Arsenal: Build your superstars, don’t buy them

Arsenal fans may want some more superstar signings, but at this point, it’s best to build superstars for this era, and not buy them.

As this summer approaches and rumors of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving Arsenal crescendo, fans may be looking for reparations for such losses. New superstars to come in in their stead because what top team doesn’t have at least a few superstars on their books?

Back in the day, I probably would have agreed. When the Gunners were a steady force, qualifying in the Champions League every year, they needed some big-name guys and Arsene Wenger never really got them.

That’s because he didn’t need to buy them. He built them.

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If you think about some of the greatest superstars to pass through Arsenal over the past couple decades, you get names like Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira. All of whom weren’t exactly superstars when they came to North London.

They were, however, superstars when they left.

Dennis Bergkamp is perhaps the only guy that was already a big deal before he arrived, though he was definitely made bigger by his time at Highbury.

Some would call purchasing superstars at part of “modernizing” but I beg to differ. Especially nowadays when we have so many prime superstar youngsters already in the making. And if you think about some of the guys we’ve lost out on—Serge Gnabry for instance—you see that we’ve had the capacity to build more superstars, we just missed out.

Think about some of the young names—Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Emile Smith Rowe, William Saliba, Eddie Nketiah, Matteo Guendouzi—these are young players desperate to not have their path blocked off by an overpriced superstar. These are guys that have proven themselves enough to be a regular part of the set-up. We don’t need to go fork out money on guys like Antoine Griezmann or Dries Mertens.

Even Nicolas Pepe isn’t really a superstar yet, though he’s probably the closest thing we’ll have if the big three left. But if you let him develop, he can be the star presence until the kids grow into their rightful place.

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This isn’t like a regular youth wave at Arsenal. We’ve seen Dan Crowley, Jeff Reine Adelaide, Chuba Akpom, etc. and they never made it. This new batch is already here. Trust in them to be our next superstars and invest in them.