Back in the glory days of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger the French boss was famous for bringing in French fancies, now he is starting to become more accustomed to French freebies.
The Gunners have brought former-midfielder Mathieu Flamini back to the club on a free transfer, after his contract expired with Italian giants AC Milan.
Everybody at Arsenal must be very frustrated by the lack of transfer business at the club this summer.
I have written about this situation before, but it is starting to become a bigger issue as the transfer window draws to a close and Wenger sinks further into denial.
Mathieu Flamini is a decent player do not get me wrong, but the signing is typical of how Arsenal have conducted their business in the transfer market in the last few years. The Gunners try to drag every penny out of the deals for the players they sign and sometimes end up missing out on quality additions.
That is why they no longer have the quality to fight for the Premier League title. You do not challenge for the Premier League title by bringing in players on free transfers. Arsenal may not have been quite so cheap in previous summers, but they have not been far off.
There has been plenty of big talk coming from within the corridors of power at the Emirates, yet nothing has happened. Where is Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain or Wayne Rooney? The answer is not at Arsenal.
If Arsenal were serious about becoming real contenders in the top-flight then the club would have spent the money necessary to bring in quality players this summer. It is not like Arsenal does not have the money.
Arsenal have money, but it seems that Arsene Wenger will not buy unless it represents value for money. In today’s transfer market there is not much value for money, but there are still quality players out there for reasonable fees. Wenger has previously built teams from players he has developed.
However, it is far harder to build a team with youngsters and unknowns now. If players have a modicum of talent then they are spotted at a young age and a host of teams are challenging for their signature, probably offering higher wages than Arsenal.
Wenger no longer has the edge over importing foreign talent either, as every club in the top-flight seems to have scouts scouring the world for potential bargains. Wenger is no longer a leader in the field for picking-up players on the cheap.
What must be frustrating for Arsenal fans is that they do have quality in their squad and probably only need a few players added to their team to make them real challengers in the top-flight. Wenger still has not addressed the problem defensive midfield position.
Despite his superb performances in the position so far this season, Aaron Ramsey is not the answer to the defensive midfield conundrum. Olivier Giroud has also started the season in good form up front, but he cannot carry the Gunners attack on his own.
The Gunners need a striker, a problem area that Wenger identified by his choice of failed transfer targets this summer. Higuain would have fitted the bill perfectly. The Gunners needed a goal poacher to finish chances off and Arsenal missed out on the Argentinian forward.
The absence of Thomas Vermaelen has raised concerns over the centre of the Gunners defence. Last season Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker form a good partnership towards the end of the campaign.
However, already the pair have looked shaky, with Koscielny shown a red card on the opening day of the season. So that is three areas of the team that probably could and should have been strengthened this summer.
There are also questions marks over young keeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish youngster certainly has talent and bucket loads of confidence, but he needs competition to keep him from becoming complacent.
The three key outfield areas highlight why Arsenal have struggled to challenge for the title in recent seasons.
A major problem facing Arsenal is the fact that arch-rivals Tottenham, who the Gunners face on Sunday, have done some superb business in the transfer market this summer and do not look finished yet. Spurs have proved that there are quality players out there, if you are willing to pay the fees.
Striker Roberto Soldado would have scored goals for fun at Arsenal, but instead he is lining up at White Hart Lane this season. Most of the players that are arriving at Tottenham could have fitted in nicely at the Emirates, but the Gunners hierarchy are sat their twiddling their thumbs and are scared to wipe the cobwebs of their chequebooks.
People say this every year, but Arsenal face the biggest challenge for a place in the top-four that they have done in a long-time. In previous seasons Spurs have never been so strong and looked so dangerous.
Arsenal boss Wenger has revealed today that he will not panic buy, despite his squad being depleted by injuries and lack of numbers. It should never have got to the stage where he has to panic buy.
Arsenal should have brought players in far earlier in the transfer window. The Gunners have a pretty good starting eleven when everybody is available, but something tells me that Wenger and Arsenal may regret not shelling out this summer on some quality additions to the team.
Will Arsene Wenger manage to sign anybody before the transfer window shuts?
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