Adams: "Now we seem to be selling our best players and you are never going to recruit a championship squad selling all your best players"
Saturday 2 May 2020 13:23, UK
Tony Adams fears Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could become the latest big-name player to depart Arsenal this summer.
Gunners legend Adams says the club will not become Premier League contenders again while they continue to pursue what he considers a flawed transfer policy.
Arsenal won the top flight title four times (Premier League twice) while Adams was at the club - and went on to claim a third Premier League crown in 2004.
They have not added to that haul since and, with the London club only ninth in the Premier League, there has been speculation top scorer Aubameyang may leave.
Adams thinks that is the sort of deal that has become all too common at the Emirates and told Sky Sports: "Quite possibly, he could walk out the door.
"I loved [former manager] Arsene Wenger's principles, that no player was bigger than the club, and he moved players on if it made sense for the club financially.
"He was strong with that and he got Champions League football every year but it did stand in the way of recruitment - so we have become a club that is selling the best players.
"If I was a coach I'd be saying 'don't sell Aubameyang at any price, we need to recruit, bring players through the academy and keep our best players'."
Adams pointed out that the board at Arsenal adopted a completely different strategy during his heyday at the club.
He said: "They bang on about the class of '92 [at Manchester United] - in our class of '83 we had six internationals in our youth team - Niall Quinn, Paul Merson, Michael Thomas, Rocky [David Rocastle], me and Martin [Keown].
"But put that on top of [board member] Danny Fiszman putting a lot of money into the club in '95, '96 and we were getting world class players come to Arsenal football club.
"[Manchester United manager] Alex Ferguson came in for me but I wouldn't leave and I said to the chairman 'have we got ambition at the club?'
"He said 'don't worry, we are injecting a lot of money and we are going to go for it'.
"I stayed and the rest is history - Dennis [Bergkamp] came and Nicolas Anelka, [Patrick] Vieira, Manu [Emmanuel Petit], Robert Pires - we had five World Cup winners in the team.
"It is a completely different club today and I think recruitment at Arsenal for a good few years has not been great.
"Now we seem to be selling our best players and you are never going to recruit a championship squad selling all your best players."
Adams says his most cherished memory with Arsenal is scoring against Everton in 1998 to clinch his third league title.
"It was very spiritual for me," said Adams, who made 504 appearances for the Gunners over the course of 19 years.
"It was one of those orgasmic moments in my career, I think I can call it! My third title and I'd been two years into my recovery and about 18 months without a drink at that point.
"I was free in the head and feeling happy off the pitch as well as on it. To burst through and smash that one in, a lad who couldn't kick it with his left foot when he was 11.
"It's great, the other day someone said to me 'I thought you were left footed', and I said 'That's the biggest compliment you could eve give me!'.
"It was a very special moment. I've got some great memories but that's probably the best."