Arsene Wenger was able to finally deliver the marquee signing all Arsenal fans wanted when he brought in Mesut Ozil for £42million on deadline day, but one great new arrival must not disguise the fact that the Gunners’ transfer policy needs an overhaul.
Ozil was a surprise capture on the final day of summer trading and is a genuine world-class talent that will add extra special quality to Wenger’s side. So loud has been the public disappointment aired by several Real Madrid players when reflecting on the German star’s exit that it’s clear here’s a player who would grace any side in the world. Arsenal are lucky to have him.
Some fans who bet on Premier League may be satisfied with Arsenal’s summer dealings but, despite Ozil’s stand-out arrival, there is a nagging feeling that at least another two players of significant quality should have been sitting alongside Ozil in the incomings column.
For much of June, July and August it was a frustrating time for Arsenal fans as they watched on with envy as their Premier League rivals splashed the cash. Arch-enemies Spurs, last season’s runners-up, Manchester City, potential title rivals, Chelsea, and even Liverpool all strengthened significantly in preparation for the new campaign. But the Gunners, despite apparently having plenty of funds to spend on the right players, only brought in Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer.
No wonder they were nowhere near the top of the overall Premier League betting odds.
Wenger was pleading patience and insisted he was doing all he could as he chased significant signings. Top targets, like Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez, and Yohan Cabaye all slipped through the Frenchman’s fingers and, by the time the season began with a thoroughly disappointing 3-1 home win against Aston Villa, still there were no major deals.
We may never know the inside story of how Arsenal went about their transfer business this summer but, whatever the plan was, it needs looking at. Of course, you can target as new faces as you like but if clubs are not willing to sell or players do not want to move then sometimes there is not much more you can do.
Identifying targets earlier and speaking to players, agents and clubs as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the last minute, is certainly one way of improving a transfer policy that nearly left the Gunners without a single significant signing before the window closed.