Wenger’s unrivalled Midas touch
Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez may feel he got a good price for Xabi Alonso but he is in no danger of dislodging Arsene Wenger as the Premier League manager with the Midas touch.
Wenger has received criticism of late for not ‘spending big’ on replacements for departing first-teamers. He should be receiving credit for earning a huge pile of cash for players no longer in his plans. Does anyone in football generate as much money from transfers as Wenger?
The wily Frenchman has built a career on signing young prospects for small fees and selling them for gigantic ones when he feels the time is right.
Most recently Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure moved to Premier League rich boys Manchester City for a reported combined fee of 39 million pounds after being brought to Arsenal for much less.
They follow the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira in enjoying great success and form under Wenger before moving on to pastures new to the benefit of the Arsenal bank balance.
Success-starved Arsenal fans, frustrated by the absence of a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005, may look upon the departures of such players as a defeatist approach but Wenger has a bunch of hungry youngsters waiting to come in and yearning for success.
Between them they should be able to replace Toure, Adebayor and, if Everton get their wish, the Swiss defender Senderos, shouldn’t they?
LUCRATIVE SALE: Marc Overmars signs for Barcelona in July 2000, for a fee of more than $40 million. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino