Since the 2003-04 season where Arsenal became the second team to win a top division of English football undefeated, it has came to my attention that they appear to be producing players to a very good quality then selling them on without getting a decent use of their talents. Wenger is internationally known for being able to take virtually unknown players and making them into world class superstars. Take Thierry Henry or Freddie Ljungberg. Both fine examples of the wonders Wenger can do with his players. In more recent times, players of a similar class have been produced at Arsenal Football Club but they do not seem to stay around for long.
Take Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri for instance. He joined Arsenal from Marseilles in 2008 and was still learning his trade. Over his three year stay at Arsenal he really improved as a footballer. Nasri became more creative, he got faster and his reading of the game was near excellence. After a successful third season at the North London club, he featured in the PFA Team of the Year giving himself a boost after loosing out on the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and PFA Young player of the Year to Bale and Wilshere. He was now one of the premier leagues finest midfielders and was really beginning to shine. I’m sure all Arsenal fans would have been licking their lips with their improved playmaker. However, in August 2011 Nasri left the gunners to sign with Manchester City. Just as he was breaking through and really starting to blossom under Wengers management he leaves the club. Now, why would Arsenal let Nasri go to City just as he was beginning to establish himself as a key first team player? Why would Nasri want to leave the club the made him into the player he is after only three seasons? Arsenal should have done everything possible to keep Nasri in their team as he was becoming a key player.
French full back Gael Clichy has a similar story to Nasri. Wenger took him on-board as an 18 year old who still had a lot to learn. During his 8 year stay at Arsenal he became quite a player. But just as Nasri done, he signed for Man City during the summer of 2011. Why he done this? I’m not entirely sure. Did he feel he was too good for Arsenal? Did he want more money? Clichy is a fine example of Wengers work and so he should not have allowed the departure of Clichy.
Another example is the departure of Ashley Cole to Chelsea in 2006. After spending 8 years at Arsenal he turned down a new contract at the gunners and signed with Chelsea as they offered him higher wages. I hate to see players who are after higher wages but surely Arsenal had the funds to be able to keep Cole without selling him to Chelsea, one of their rivals.
So, there are 3 examples of Arsenal being unable to hold on to players that they had turned from average players to premier league quality players. Should this continue then Arsenal fans can expect to see the departure of Robin Van Persie, a world class player who Arsenal have managed to hold on to…for the time being anyway. I would like to see Arsenal keep their best players and challenge to win the premier league instead of settling for third or fourth place. They have the manager to produce amazing youth players and should really be doing everything they can to prevent these players from being lured away to “bigger” clubs. Failure to do so will only increase their status as a feeder club.
So what do you think, are Arsenal Football Club turning into Arsenal Feeder Club?
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