There was frustration for Arsenal fans as deadline day came and went, following Arsene Wenger’s failure to add an outfield player to his squad.
Despite finishing 12 points behind champions Chelsea last season, optimism was high amongst Gunners fans that they could launch a bid to win a first league title since 2004 this time round. This was fuelled by a promising end to the last campaign, including a successive FA Cup success, and the belief that Wenger was building a squad capable of competing at the very top of the game.
It was widely thought that if cash was spent on a new striker, a holding midfield player and a goalkeeper, then Arsenal would be ready to end their wait for a 14th crown. But whilst Petr Cech was brought in from the champions to address the latter, the window closed with the Emirates Stadium club being the only one in Europe’s top five leagues not to sign an outfield player.
During recent weeks the capital club had been linked with Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and Paris Saint Germain ace Edinson Cavani, but neither was attainable. And whilst Gunners legend Thierry Henry accepts it was always going to be difficult to persuade the Spaniards or French giants to part with their top players, he also believes Wenger’s squad are once more short.
“Arsene Wenger said that if it can be done, then I will try to bring someone,” he told Sky Sports. “But how do you get Benzema from Real Madrid when he plays there and Cavani also from Paris Saint-Germain – he scored again at the weekend? It is a difficult one. I do not think he did not want to bring in anyone, he wanted to bring players as we know, but it did not happen.
“Ideally it does not look right now like they are going to win the league like this. But I think Arsene Wenger believes he can win the league with that team and that team is good enough. And that is his prerogative. I think he should have tried to bring players and I think he did try, it could not happen, but I still think that team needed some players.”