As Arsenal gear up to face Man City this weekend, manager Arsene Wenger spoke about the mass exodus of players from the Emirates to the Etihad
City snapped up as many as five Arsenal players in the period between 2009 and 2014. While Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor have since left the club, the French trio of former Gunners in Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and on-loan Samir Nasri are still on the books.
Wenger was asked about this ahead of the big premier league clash between the two sides, and he gave a very tongue-in-cheek reply.
“City were good clients,” Wenger said during his pre-match press conference, according to the Daily Mail.
The Frenchman went on to add that Arsenal has improved significantly in financial terms since then, but there did remain a gap between the two sides monetarily.
“We are (in a stronger position now) because today I feel we can give financial satisfaction and support ambitions and values that can make the players happy at this club.
“Before, perhaps the financial gap was too big a difference to keep our players. We could not compete, we had to sell players. It has reduced but it is still there.”
The Gunners had to become a selling club to facilitate the move from Highbury to the Etihad Stadium in 2006. The financial difficulties forced them to sell a lot of their best talent. Besides the Man City five, the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie also left the club in search of better fortunes elsewhere.
However, a lot has changed since then, with Arsenal reportedly now on an even keel with their competitors. This past summer the club spent close to £100 million on transfers, which is a far cry from the frugal ways that Wenger and his club are usually known for.
Arsenal head into the big match at the Etihad on the back of a demoralizing defeat to Everton in the mid-week round of games. Pep Guardiola and City on the other hand will look to keep the momentum going from their win against Watford.