Arsenal legend Sol Campbell says his old club could do with learning from how Leicester City do their work in the transfer market.
The Gunners are not the force they once were for most of Arsene Wenger’s reign, though even then they struggled to compete for the biggest signings once Chelsea and Manchester City benefited from a huge injection of wealth after big takeovers.
Arsenal have made a few high-profile signings in more recent years, with Mesut Ozil proving a surprise purchase at the time, while they’ve recently also spent big on the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey.
For the most part, however, Arsenal can’t really compete with the rest of the big six in the transfer market, and Campbell wants to see them try an approach more like Leicester’s.
The Foxes have built a really promising squad in recent times after identifying players like Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Harry Maguire before they were really big names.
Leicester were then able to cash in on them and make other smart signings to replace them, and Campbell thinks this should now be the kind of model Arsenal follow.
“I think Arsenal need to buy clever this summer. It’s clear the spending power isn’t there; it’s nowhere near the levels other clubs are willing to spend, so they’ve got to look at that next level down,” said Campbell, speaking to Ladbrokes at the launch of their new European Championships 5-a-side Bet.
“But in that next level you can still find decent players. They’re just got to look a little bit harder. Leicester do it. Arsenal need the right people out there looking at players. The club doesn’t have the funds to take a risk on a player for £50/60m for it not to work out. But look at what Leicester have done in recent years; they don’t really tend to spend more than £30m on players and more often than not they’ve got it right.
“A lot of teams take risks on spending smaller amounts on players and giving them a bit of time to develop. Look at Atalanta in Italy, Ajax have been doing it for decades, and now Leicester are doing the same in the Premier League.”