While the rivals are making high-profile transfers and are breaking transfer records, bringing in young talents from Europe and poaching players who have amazed the continent and the island in the freshly finished Euro 2016, Arsenal are reluctant to make a real push for the title.
There have been no big signings in Arsenal in this transfer window, and no rumors regarding potential big signings. If we exclude two names – Olivier Giroud and Gonzalo Higuain. In fact, Arsenal’s willingness to swap one for the other.
With all due respect, Granit Xhaka is not a world class signing so we’ll leave him out of this discussion despite the £34m fee. He’s not a bad player but Gladbach are laughing their way to the bank.
The age-old dilemma regarding Olivier Giroud is still very much alive. Arsene Wenger didn’t yet deal with the situation regarding having no quality strikers in the squad – or a backup for average Giroud for that matter – and it seems the situation will stay the same.
Arsenal have made shy attempts to express interest in Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, and Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis jmade an announcement on Tuesday that Higuain is for sale for £80m.
Wenger wanted to play it smart and offered £50m plus Olivier Giroud for the 28-year-old French-born Argentinian striker, but Napoli were even smarter and said they’re not interested in Giroud.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have signed Zlatan Ibrahimović, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, and are looking to break the world record by signing Paul Pogba. Manchester City are looking to add £50m John Stones and are also close to making the Leroy Sane deal official.
Chelsea could be the real winners in this transfer window as they poached N’Golo Kante from Leicester for £32m and are looking to add Riyad Mahrez as well. They also signed Michy Batshuayi and are working to resolve their own striker situation, or, better said, The Diego Costa Situation.
And what have Arsenal done? Absolutely nothing except yet again considering replacing Olivier Girooud with a better striker, but not actually wanting to do it.
In 2015-16 Arsenal made a total of one big signing, Petr Čech for £11.9m, and the season before the Gunners brought in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona for £36.1m, also paying £17.2m for Calum Chambers and £17m for the constantly injured Danny Welbeck who played 11 times in BPL last season. In 2013-14, Mesut Özil landed in London for £40m.
History suggests that Arsene Wenger likes to make one big signing per season – could Higuain be it? Or was £34m Granit Xhaka it? If you want to finish fourth – that was a good signing and no more are necessary.
It remains to be seen what will Arsenal and Arsene Wenger do in this transfer window, but it seems we won’t see much activity as far as quantity is concerned, and the only real question is will Wenger be winning to splash out £80m in cash for Gonzalo Higuain.