The transfer window, so far, may not have gone according to the script for the Gunners supporters. Most, if not all, of the fans were happy to welcome Petr Cech to the squad early in the window. For a change, everyone thought Arsene Wenger will move quickly and finalize his targets before the pre-season tour kicks in.
Optimism was replaced by frustration as there were no major signings for the window. Of course there were some promising youngsters who were signed but they are not yet ready to compete for the first team. When the teams around you are strengthening, even if you stay with the same strong squad as the previous season, it is as good as stalling.
Yes, we are talking about the moves made by Manchester United and Liverpool, to an extent. United probably made the best first moves by clinching Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian. Liverpool picked up a lot of players but they did the same last season too.
The signing which may pinch Arsenal and Wenger is that of Schneiderlin. The French midfielder was a signature away from ending up at the Emirates last season. Southampton and Ronald Koeman were adamant about not losing him at any cost. Schneiderlin even went public with his displeasure and did everything except going on strike.
And unlike what Sterling is doing at Liverpool, Schneiderlin turned his anger to performances and improved his stakes last season. Despite an injury ravaged campaign, the French midfielder improved on all counts – successful tackles, interceptions per game and passing accuracy.
It was widely anticipated that Wenger may press his interest in the midfielder once the transfer window opens. On the contrary, he opted out of the race and United got a free way to sign him. Leaving the other matters like transfer fee and weekly wages, at the outset it looks like Louis Van Gaal has made a fine signing.
Schneiderlin has proved that he is a capable defensive midfielder and is also ambitious going forward. Over the last couple of seasons, he is one of the most impressive players in the entire Premier League. Add to it his experience in England with Southampton in League One, Championship and the Premier League. His injury woes last season aside, there is no denying the fact that Schneiderlin is cut out for a top club.
Wenger may have different opinion and it is not really sure why he did not go for him. The squad is brimming with many creative midfielders but having a proven defensive midfielder is not bad at all. Will this be one signing that Wenger will rue not going for? The early signs say it could well be!