It was only a couple of months ago that I was praising the club for securing Granit Xhaka’s signature so early in our preparations for the forthcoming campaign. However, with just three weeks before we return to competitive action, there remains no sign of Granit being joined by a senior centre back or forward.
I write this article, half in the hope that my words have a reverse psychological effect on our activity in the transfer market or lack of it I should say, and half out of frustration, that yet again, Arsene appears to be failing to address our deficiencies. We needed a top class centre back and forward this time last year and I retain that opinion this year.
The transfer window does not close until August 31st but it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid making comparisons with last summer. Where the arrival of Petr Cech in June, increased optimism levels amongst the clubs supporters, only for no additional senior signings to be made. Will it be the same scenario this year with Xhaka?
Going out on loan?
Making the assumption that Takuma Asano is to be sent on loan, we find ourselves in a similar situation to last year in terms of our available striking options. With the injured Danny Welbeck ruled out until the new year, there can be no excuses for failing to bring in an adequate replacement this time around.
In one of my previous articles, I expressed my concerns regarding Jamie Vardy being our number one striking target. With that deal dead in the water, there is no necessity to reiterate my concerns. However, the failed bid for Vardy, does at least show that the need for an additional forward has at last been recognised by Arsene.
The capture of Rob Holding from Bolton should have no relevance to our search for a top class centre back. Unless of course, he offers an immediate upgrade on Gabriel and Per Mertesacker. Although he undoubtedly has a lot of potential, it is difficult to have any confidence in Wenger’s ability to correctly manage his development.
A look at the way Arsene has handled the development of Calum Chambers so far during his Arsenal career, should offer an insight into why I feel that way. Not only was he played out of position, in roles that he clearly lacks the attributes to play, but his game time was limited too. I said before the start of last season that he needed to go on loan and his lack of progress during the last campaign suggests that I was right.
Some supporters criticise Wenger for buying promising youngsters. Personally, I have no issue with this, provided that they are joined by players who are ready to make an impact in the here and now. Our recruitment policy should be both, not one or the other, even if the present has to be the priority.
With a number of our key players given an extended leave following their involvement in Euro 2016, I would have preferred Arsene to have concluded our transfer business prior to the start of league campaign. Perhaps by signing Xhaka, Asana and Holding, he has done. I sincerely hope this is not the case.
(Think you know what Arsene is thinking? Find the ideal betting site at sportsbooks and place a quick bet. Or just let us know in the comments below…)
It could be argued that providing the ‘right’ player is signed before the transfer deadline, then it is irrelevant whether he was signed in the first or the last minute of the the window. This is true to a certain extent but there are obvious advantages to giving new arrivals at least some form of pre season with their new team mates to assist with their integration into the clubs set up.
I welcome our new arrivals whilst crossing my fingers in the hope that we can add a couple more. Sadly, as things stand I can only see us falling short once again. The clock is ticking Arsene….