Having enjoyed an up-and-down week, Arsenal look set to move back upwards. FA Cup winners last weekend and in the press for the redundancies of 55 members of staff – despite players taking wage cuts to stave off such measures earlier on in the COVID-19 crisis – Arsenal look set to keep fans onside with a trifecta of transfer news.
First, it looks like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will sign a new long-term deal with the club. At 31, it offers little value economically, but it might help the club return to the UEFA Champions League due to his goal tally. Another pair of signings is expected, though, and it might raise some worries for Arsenal fans.
The two players expected are Brazilian duo Willian and Philippe Coutinho. Though outstanding players, the massive wages incurred by both signings will blow away anything that the redundancies of 55 staff would cost. With both players linked to an agent with a growing cast of players at the Emirates, too, fans worry the club is moving away from a solid scouting network and more to following what agents and contacts can bring them.
This leaves the fans in a weird place. The arrival of two box office attacking players will further strengthen the club, as will the likely arrival of midfield dynamo Thomas Partey. However, is it right to celebrate such excessive expenditure when the club is also laying off important members of staff to cut costs?
As ever in football, the answer is hard to find.