Arsene Wenger holds Arsenal back from Premier League success, says Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher says that Arsenal will be a major force to challenge for the title next season, but admits that whilst Arsene Wenger's transfer policy is admirable, it has held the club back.
After a 3-1 win at Hull City on Monday night, the Gunners look set to be a real challenger for the title next season and are on course to finish in the top two for the first time since 2004-05.
"We say the same thing, they are close. Last year they got into the top four very late. This is different," Carragher said, speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.
"What we've seen of Arsenal of late is that they are with the three best teams now, and then there's a little level to Manchester United and Liverpool just behind.
"I think they've joined those top two sides that we think every season are going to go for the title. They're so close."
Wenger has been criticised in the past for not spending any money, but has made big money signings in each of the last two summers, with more than £70million spent on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
But Carragher believes that more money needs to be spent this summer if they are to truly challenge Chelsea and Co.
"He doesn't need numbers, you look at the squad and the bench, they've got it in terms of numbers, and quality throughout," added Carragher.
"The thing with Arsene Wenger is I feel he always wants value in the market, and he always wants to wait, he's patient.
"Rather than what [Jose] Mourinho did, he got [Diego] Costa he got [Cesc] Fabregas. Maybe at other clubs managers feel that pressure a bit more, but Wenger has been at the club for that long he knows he's safe in the job.
"If he can't find a certain type of goalkeeper for a specific price, or maybe a centre back or central midfielder, I don't think he'll get them, whereas other clubs will say "you know what, I'm going to pay the extra, I'm going to get them no matter what."
"He spends the money like its his own, that's the way he runs the club, you can admire that in some sense.
"But I think maybe that sometimes holds them back."