Former Gunner explains why Arsenal can’t compete with rivals Chelsea

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Gilberto Silva has discussed why Arsenal are struggling to keep pace with Chelsea.

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva says the Gunners’ culture of developing young players has cost them the ability to compete with Premier League leaders Chelsea, the Daily Star reports.

The Blues currently top the table by five points ahead of Manchester City with the Gunners a further nine points adrift and all-but out of the title race heading in to the final stretch of the season.

It has become a familiar tale for the North Londoners, talk aplenty of a title challenge pre-season which then becomes a desperate push for a top-four spot heading into spring.

But why has this become a recurring cycle for Arsene Wenger’s men? And why have the Blues, in contrast, been able to maintain a title challenge despite a lowly sixth place finish three years ago?

Former player Silva has had his say on the matter, telling reporters that the Gunners’ insistence of nurturing young players rather than spending lavishly on proven stars has ultimately cost them.

"They haven't been able to compete with Chelsea and Manchester City because they spend money on big names and this is not the Arsenal culture,” Silva said.

"They don't spend a lot of money to sign players but apart from that it is not easy to find a way to get back on track to win titles.

"It was important for them last season that they won the FA Cup but a team like Arsenal need more and I hope they find a way to achieve what they always look for.

"If you look at Chelsea, they spent a lot of money on a player like Diego Costa and he has settled really well and is scoring lots of goals, that has worked for them but it is not as easy for Arsenal.”

Do Arsenal need to spend more on proven talent?

In a short answer, yes. There needs to be the right balance between developing young stars and buying proven talent, and it feels at the Emirates there has been too much reliance on younger players.

During the Blues’ League Cup triumph over Spurs on Sunday, there were a number of players starting such as Kurt Zouma, Eden Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ramires who were bought as youngsters.

The difference, however, is their team was also accompanied by proven buys such as Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Willian who all fitted the system developed by boss Jose Mourinho.

The balance at Stamford Bridge is good – but can the same be said at the Emirates?

Arsene Wenger seemingly has money to spend, but his insistence on not buying proven quality – such as a world-class defensive midfielder – will ultimately cost them their goal of becoming league champions.

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