Silva/ Sagna/ Wenger/ Facts and Figures

There’s a Liverpool fan in my office who says Arsenal need Kroenke to compete with Abramovich. He reckons Kroenke is a lot smarter and sharper than Liverpool’s Americans. More to the point, on the footballing front, at least – to fight the Glazers, who at least are funding big buys.

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The two quality players that Wenger talked about at the beginning of pre-season, at the moment at least, look like being Eduardo da Silva and Bakary Sagna, who according to the Mirror, will sign for £7.5m this week. The SM says the 21 year old right back, who has been recommended by Gilles Grimandi, is quick, mobile and will not baulk at the physical side of the English game.

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Sagna will sign a five-year contract at £25,000 a week. Both players look like having exactly the right mental attitude. The NoW has a half page article on how Eduardo Silva slept at the club’s ground for a while, in winter and without heating, and not much food by the sound of it. His coach says he’s a toughie – with the right mental attitude. And Sagna was voted the players’ player last season.

The Observer reckons Arsenal have offered Arsene Wenger a £14m four-year deal ( £3.5m a year, with a get-out-clause at the end of each year). That will guarantee a fund of Wenger to Real stories in the years to come. “He’s the life and soul of this club,” says a source.

In a Fabregas to Real story in the NoW, it says Fabregas will stay if Wenger stays – and at the end says [as exclusively revealed – Wenger will sign a new contract.] It also says Real coach (or coach in waiting) Schuster wants Reyes in a new tactical formation, who it says came to London with his agent to try and sort out a price.

No mention anywhere of Gouffran, unlike the French media, suggesting Arsenal have done a deal with Caen, but leaving the player there for another season.

In the week there were some interesting articles – if you put them together. The Sun had Arsene Wenger spending £46m since the end of the Invincibles season and selling £54.5m worth of players.

However, Chelsea, in the same period have spent £209.65m and sold £49.3m (+160.35m).

Man U have spent £117.5m and sold £25.5m (+ £92m)

Liverpool have spent £98.1m and sold £19.5m (+ £78.6m)

The Mail pointed out Champions League revenues for last season:

Chelsea: £23,394,444;

Liverpool: £21,744,696;

Manchester United: £21,282,373;

Arsenal: £13,008,610;

A Times article analyses Wenger’s buys including the five most expensive: Sylvain Wiltord ( £13m Bordeaux) Jose Reyes ( £10.5m, Seville), Thierry Henry ( £10.5m, Juventus) Gio Van Bronckhorst ( £8.5m, Rangers) and Francis Jeffers ( £8m, Everton).

Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry – were hugely successful buys in footballing and financial terms.

“Yet, of Wenger’s 50 or so buys, there are failures. Sylvain Wiltord scored 49 goals in four years and left for nothing; Luis Boa Morte, the Portugal winger, mostly flattered, while Christopher Wreh, the Liberian, and Kaba Diawara, from Guinea, barely registered. And can anyone recall Eric Chukwunyelu Obinna or Tomas Danilevicious?” Add to that Jose Antonio Reyes and Francis Jeffers.

A lot of Gooners I talk to down my gym and in the area a mile up from the Holloway Road [mostly lifelong fans born around here] are optimistic about the forthcoming season – and not too crestfallen over the Henry departure. But, as the above analysis illustrates, Wenger’s transfer strategy to date this summer of buying potential is a high risk one – particularly given turnover is set to increase to around £200m, from £134m, and with around £15m more TV revenue.