Open and shut: How the 'Big 5' did in the transfer window
- Big hopes in: Petr Cech (Chelsea) £12m.
- Big names out: Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray) £1.8m, Wojciech Szczesny (AS Roma) loan, About Diaby (Marseille) free.
- Net spend: £10.7m
For the first time in recent windows, Arsenal have largely been the Premier League’s forgotten cousins. Having outlayed nearly £65m on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez alone over the past two seasons, their only addition of note was goalkeeper Petr Cech for around £12m.
A host of players went in the other direction, notably Lukas Podolski, Abou Diaby and Wojciech Szczesny. While in some ways their lack of activity is an indication Arsenal have largely done their re-tooling and are content with what they have, there is still an undeniable feeling of restlessness among the faithful.
The seemingly ever-present accusation aimed at the Gunners is that, somewhat ironically, they lack firepower. In Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud they have two talented strikers that can certainly win you a game, but they can also go missing for stretches of the season. Danny Welbeck is virtually unproven in Arsenal red and white due to his injury issues, which are showing no sign of dissipating.
There was some excitement when Karim Benzema’s name was thrown around, but that – along with further rumours surrounding fellow goalscorers Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski – all came to nought. While Arsenal have undeniably improved their stocks between the posts, the rest of the list remains as-you-were. Is it enough to get them past City, Chelsea et al? The early indications are not all that encouraging.
Transfer rating: B-
Predicted finish: 3rd. Unfortunately, based only on the embryonic stages of the season, it looks like more of the same from Arsenal. Capable of superb football, they can be shaky in defence and have just three goals to their name through four games. There is still bucket-loads of time to turn it around, but some convincing performances would be handy, post-haste.