In six week’s time Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will celebrate 20 years at the helm of one of the greatest clubs in the world.
But, with all his experience, he still doesn’t appear to have mastered the transfer market.
He certainly knows how to spot a player. But as competition for signatures has increased, and transfer fees have rocketed over the years, poor Arsene often appears like a rabbit in the headlights when it comes to summer business.
With the deal for Shkrodan Mustafa seemingly stalling over the transfer fee, The Daily Mail reports that Wenger may have changed targets.
Arsenal have opened negotiations with Atletico Madrid over centre half Jose Gimenez as Arsene Wenger steps up his pursuit of defensive reinforcements.
The same report states that:
Valencia want £30m for Mustafi but Arsenal believe that demand is overpriced
The report states that the 21-year-old is valued at somewhere around the 40m Euro mark and he may not be any easier to prise from his club as Mustafi.
But Wenger can at least justify the transfer fee by looking at the potential longevity of the player. He could be an Arsenal stalwart for over a decade.
The flip side is of course that, with youth, there is no guarantee of consistency – who is to say that Gimenez won’t wobble as Callum Chambers has periodically done since joining the club?
But the Uruguay international, who already has 21 caps and 3 goals for his country at the age of 21, looks like the real deal.
He’s been an increasingly prominent presence for Atletico Madrid over the last couple of years and made 38 appearances for the Champions League finalists last season.
Arsenal fans: would you prefer Gimenez or Mustafi at this point?