The construction of the Emirates Stadium was supposed to be the start of something special for Arsenal FC. Moving out of their old home Highbury and into a new arena, the fans were promised that the club would compete at the highest level once the debts have been repaid.
However the promises made to the supporters over there years have never materialised, with the club seemingly going backwards over the past few years.
Despite coming close to a top four finish in the League and a place in the UEFA Europa League final, Arsenal ultimately fell short, and failed to qualify for Europe’s elite competition, the UEFA Champions League, for a third consecutive season. Arsenal’s football holidays will not see them grace the stadiums of Europe’s elite this term.
Unai Emery’s first season at the helm was never going to produce instant results, and he has certainly steadied the ship, with a long term aim of taking the club back to where they were previously under Arsene Wenger’s prime years.
However, Emery still has key areas that need to be strengthened, with the side’s defence still needing some urgent attention, a problem that originally stems from Wenger’s tenure prior to his departure in 2018.
It has been reported in various media outlets that Arsenal only have a transfer budget of £40 million this summer, a figure that in today’s current market, will see the club unable to realistically compete.
This was evident earlier in the summer when Crystal Palace winger, Wilfried Zaha informed his club that he wanted to leave, citing a move to Arsenal would be his favoured destination. However with a £100 million price tag attached to Zaha, the transfer was over before it had even begun.
A more realistic option, financially, is Ajax superstar Hakim Ziyech, but the club have not been willing so far to make an offer. He would cost in the region of 35 Million Euros. However, with both Ozil, and also Mkhitaryan currently occupying the No. 10 position, it would be difficult for Emery to also add Ziyech until he has at least offloaded one, if not both, of the aforementioned players.
The club have been trying to offload defender Shkodran Mustafi this summer, but to no avail, with no potential suiters making enquires for the German World Cup winner thus far.
Likewise with midfielder Mesut Ozil, who the club are desperate to offload and free up the huge wages the German is currently earning, but again, very little interest in being shown in the player, who again, failed to shine for much of the last campaign.
Further controversy is now shadowing the red side of North London, with a key player, and long servant to the club, going on strike.
Last week French captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel with the squad ahead of their USA tour, instead opting to stay in London, and train with the clubs youth team ahead of his ultimate departure from the side.
Key player Aaron Ramsey was not offered the contract he sought from the club last season, and has left the club on a free transfer at the start of this month, moving to Serie A champions Juventus. This was not only the loss of a fantastic player, but also a huge financial loss. A player of Ramsey’s credentials would fetch millions in the current market, and Arsenal have lost him for absolutely nothing.
Finally, on Monday 15thJuly, several of the clubs supporter groups united together to make a statement to Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Arsenal team, citing the lack of strategy in the transfer market, and taking aim at the lack of ambition shown by Kroenke.
Who knows what else is in store for the club until the start of the Premier League season, or indeed until the end of the upcoming campaign come May.
These are testing times for the club and it could be a period of regression and transition before the fans can start to contemplate the glory days returning once again to the Emirates.