Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has warned Arsene Wenger that he will need to put up more cash if he wants his young players to stay at the Emirates Stadium.
“It’s a relationship on the pitch and you have to spend money to keep it,” he said.
“You don’t have to go out and spend money when you’ve got the players already, but you need to show the players that you want them to stay.”
Petit highlighted the example of Mathieu Flamini leaving Arsenal for AC Milan last summer, and the subsequent midfield problems that his exit has caused, to attack the club’s transfer policy.
“After the departure of Flamini, at the beginning of the season Cesc Fabregas was like an orphan,” mourned the Frenchman.
“He was looking everywhere for Flamini but he was at Milan.
“Before the start of the 2008/09 season they made some mistakes in terms of transfer policy. I understand the transfer policy at the club, but when you’ve created a team you have to make an effort to keep it.”
Petit, who made 85 league appearances under Wenger between 1997 and 2000, was referring to his former manager’s principle of giving players over the age of 30 no more than one-year extensions in order to maintain a youthful squad.
“Let’s say I’m an Arsenal player,” he continued. “When I look back on last season I see we were magnificent.
"In the summer transfer market I see Chelsea, Liverpool and co spending millions to buy new players to build a stronger team, but when I look at my club they are spending almost nothing on new players and letting some key players go.
“Now the young players are growing very fast, showing great attitude and great character on the pitch, but they are still missing experience.”
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