Ian Wright believes Alisher Usmanov can return Arsenal to greatness, amid news that the billionaire has made a bid to take control of the capital club.
Usmanov has made a £1billion bid to take full control of the Gunners, and although it has yet to be established if this offer has been successful, it is widely expected that Stan Kroenke will reject it as he has no intention of relinquishing his majority shareholding. But such a bid is a great opportunity for the club according to Wright, their legendary striker of the 90s.
Arsenal have slipped behind the likes of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea in recent years, all of whom have spent heavily in the transfer market. And of hearing the news of Usmanov’s bid, Wright told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He has put in the bid and it is great news. Something has to change, whether it is the manager Arsene Wenger or whether it is the board upstairs.”
Since the Gunners last won the title in 2004, Chelsea, the new champions, have won it five times, Manchester United have also lifted the crown five times, Manchester City twice and Leicester City once. Arsene Wenger’s side have also failed to win the UEFA Champions League, which Chelsea, United and Liverpool have won in the time since they last won the Premier League.
And although the Emirates Stadium club could win the FA Cup for the third time in the space of four years, to do so they need to overcome Antonio Conte’s champions at Wembley next weekend. By this time they may have finished the league campaign outside of the top four for the first time since 1995/96, and Wright has reiterated the need for change at the club.
“It is not looking good for Arsenal at the moment,” Wright added. “They may be out of the Champions League – something they are not used to – and they have to beat one of the best Chelsea sides I have seen for a long time to try and get something from the season. Where are they going to sign players from? Who is going to want to come to Arsenal instead of anywhere else in London?
“At the moment, they are not an attractive proposition. We are already missing out on the managers we are supposedly interested in and we are going to start missing out on the kind of players that are going to be available. Top players may want to leave. Too much is up in the air. Something has got to happen for Arsenal to go to that next level. This bid will galvanise the fans.”