Emirates Stadium boss laments missing young talent but is this a case of wishful thinking?
Arsene Wenger appears confused as to why Real Madrid teenager Raphael Varane isn’t an Arsenal player whilst discussing the merits of the talented defender in his Eurosport column.
A quick word on my fellow Frenchman Raphael Varane, the 19-year-old Real Madrid defender who could face United: I’m happy for him because he’s carving out a role at one of the world’s best clubs, which is remarkable.
Yet at the same time, when you are in charge of a club like Arsenal, you have to wonder why this player is not playing for us. He was at Lens, and we might well have caught him there.
Well whether this is a rhetorical issue or a genuine questioning as to how Varane slipped through Arsenal’s ‘scouting network’ the answer will be much the same.
Is there any reason why the young defender would feel the allure of a move to Arsenal and find the pull to join the North London club too irresitable to turn down, unfortunately for Gunners fans whilst the answer to that conundrum would’ve been a positive one five or six years ago it certainly isn’t the case now.
Varane has grown at Real Madrid and is now seeing the fruits of the continued backing he has received from Jose Mourinho. Any move to Arsenal would perhaps have benefited the young centre-back, but only if he chose to use the club, as many others have in the recent past, as a stepping stone.
This is not the situation Arsenal should find themselves in but a prolonged period of under investment in relation to transfer dealings has led to a continuous state of transition that has been further compounded by the willingness of other Premier League sides to pump in fund to improve their quality of their playing staff.
This isn’t to say Arsenal don’t have a raft of quality young talents coming through or being brought in by the club’s excellent scouting set-up, however the simple fact is that without tangible success these talents will have no real reason to not pursue moves elsewhere just as they are beginning to mature.