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Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger shows defiance with a bid for Stewart Downing

Arsene Wenger: "I have said many times that we were very close to winning things last season, despite the disappointment we had at the end. I hope that provokes a response from my players. We were so close this time we want to come back and achieve it."

Arsene Wenger: "I have said many times that we were very close to winning things last season, despite the disappointment we had at the end. I hope that provokes a response from my players. We were so close this time we want to come back and achieve it."

Arsenal has reportedly bid for Aston Villa’s winger Stewart Downing. This is Arsene Wenger’s first assuring move in the transfer market after widespread interest was shown for Samir Nasri. Cesc Fabregas has been linked to a move away from the Emirates Stadium as well. Gael Clichy moved to Manchester City and thus the last remaining member of the “invincibles” was dispersed. Arsenal has faced very stern criticism and most of it has been directed at the philosophy of Arsene Wenger. Called a “feeder club” for losing key players to bigger clubs, Wenger has shown signs of defiance with £18m bid for Downing.

Arsenal is not the prime mover in the quest for Downing. Liverpool has been pursuing the winger for quite some-time now and the former Middlesbrough man has expressed reciprocated fairly as well. Arsenal won’t hesitate from extending their bid a bit further given Liverpool’s interest and their probable bolstered budget. Samir Nasri and Fabregas are likely to fetch Arsenal around £60m all of which will be reinvested in the team.

The irony for Arsene Wenger is that he has been facing greater pressure from within the team than from outside it. Theo Walcott did well to assert his support for the manager but emphasized on the need to add more to the “Arsenal”. Walcott missed crucial games for Arsenal last season due to injury but is looking forward to the club’s Asia tour now. His priority is to be fully fit and prepare for a full season’s football. He is optimistic about the club’s silverware prospects. He said, “We play great football but we might need a bigger squad. We also need to keep hold of our best players. The boss has said that he is going to spend as well and add to the team. That will be crucial.”

The Premier League will be a competitive place next season as 6 teams will push for a top 4 finish. Arsenal cannot take their position for granted given the rise of clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham. If Arsenal manage to hijack Downing from Liverpool’s clutches it will be an emphatic signal. The move will be indicative of hunger instead of what presently seems to be cowed subjection to its own people.

Even in times of crisis such as this, Arsene Wenger manages to keep his nerve steady. He is upfront and honest about the possibility of key players leaving the club but wishes to change their mind. He can gauge the hostility of the fans and deals with them directly which is admirable.

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