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Bellerin's contract is a start but we must continue to build

arsenal fan opinion

Hector Bellerin signing a new contract is fantastic news. He’s one of the best right-backs in the league now, possibly in Europe, and certainly can be a world class player in the future. However, with the contracts of Özil and Alexis in the balance, the club need to make a bigger statement. 

This isn't 2011-13 any more. Back then we probably had far less say in the futures of our best players than we would have liked to admit. Cesc wanted to leave, Nasri wanted the bright lights of Man City, and van Persie wanted the league title he felt Sir Alex Ferguson was better positioned to offer him. Things are different now though, we're no longer financially hampered as with the increased TV money and new commercial deals our debts are more manageable and we have a high cash balance. All this combined with our matchday revenues means we're in a position to build and exercise more influence and control of the futures of players we've helped build and elevate.

I believe it is time for Arsenal to flex some muscle and utilise our advantages and strengths as a club. The fans have, largely, been very patient, with most criticisms over spending being justified. The past summer was a good one for addressing our squad issues but we cannot allow it to be a one off. We must make it a blueprint for the future and I think the focus for the next window or two should be thus: 

Sign a top striker! Alexis is doing well as a striker, and looks sharp. However if we got a top level striker, who could also operate as a high-pitch presser like Alexis, this would greatly complement things. Aubameyang or Lacazette would be ideal. Lucas hasn't had much of a chance to prove his worth but so far he looks like a good addition and at least offers some depth. This kind of augmentation of our squad must continue and we must be more ruthless in replacing players. Having a strong squad is a boon, but it must have a proper mix and balance.

It is also important to not be overly conservative with our cash. Keeping some powder dry isn't a bad idea but we cannot afford to do it every window. We must aspire to sign a top level or world class player every season and deepen our squad strength with good quality, value for money signings. To win the league and Champions League we need to continually buy top players, and to compete with the other Premier League teams and Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern Munich et al.

Finally Arsenal must continually seek to enhance their commercial deals. A lot of Arsenal fans are staggered by Chelsea’s commercial deals; our deals look great when we sign them but within months they are outstripped by lesser clubs. We have to stop setting the floor and start aiming to smash the ceiling. We’re a big club, a global club, with top players and huge existing fan bases in Africa, India, China and other emerging football markets and always challenging at the highest level so why wouldn’t a top sponsor come on board with nigh-record deals?

Bellerin committing his future is naturally welcome and sends a message to the football community but let us not rest on our laurels. We must use this as a base for growth and get messrs Alexis and Mesut to commit their futures so we can start planning for continuing future success. Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?

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Tags: Contract, Hector Bellerin, Growth

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