Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger opened up the club notion under his watch. He explained why Gunners choose to sell the superstars even in their peak time in the club. Wenger mentioned the conditions behind the exit of Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie.
Thierry Henry was the club icon when he played in the cannon crest. The Frenchmen signed for Gunners in 1999 and completed a heroic spell in North London in 2007. He was in great form when he moved out of London to join Catalan giants FC Barcelona.
The centre-forward featured in 376 games for Gunners from which he earned 228 goals and 104 assists (Transfermarkt). Henry continued his form in Barcelona and the transfer was subjected to criticism among fans later.
He was a major factor in the strategy of Wenger in London. He won two league titles with Arsenal in 2002 and 2004 under the French boss.
Dutch forward Robin Van Persie also narrates a similar story. He served Arsenal 8 long years after he switched the play from Dutch side Feyenoord in 2004.
His Arsenal career was an absolute thriller with 132 goals and 55 assists from 278 fixtures. His profile was also classified as one of the best when he transferred to Old Trafford in 2012. He did the same in Manchester United under another ‘genius’ Sir Alex Ferguson.
The budget that preferred ‘trade-off’
Reports suggest that Wenger had a tight budget in his Arsenal coaching career. Speaking to Mirror, Wenger explained why he sold Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie in their peak period in the club. (Mirror via beIN Sport)
He said that club was facing financial difficulties at that point in time and selling their superstars was the only solution to raise funds. Arsenal was also engaged with the construction of the new stadium ‘Emirates’ at that time.
The Gunners played in ‘Highbury’ from its formation till 2006. That was their ‘Home of Football’ and still considered as the spiritual source for the club.
The construction of Emirates was important for the club to the overall development and that put more financial efforts into club activity. Today, Emirates holds a reputed position in England with the status of the fourth biggest stadium in the country.
“You have to always manage the club with the financial potential that you have and respect the financial constraints you have. I did every year (sell players). We had to pay the stadium back at the time, we needed to be in the top four, but we also needed to pay the mortgage back.” (Sources)
The Wenger era has witnessed no. of legends of the club and his philosophy in the club was able to any kind of reformations. He managed every single challenge and Gunners invented one superstar after another even one leave the spot.