Which clubs have the greatest ability to attract new players?

The Independent has a nice phrase for it: “Arsène Wenger’s German reunification plans”.
The issue on that front of course is Khedira.  Does he want to play along with Mesut Özil, Podolski and the BFG?  Everyone agrees Khedira won’t be a Real Mad player come 31 August but where will he go?
You may recall the wild ranting and ravings of the AAA over the supposed laziness of Messrs Gazidis and Wenger over signing players.  Well, just imagine they were Real Mad supporters.  Last season they had to wait and wait for Bale to arrive, only to find that their favourite Özil was leaving.
Then Manchester United (supposedly a club that always goes out and  gets their man straight off), placed a £34m bid for Khedira too late and lost out to the transfer deadline. Oh can you imagine the AAA if Arsenal did that?
Apparently Khedira has a net salary of  £2.5m but he wants more – a lot more. But he was injured a lot last year. Jose Mourinho is said to have valued his “intelligence and character” not to mention his work rate, but those are not the same characteristics that Mr Wenger often seems to value.
So what of our Thomas Vermaelen?  The current talk is that Arsenal want a player exchange – or even player exchanges with Man U for Vermaelen.  Who is it he wants?  Smalling?  We are holding out, and if he runs down his contract, so be it.
Certainly we can’t go throwing out our central defenders now we have lost Sagna who could play in two positions.
On the goal keeping front my thought that we already have a decent back up keeper has not found favour elsewhere, and it is said that Arsenal are going for the Colombia international David Ospina.  If so, that means once again using one player in the league and another in the cups.

41 Replies to “Which clubs have the greatest ability to attract new players?”

  1. There can be little doubt that no player has ever signed to join Arsenal solely for the money.
    Historically, the Club has enjoyed a rightful reputation for good manners, a business-like approach and a certain amount of prudence.
    And since the arrival of Arsene Wenger, one could add the vision, experience and integrity which is now well known throughout the globe.
    Many a player joining Arsenal has admitted that the main attraction was the chance of playing under Wenger’s stewardship.
    Some will criticise the Club’s apparent policy of setting its own value of a wanted player and not budging from that. This policy may now have reluctantly changed somewhat, in the light of out of control costs in the sport e.g. Ozil bought for £42m last season.

  2. Rumours that Khedira is back on again. Must say that if his alleged wages blow the budget to the extent published then it may be better if he didn’t come…

    On the other hand, I though he was majestic in the WC Semi against Brazil (remembering that he missed almost the entire season with a serious injury).

    On the other other hand, I also remember John Jensen’s performance in the Euro Final for Denmark way back when…

  3. But to get back on topic, it does now seem that our transfer dealings are starting to generate their own momentum. If players can see Ozil and Sanchez coming in but no one significant leaving then it has to send a strong message.

    Might be time to nip down to the bookies and have a small wager on us for the title. I see that 7/1 is still available…

  4. We certainly are one of the clubs with the ability to attract attract new players (and world class ones at that), and if recent trends continue will continue to do so, but to maintain this “attraction” we have to obviously remain (or be perceived) as one of the:
    a) best performing EPL clubs
    b) best paying (wages),
    c) most stable in terms of retaining our management/coaching staff.
    If we can keep our players fit & reasonably free from injury and mount a successful Champions League challenge then we will be in a position to be a number one destination.

  5. @Pete,
    Regardless as to whether the rumours are true or false, it would be fatal to sign Khedira as the top earner. Just the catalyst for dressing room disharmony before the season even starts.
    Simply cannot see Arsene being held to ransom on an important issue like this.

  6. @Nicky – yes, agreed.

    Also, I believe he is more of a box-to-box player (Ramsey) than a holding midfielder. It is difficult to see how Wilshere, never mind Diaby, will get a game now? But there shouldn’t be too many complaints about light squad numbers now, other than the defence – possibly dependent on signings. (Could Jenkinson act as CB cover, a la Sagna? I recall it being one of his positions at the time we signed him? Although would still need 3 specialists there ahead of him – which we currently have, notwithstanding Vermaelen question marks).

    With all the youngsters (e.g. Ox, Gnabry, Sanogo) another year more experienced, it might become challenging to keep everyone happy?

  7. well summed up. Seems we are quite the attractive proposition now.
    In comparison with the other clubs, all I would add is that this year, Man Utd will get back one of their main advantages they have over us again, as Messrs Riley and Scudamore join the media salivating over Van Gaal

  8. @Pete,
    My Fab Four I hope to see blossoming at the Ems this coming season are
    Campbell. Hope he stays to learn and doesn’t go out on loan.
    Sanogo. Ditto
    Jenks. An Arsenal star in the making.
    Diaby. I hope and pray that this will be his resurgence season.

  9. Attracting players is the most important, but..
    looking at what the Germans came through -triumph after a difficult draw most of the way through, much of it in extreme heat, looks like we have attracted a top class fitness guy in Mr Forsyth as well. He may help us deal with the excesses of the PGMOL. Just hope if Khedira does arrive, he goes easy on him in match warm ups!
    And we have attracted a youth director with a bit of an impressive CV as well
    Things looking up all round

  10. @Mandy Dodd
    ‘as Messrs Riley and Scudamore join the media salivating over Van Gaal’
    Is this a throwaway remark or have Riley and Scudamore actually said something to prompt your assertion?

  11. Let this be Diabys season.

    Some body teach Sanchez how to wear the shorts. Rumor has it Song was sold for not wearing the shorts the way it should be.

  12. ICK, speculation based on Scudamores remarks about Utd being successful and its significance for the EPL brand. Riley – Man Utd, and the UK media – Van Gaal , needs no further comment from me.
    So many things were stacked in Utds favour under Fergie, things changed under Moyes, lets see what happens now under Van Gaal- I fear the worst but am open to being pleasantly surprised

  13. I don’t get the uneasiness some have about breaking the wage structure for players like Khedira if he were to sign with Arsenal. If Wenger deems him important enough to complete the squad , then £150K per week might not be such a bad deal considering his transfer fee is rumored at £20 to £25M. Years of “socialistic” wage structure brought us nothing so maybe this is the better way. Besides , footballers might not be rocket scientists but the can do simple math. If Ozil cost Arsenal £42.3M in transfer fees, plus £7.3M per year which makes it about £78M for the duration of his 5 year contract, then Khedira’s cost to Arsenal would come at a significantly lower number than that.

    Besides , if you trusted Wenger and the management when they weren’t spending , why don’t you trust them now when they are ?

  14. Tom
    If we want the best, then we have to show the footballing world we can afford the best.
    Sol Campbell broke our old pay structure (using your math example by the way) and we have been gradually moving towards the uppermost areas of Premier League footballer salaries.
    If we are identified as one of the better payers we will have the ability to attract the new players, which is what the OP asked before the thread started sliding off post.

  15. @Tom&Oldgroover,
    Afraid I can’t agree.
    Assuming footballers are human, there is nothing more disruptive in the dressing room than a newcomer arriving, untested,but with top wages. But not only that. Top wages because he demanded that as a condition before agreeing to join.
    Much of Arsenal’s success over the centuries has been based on the principle of harmony and I simply cannot imagine the Club accepting Khedira’a alleged ultimatum.

  16. I’m with you on this one nicky.

    Khedira is a good player but is he more valuable to the club than Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey, Walcott etc?

    If he is, OK pay him accordingly, but good player or not the others look more valuable to the club just now.

  17. Everything has its price. Arsenal have a system of growing and its salary structure follows a set of rules. If any player wants a higher salary he can work for it through performance bonus. That way the team benefits and grows together. The demands of some players can be outside this structure and can destabilise the team. Wenger has been careful but has still been caught out by unacceptable behaviour of some well paid players.

    Arsenal’s administration has been astute, admirable and an example for others. The financial control of all aspects has kept the club stable.

    I know that whatever Arsene does, he does with intelligent forethought. He balances the financial cost with the sporting gain and the wellbeing of the club. It is a rare gift to have a manager who is careful with finances and successful on the field.

  18. Nicky
    “Untested”? A Spanish Cup winner, a Spanish League winner, a Spanish Super-cup winner, a World Cup winner, a European under 21 Cup winner , a Bundesliga winner. The prevalent word being a “winner” . Like it or not but a player with that kind of CV will demand the sort of wages Khedira is seeking. Now I don’t know if his agent has put it like that “Khedira wants to be the highest payed player ” but if he did I wouldn’t see it as an insult , considering the rest of Arsenal players apart from the German contingency have but one FA cup medal to show for.

    And by the way ,there is one other thing that’s a bigger chemistry killer within the squad rather than someone’s higher wages and that’s what top players consider “weak links” within a squad. Players who aren’t up to the job of winning the league or the CL. Fortunately Arsenal have got rid of most of them already.

  19. Tom,
    By “untested” I meant at Arsenal. No matter how many medals a player has earned, when he moves to a new country, new language, new club and new comrades, he is moving into unknown territory. (Remember the Russian, a few years ago?)
    One solution to his wage demand might be to obtain a consensus of opinion in the dressing room itself.
    In the hope that each player, satisfied with his lot, would not be concerned with the earnings of others.

  20. Khedira wants more because he was underpaid at Real Madrid; the solution may be a sign-on bonus as the transfer fee from Real Madrid has dropped a bit, and a sign-on bonus may be the best solution to this quandary.
    As to being attractive:
    -Van Gaal (manure): will attract regular masochists who enjoy being yelled at.
    -Mourinho (chelski): will attract devious masochists who enjoy the moral pain inflicted by the spatial one when he reveals to the press what player failed every time a bad performance has to be discussed
    -Pocchetino (spuds): worries me, as the name implies a continuation of some Redknapp or Graham bungs
    -Pellegrini (citeh): competent and gig pays well, but supporters are alas very few
    -Rogers (mugsmashers): competent when team has bite to it; less hungry the coming year
    -Martinez (toughies): talks too much; we in the colonies were subjected to this (on espn) for 30+ days

  21. Well firstly it’s all just rumours at the moment. But the rumours are Khedira wants £100k *after tax*. If the tax rates is 45% (please correct me on this rate), then that works out as roughly £180k per week as the true figure we are looking at, and that really is too much. Remember, after Özil signed, we updated the contracts of several players to bring their wages in line with his. We really won’t be able to do that if we agree to Khedira’s (supposed) wage demands. Plus Khedira only has one year left on his contract. Chelsea may have that kind of money, but we don’t.

  22. @Ray

    The difficulty we all have when following a story like the Khedira transfer, real or phantom, is that the media spews out a heap of nonsense usually totally detached from the truth.

    However, if wages are indeed an impediment it could well be due to the antics of the agent rather than the player. I have no basis for such speculation – other than my view that agents are largely parasites and part of the problem re the escalation of transfer costs.

  23. @Ray from NV & bjtgooner,
    You both make valid points.
    1.Some sort of signing-on bonus may be away of overcoming the wages problem.
    2. All this brouhaha may well be a move by the player’s agent to increase his own income.

  24. bjtgooner
    Agree about agents, but they do a great job for their clients who are often not the brightest, and these stories (about salaries etc.) probably are agent generated, but that’s what they’re paid to do.
    On the whole I think they do a decent honest job, and we all know who the detestable ones are.
    Gone are the days when George Graham could tell a player he’s transferred him against his wishes.
    I still think we could attract the very best world players without there being any locker room conflicts. If for example £150,000+ per week soon becomes our highest wage, then a mark has been set and this would be reflected in the next round of contract negotiations.

  25. @oldgroover

    Suppose you accept £150,000pw as the mark – what happens next time when you want a player badly but he and his agent hold out for £175,000pw? Do you move the goalposts again?

    All hypothetical I know. So I come back to my earlier position – would Khedira be of more value to the club than either Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez, Walcott etc. If not then it would be strange to pay him more.

    At present most clubs seem to be trying to reduce the wage bill or at least minimize the upward spiral – as they try to keep on the right side of FFP; so the appalling trend in wage growth, led by the obscenely rich clubs, will hopefully be minimized if not reversed.

    Anyway, as stated above this is all hypothetical, I am not sure how serious Arsenal are about Khedira at this stage.

  26. What this article fails to recognise is the impact of the Premier Leagues FFP and in particular the restrictions around wage growth being limited to £4 million per season.

    In many respects the FFP will disadvantage Arsenal .

    You really haven’t moved on many high wage earners since the cap was implemented and the cash reserves you have built up can not be used to supplement any growth nor will the increased TV monies received.
    Yes the Emirates deal will allow a certain amount of growth but if reports are to be believed Ozil`s wages alone will have accounted for a significant % of the additional and the improved contracts signed last year all have to be factored in.

  27. Attract who you like ………..but Smalling……no way.

    It might as well be Carrick and Jones.

    For heaven’s sake do we really need Manure dross.

  28. If Khedira really wants to come to Arsenal, he will compromise.

    @bob mac
    True, we relly really do not need Manu left overs.
    Funny how Manc is “almost” made up of ex Arsenal players now.

    I think most have relaxed now concerning transfers. Who ever comes now can only be icing on the cake.

    Betting people, i surely would bet on PL title next season if i was a betting person.

    It would be nice if there was a basic wage, say 150.000 for ALL players, then they earn extra by performances.
    A Team performance would give the same bonus to all players.
    A goal a certain amount.
    A GK save or a defender save a certain amount.
    A successful tackle a certain amount. ect ect.
    I wonder if this would not work much better? It seems too late for any change now, at least for the moment. FFP is a start i suppose, and Arsenal pay structure too, but Arsenal may well have to increase that structure a little more too.

  29. btjgooner
    I hadn’t factored in FFP, but assume then that wages will plateau somewhere slightly above our current top earner scales.
    As regards Khedira, I’d already said (a few days ago) that I don’t see any added value (other than as Ôzil’s hand holder) as he only duplicates what we already have with Ramsey & Diaby, so I won’t contradict myself on that. Can we afford three players of that type? Maybe Arsène sees him in a different role, it’s not my call thank goodness.
    Honestly, I don’t know if he’s value at that wage, but if push came to shove I’d say not worth it.

  30. Guess SK might compromise, but then again, all will depend on what other offers he has or is likely to get. Market forces and all that…..ultimately, such a commodity, like a work of art is worth what suitors are willing to pay, but with such a player, the prestige of the suitor will come into it, think he will take arsenal on 130 grand a week if the only other bidder is owned by some war zone based oligarch with UN indictments offering 250 grand a week.
    With SK, think the key will be whether Chelsea or Liverpool… are interested and what they are willing to pay. Cannot see BM, City, PSG or Barca needing him, as RM don’t need him now. Man Utd.maybe…depends if he wants CL football.

  31. There is the possibility that SK and his agent are using the alleged interest from Arsenal etc to support a wage hike at Real Madrid – who knows.

  32. bjtgooner: I agree with you. Sign-on bonuses usually go to (parasitic) agents.

  33. Why on earth would Chelsea want Khedira. They already have Willian, Ramires, Matic, Hazard, Oscar, Schurrle, Fabregas, Mikel, Salah, Moses and Marin. Have I forgotten anyone. The only reason they would go in for him that I can see would be to stop us getting him.

  34. bjt agreed with you both on that one, Chelsea would quite happily do that they have history. ffs they even signed Scott Parker a few years back as Charlton were a threat to them!

  35. Khedira is not worth 20million let alone £150k per week. Final year contract and almost a year out injured. Perhaps World Cup medal weight in his market value. Would a waste of money if he did not perform as expected in first season. The wolves from media barn are waiting to pounce too. I think Arsene will consider his many available options before spending again. He is playing the team anyways so guess he knows what he wants.

  36. Well Joachim Loew said that Khedira was his most important player for Germany but nevermind,what does he know and anyway we have Diaby who seems to get better in the minds of supporters the longer he is out for.Personally I have never rated him as he is not physical enough to be a DM and not good enough at keeping possession to be a playmaker.Still enjoy watching Khedira at Stamford Bridge next season whilst we continue to get outmuscled by the likes of Chelsea,United,City and Bayern.

  37. Linz

    Since when has having ‘unlimited funds’ morphed into having more ‘muscle’ ?

    Oh I know, it’s Since you decided it reflected worse on Wenger to say he’s ‘our muscled’ rather than what really might happen which is he may be ‘out bid’ by a club with a bottomless pit of money.

    Seems to me as long as you can twist things to blame Wenger you’re happy.

  38. I would put Arsenal as third in the table of attraction to other players (generally) behind City and then Chelsea – they don’t have to play qualifiers and they can pay handsomely for the best talent.
    However, for certain players, London will appeal more than Manchester. For certain players if they have any former or international team-mates, then that could swing things.
    And for some, the wages being offered to entice them to United will utterly turn their heads. We’ve seen it with Liverpool, mercenaries only tend to play well when a move to a bigger club is on offer.
    Khedira would probably like to re-unite with his friends from the national team.

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