Arsenal and Yannick Carrasco: If you want him, go and get him


Arsenal reportedly want Yannick Carrasco but are typically dallying over price, with a loan discussed. If they really want the Belgian winger, they should just go and get him.

In 2010, Arsenal needed a goalkeeper. Time was running out. Numbers were thin on the ground. Arsene Wenger highlighted Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer as the man he wanted. Schwarzer, at the time, was a 38-year-old middling Premier League shot-stopper enjoying a late renaissance in his career.

Fulham did not want to sell, but they were willing to do so for the right price. Wenger merely needed to match that price. But in typical fashion, Wenger did not believe that Schwarzer was worth the fee. He made two separate approaches, the first at £2 million, the second at £3 million. Fulham wanted £5 million, hardly back-breaking money.

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But Wenger and Arsenal, in their pocket-pinching ways, were unwilling to up their offer by a measly £2 million. And so, the man that they wanted remained at Fulham and Wenger rolled with the goalkeepers he had, Wojciech Szczesny, Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski, neither of which were especially convincing at the time. In fact, such were the problems at the position that Wenger would turn to a 41-year-old Jens Lehmann in March after an injury crisis left him with just one fit option.

All this leads to a very clear moral: if you want a player, and if you need a player, sometimes paying more than the value that you hold them at is necessary. And never has this been more pertinent than in the explosive modern market in which average players are now moving for £50-plus million.

Arsenal reportedly want Yannick Carrasco of Dalian Yifang. According to James Olley of the London Evening Standard, however, there is a sticking point. Predictably, it is over the fee.

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Dalian Yifang value Carrasco at £25 million. The Gunners do not, or at least not in a straight, front-up cash manner. They want to stagger the payments and shift them to performance-related incentives and clauses to both protect themselves of Carrasco flaming out and push the financial load down the line a little, with the club hard up against the transfer and wage budget. There has also been talk of a push for a loan move, although Dalian Yifang are insistent on a permanent sale.

Now, I am not sure if Carrasco is worth £25 million. He probably is, but I can at the very least listen to the argument that he isn’t. But if Arsenal do want him — and they do — they should not hesitate in paying for him, even if it means going above what they value him to be worth. Sometimes, it is necessary to secure the player you really want.

Next: Arsenal: Ranking top 3 summer priorities

This dallying in the transfer market has hurt the club before. If it persists, it will continue to hurt them. Sometimes, you just have to stump up and pay. Carrasco is one of those situations.

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