Legendary Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman reckons the club’s lack of funds is hurting the team at both ends of the spectrum.
Speaking to the Islington Gazette, Seaman believes that although the club’s inability to lure big-name players is giving opportunities to youngsters such as Emile Smith Rowe, the absence of top signings has not got The Gunners headed in the right direction.
He said: “For me, a club like this should have the top players here and then you bring the youngsters in little by little. At the moment, it looks like they’ll be playing a lot of games.”
Seaman is right. With the likes of Smith Rowe being joined by Reiss Nelson and others in gaining a promotion to the Arsenal first team, they will be the only new regular faces aside from fellow youngster Gabriel Martinelli – who remains The Gunners’ only summer signing so far.
And while big-name players like Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette remain at the club, Arsenal’s lowly transfer funds mean that new marquee signings seem distant at present.
It may be that Unai Emery’s hand is forced by that budget – but that doesn’t do away with the risk involved in allowing youngsters to plug the gaps.
Whereas a top-drawer signing may be expected to hold down a place in the starting XI, giving youth the opportunity to impress as an alternative puts pressure on them to deliver – or the club may well take a backwards step.
Seaman continued: “Because of our financial restrictions we don’t get the top players, which is frustrating. When I was here, we used to attract top players like Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright, Marc Overmars, David Platt, big players at the time.
“We were attracting players and we were winning trophies. We need to get back to that.”
Unfortunately for Seaman and all connected with Arsenal, the club’s recent underachievements leave the team having to do more with less to move forward – and while his frustration is felt through his comments, the harsh reality is that until they succeed under these restrictions, the club will continue their current demise.