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2.9.14

Credit where credit is due, when the window opened, if I thought we would end the period with Sanchez, Debuchy, Ospina, Wellbeck and Chambers I'd have been happy, to be honest I would have complained about spending £16 million on an unproven 19 year old, but hindsight and a few promising appearances are wonderful things. As it is, we have spent £82 million (that's a fortune in our terms) on some very good footballers. 

However, we didn't buy a replacement for Vermaelen and the fabled defensive midfielder's capture still eludes us. I do believe that we looked at some alternatives for the former but it didn't happen and although we did bid for Carvallho, we pitched up short. I think this points to a dual flaw; despite the reputed change in the decision making structure at Arsenal, in that the manager now recommends players and the recruitment team does the deals, Wenger's influence is still too keenly felt. Of course he's the manager, but look at the relative merits of those brought in this summer.



The manager has always been in thrall of existing superstar players (he just never signed that many) and as soon as the Emirates induced financial drought abated, he bought Ozil, so he couldn't resist Sanchez - and thank heavens he didn't, he's a top, marquee signing of the type we've been shouting for. Furthermore, Wenger loves to be seen as the prime mover in the development of young players (overall he's done this successfully) so the £16 million for Chambers was a classic Wenger buy. Debuchy, Ospina and Wellbeck are established, highly rated club players with some international pedigree.



So it seems to me that as long as Wenger is calling the tune, we will see Arsenal players selected in his image and the direction the manager wants us to take and continue to follow. The second issue is more do with organisational structure. The blueprint (excuse the pun) for talent acquisition in the premier league, is Manchester City. Every season, they sit down in October to assess their targets for both windows and endeavor to complete the signings early in both periods. They have the right people in place and are capable of working on multiple targets concurrently. Arsenal don't do this, on the last day of the window, our leader absented himself to manage a team in a friendly in a Rome.

If Arsenal had signed Carvallho and Hummels as well as the existing five signatures, as supporters we'd be in seventh heaven. Not signing  a centre half to replace Vermaelen was plain lazy and stupid. We now have three players to cover two positions and only two established proponents in these vital roles - not good enough. It is often said that Wenger does not acknowledge defence as an equal component to attack in footballing terms, the lack of new additions in this area of the team confirms this.



Moving forward, the next two signings at the club need to address this weakness in the squad - will it happen? Your guess its as good as mine, but overall, from an attacking perspective, an excellent window. I'm especially interested to see how young Danny Wellbeck does, and I like the prospect of the club playing more British players, whether this is intentional or not.

By Ian Byrne

Follow me @RightAtTheEnd
Different Themes
Written by Ian Byrne

Lifelong Arsenal supporter.

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