As Arsenal fans patiently await the confirmation of a first signing for the summer, Alisher Usmanov, Gunners shareholder and a Russian oligarch has spoken out on Wayne Rooney’s prospect at the Emirate stadium.
Usmanov, who holds a 29.9% share in the north-London club after buying up former vice-chairman David Dein’s stake in 2008, told CNBC that he believes the Manchester United striker Rooney, would be a “great success” at the Emirates Stadium.
After disclosing his willingness to quit the Premier League champions to his former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the England international has been linked with a move to the 13-time league winners amid reports that a £25m transfer could be in the offing.
Arsenal is expected to soon start a purported spending spree that could have them land great talents like Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid or Rooney after losing out on Fiorentina’s forward Stevan Jovetic.
Usmanov has previously voted for the need for more investment in the present Arsenal squad in a bid to up the club’s preparedness for next season’s title challenge. The 59-year-old is backing the bid to land Rooney at the Emirate and he told CNBC that:
“He is a great player, there would be great success for Rooney (on joining the club), and for Arsenal too.”
He also gave a pass mark to Arsene Wenger’s management as the Frenchman now ranks first among the longest serving managers in the Premier League. Last season, Arsenal qualified for the champions League by a whisker at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur, but Usmanov believes the club should be looking forward to winning European elite competitions.
“We as shareholders point to some drawbacks in the management of the club, but Wenger is a great coach and the club is progressing in the commercial sense. We should trust him,” said Usmanov.
“It’s high time for the club to win the highest trophies in the European Champions League, but I believe in the club’s future.”