When Arsenal signed four players in July there was a noticeable shift in the transfer direction of the club, in that they recognised the importance of doing deals early so that players can bed in during pre-season.
However, a cursory look at the transfer business of the summer would reveal that the club has not actually strengthened and why the summer would end in anti-climax if once again it comes up short in not signing a defensive midfielder and a possibly a striker.
For starters, if Lukas Fabianski, Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson had not left the club Arsene Wenger would not have brought in David Ospina, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers.
This means only Alexis Sanchez could be term a player that is a signing who is not directly replacing a departed player going into the final weeks of the transfer window.
Added to that, despite the business done so far, the glaring weaknesses of the team have been obvious from the opening matches of the season.
The striking department still fails to inspire against Crystal Palace, Besiktas and even Everton, and there was the noticeable hole that Mikel Arteta’s injury caused in Arsenal’s midfield when he went off in Istanbul.
The midfield collapsed and lost it shape. There was no one to keep up the balls from defence to pass it to the players in the final third.
Mathieu Flamini’s energy and aggressive display on the field does not cover for his obvious lack of discipline and poor passing ability.
Arsenal’s need for an upgrade in defensive midfield cannot be more obvious. The venerability to counter attacks could be addressed with a defensive midfielder who has the pace and physicality to cover more grounds than Mikel Arteta.
The summer can end up even better if Arsene Wenger goes ahead to sign that defensive midfielder that would liberate the midfield technicians at the club to concentrate on attacking the opposition area.
The club can look no further than Bayern Munich whose signing of Javier Martinez, a defensive midfielder for a Bundesliga record of €40 million (£34 million) led to the Bavarians winning a treble two seasons ago. And the Spaniard played a key role in that success, as he was the club’s only major signing that season.
The possibility of seeing a striker come in looks improbable if Arsene Wenger’s comment on the strikers he has at his disposal is considered.
On Oliver Giroud, he said:
“You never have to set any limitations for any player. For me he he’s improving every year and don’t rule out that he scores 25 goals.”
It would be a sensational stuff if the French striker can score 25 league goals something that would be difficult to imagine it takes him four chances to score one goal.
Besides that he mentions the players who could play there when evaluating his striking options
“We have Sanogo who will be an important asset, we have Giroud. We have Lukas Podolski, we have Joel Campbell who can play centre forward. We have Alexis and Walcott coming back. Let’s not forget that.”
No doubts lots of names, yet only Yaya Sanogo is comfortable in the middle and he is yet to score a goal for the club, and others are more of inverted wingers than centre forwards.
What is clear is that Arsenal lacks a striker with a reputation for consistently scoring goals who can conjure up something out of nothing in tight games.
A nail in the coffin of any possible signing in the attacking third is this comment from the Frenchman
“All our opponents have been looking for strikers as well and no one has found a world class one now available better than one they have.”
A comment that is obviously disputable.
A defensive midfielder remains integral to Arsenal’s summer business before the window closes, failure to do that might be Groundhog Day all over again in the new season.