenger’s squad of substantial leadership and quality in midfield.
It has now been six years since Arsenal’s last major trophy, but Wenger has hosed down talk the Gunners cannot compete with the Premier League’s best this season.
The Frenchman has cooled the Gunners’ move for Valencia’s highly regarded winger Juan Mata and distanced reports of a play for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Jadson.
Likely signing Joel Campbell is more a prospect than an immediate first-team prospect, and Wenger said he would release the purse strings if he found the right player.
“I will pay 30 million pounds, I will even pay 40 million pounds if I find the right players,” Wenger told Sky Sports News.
“But it’s not a question of money, it’s a question of quality we find. I think I have a wrong reputation of not wanting to spend money – I do not want to spend money for average players.”
“We are not frightened to spend money when we think it’s right.”
“Our fans have more reasons to be proud of this club – the values here, the way the club is run, what the club is built (upon) – than being angry with the club.”
“Of course we want to deliver trophies, of course we want to win trophies, who wouldn’t want (that)?”
“But we feel we were very close last year and my regret of course is that we didn’t do it but we are battling on all fronts and were a bit unlucky on all fronts I think.”
Wenger said 19-year-old forward Campbell – who impressed for Costa Rica at both the Copa America and Under-20 World Cup – was a gamble ‘worth taking’.
Arsenal agreed a deal for the Deportivo Saprissa player – said to be worth around one million pounds – prior to the Under-20 World Cup in July and August, and are looking to push it through now Campbell’s international commitments are at an end.
“Joel is a young prospect, he has talent and he can play right, left or centrally,” Wenger said.
“We took a gamble on him but, from what we have seen, it is worth taking.”
“Sometimes you feel the reputation of the player is punished by the fact he did not have a massive transfer fee.”
“You would like people to look just at the quality of the players and feel if they are Arsenal players or not.”