Arsenal has been widely considered a top English side for years, however, one of its most decorated former players has come out and criticized the club for not adding talent the way an elite team should.
Following Sunday’s 4-3 loss against Liverpool, former Arsenal great Thierry Henry said that the club hasn’t spent money on players the way the team should be if it wants to portray itself as a top club in England.
Henry told Sky Sports:
“The thing I don’t understand is, we’ve been told that Arsenal are wealthy, that we have money, that we can compete against anyone in the market,” Henry said.
“But when the season starts, we can’t compete in the market. So which one is it? I just don’t understand.
Henry continued by saying that he doesn’t believe Arsenal is a top destination for incoming players as the team used to be.
“Next, is the money stupid?” Henry questioned. “We all know the money is stupid but you have to pay. And finally does the player want to come to Arsenal? That’s something we all need to take into consideration. So are we still the first choice in England? I don’t think so.”
With top sides like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea spending top dollars this summer on talents like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, John Stones and N'Golo Kante, to name a few, the Gunners have done very little to address their top needs, particularly center back and striker.
While ex-Bolton defender Rob Holding made an impressive first showing for the Gunners against Liverpool, Arsenal’s only other high-profile addition during the summer transfer window was Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka.
“In general I think Arsenal need a centre-back and a striker,” he added. “If they cannot get that striker, they should play Alexis Sanchez with Olivier Giroud. It doesn’t have to be a world-class striker, but someone who can bring something different. You don’t always win the league with the league’s top goalscorer. I finished top scorer of the league with Arsenal and didn’t win the title.
“Sometimes you just need something different and I think Alexis can be that guy.”