With Tottenham’s spending having reached £49million so far this summer on Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli, Arsenal supporters are becoming more frustrated by the day with the club’s lack of activity in this transfer window.
The Gunners narrowly edged out their North London rivals Tottenham last season for the final Champions League spot, with a near flawless end to the season but as things stand it could be difficult to repeat this season.
Meanwhile, across London, the new arrivals at Chelsea have indicated a shift in the club’s transfer policy, with Mourinho looking to create a balance between buying ready-made stars and promising youngsters for the future like Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and bringing back Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku from loan spells.
Over in Manchester, City’s disappointing defense of their league title has led to a new manager in Manuel Pellegrini and nearly £100 million spent so far this summer on bolstering the squad. With Pellegrini and Txiki Begiristain’s knowledge of the Spanish league, Sevilla has lost both its stars Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo to the Etihad. Brazilian powerhouse midfielder Fernandinho was brought from Shakhtar Donetsk for £30 million and young Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina.
Apart from the arrival of France U20 forward Yaya Sanogo from Auxerre on a free transfer, Arsenal are yet to add anything to their squad. In fact the squad has been significantly depleted. However, this is not through the loss of a key figure like the previous three summers, but through a clear-out of the deadwood that has been floating around the squad for near five years. Among these departures are squad members such as Maroune Chamakh, Sebastian Squillaci, Andrey Arshavin and Gervinho – all of whom filled in when the starting eleven was hit by injuries. Getting these players off the wage bill is only a step forward for the Gunners if they can reinvest correctly.
At the weekend, Arsene Wenger had this to say:
“Yes, of course. I am confident. Why should I sit here and say to you we can absolutely not win the title with the players we have?”
It is hard to interpret what way Wenger sees the current situation; his squad from last season finished fourth, 16 points off runaway leaders Manchester United. Yet he believes this reduced squad can make up that ground? Regardless of the fans opinions of Gervinho and Arshavin, both scored a few important goals and a couple of assists in close victories.
Before the start of the transfer window, there were plenty of top quality strikers known to be on the move in Europe, yet the Gunners missed out on a host of targets. Jovetic, Soldado, Negredo and Wilfried Bony have all made moves to Premier League teams.
It was well known that Pep Guardiola wanted to implement his own style with Champions League winners Bayern Munich, and that striker Mario Gomez would be surplus to requirement. Yet he somehow slipped under the Gunners radar and joined Fiorentina for a fee of €20 million.