Ryan Babel was a Wenger transfer target in the summer of 2007. The press were reporting that it was a done deal, that Ryan would be joining Arsenal in a matter of weeks. However, the deal fell through, and it looked like the Ajax player would remain in Amsterdam, that was until Rafa Benitez came in with an £11.5 million bid which took Ryan to Liverpool.
Image courtesy of Paul Blank
This season Babel has been a much maligned character in the Liverpool team and there are hints of a transfer out of the club, albeit ruled out by Rafa. He has played poorly and £11.5 million looks expensive.
Babel is a fine example of a young player with talent being linked with Arsenal, but at the wrong price. It could be argued that he is a useful player, but I would say that is not worth £11.5 million, for what could have been another Reyes.
From this we can conclude that it would be rash to plunge headlong into this January transfer window and throw money at problems within the team. As we have seen from the emergence of players such as Alex Song, the potential within the club for the team to evolve and grow is great.
Great clubs need great players, but maintaining balance within the team is of utmost importance. Wenger could splash the cash on players – but that means the risk of a flop. I would agree with Wenger – if a player of special quality comes up then bring him in, but spending money for the sake of it makes no sense.