It is very difficult for any Arsenal fan not to be critical of this transfer window. Obviously, almost every transfer window is a disappointment but it would be a soap opera if we start discussing each of those. Keeping our focus on the one that just closed, we can’t help but wonder if Arsene Wenger missed a trick or two.
The vociferous supporters of Wenger would point to the worst things that happened to other clubs. Manchester United, notably, became a laughing stock of their own fans for the way they conducted business. Surely enough, no Arsenal supporter could have digested such an experience.
However, this is no silver lining in what became another traumatized experience. There is no solace in the pitfalls of other clubs because it would not help your own team on the pitch. To be more blunt, the failure in not signing a new centre-forward on deadline day may come back to haunt Wenger; for many reasons.
First, there is the ongoing concern about Olivier Giroud’s ability to lead the line. He even lost his starting place to Theo Walcott in the last Premier League game. Not that Walcott set the place on fire but it was a clear message to Giroud.
Wenger also has problems with his back-up because Danny Welbeck doesn’t look like coming out of the physio table in the near future. The England international has a chronic knee problem and is taking longer than expected to get back to full fitness.
When Welbeck arrived at the Emirates from Old Trafford, there was silent optimism that he could be the answer to the centre-forward conundrum. Wenger tracked him for long and saw him as a long-term solution.
But, Welbeck hasn’t answered the questions around his sale – yet. One reason is that he couldn’t play on a regular basis because of his injuries. He hasn’t played since April 26 and it’s still unclear when he would return.
Good enough reason to buy another striker? For most, it would have been but not for Wenger. True, that he wanted to sign Karim Benzema but Real Madrid would not sell at whatever money that Wenger is throwing.
There was apparent interest in Edinson Cavani but nothing moved on that front too. Either Wenger baulked on the price or was too choosy deciding the return on investment doing his own ‘price vs potential vs fitment’ matrix.
Whatever it is, Arsenal ended another window without signing a striker. What if Welbeck continues his injury woes and suddenly Giroud gets injured too? In a season where the fans expect a real title challenge, this could be one decision that may haunt Wenger. Let’s hope it doesn’t!