Former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has warned it could be a while before the Gunners are able to regain a place in the Premier League top four because of a lack of investment compared to rivals.
Arsenal haven’t finished in the Champions League places since 2016. Last season they were eighth for the second year running and missed out on European football altogether, while competition for places remains as fierce as ever in 2021/22.
Arteta has been overseeing a squad overhaul in tandem with sporting director Edu in recent months that saw close to £150m invested in new players. However, criticism directed at the recruitment strategy has suggested the squad is little improved in the short-term.
Giroud has pointed to examples of rival clubs spending money to improve immediately.
“I think Mikel Arteta has got time to come back in the top four. Sometimes the problem is that money plays a huge part in the success also,” the AC Milan forward told talkSPORT.
“What you see is Chelsea, after winning the Champions League, spent over £80m on Romelu [Lukaku] to reinforce the forward line…and after also spending a lot of millions the year before,” he added, referencing the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
“Money plays a huge part and that’s the thing with Arsenal. They don’t put in as much as their opponents.”
Arsenal’s finances took a hit last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the club took action by negotiating a 12.5% pay cut with players and coaches to curb costs.
The Gunners have also been hurt by the lack of Champions League money coming into the club over the last years, with the Europa League a much less lucrative competition. It led senior official Josh Kroenke to lament in the summer of 2019 that the club had a ‘Champions League wage bill’ funded by a ‘Europa League budget’, which has had to force a change in approach.
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