Thierry Henry: Arsene Wenger finds it 'difficult' to spend big on defenders
Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Thierry Henry has suggested that Arsene Wenger finds it difficult when it comes to spending big on defenders in the transfer market. The Gunners were in the search for a new centre-back during the winter transfer window, but ultimately they were unsuccessful in their pursuit with Wenger reluctant to spend significant fees on a defensive recruit.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Monday Night Football, Henry highlighted that Wenger is used to buying bargains in the form of Kolo Toure and Sol Campbell in the transfer market, and this has left him with the mentality of not paying above a particular price for a top-class centre-back, which the club are in a desperate need of.
He said: "Maybe he doesn’t see it as a problem when we can all see it is. In the history of Arsenal, Kolo Toure was almost nothing, Sol Campbell was nothing. I know we’re talking about other times, now the price goes beyond what it should be. That’s the story with Arsene, it seems like he doesn’t what to pay big, he thinks the players are not worth the price on the table. But it’s a new era, you need £60-£70m to get a good player – I think he finds that really difficult, he does it easily for strikers or creative players."
Wenger had decided to strengthen his attack further with the club-record signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last month, but there was still plenty of criticism towards him after the club failed with deadline-day moves for Jonny Evans and Kostas Manolas to bolster the backline.
The Gunners followed to register a comfortable 5-1 win over Everton in the Premier League at the Emirates, but their vulnerability at the back was evident in the north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur, where Shkodran Mustafi struggled to keep up with the movement of Harry Kane.
Arsenal are presently sixth in the Premier League standings with 45 points, eight behind Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League spot. The Gunners are due to compete for potential silverware in the League Cup final versus Manchester City this month.