At the end of last season I wrote an article declaring that Arsenal were on the verge of their most successful campaign for many years.
They had secured their best players on long-term contracts. For the first summer in many they were unlikely to lose anyone. And they were the only club from last season’s top four to still have the same man in charge.
All they had to do was make a few astute signings and they could realistically challenge for silverware again.
And yet just two weeks before the new league campaign begins, Arsenal’s only significant transfer business to date has been the signing of Yaya Sanogo – a player of much promise but not one who is going to single-handedly fire them to glory.
While Wenger has missed out on Stevan Jovetic and Gonzalo Higuain, Swansea have signed Wilfried Bony for considerably less than either.
And while the Frenchman has been putting all his eggs in a Luis-Suarez-shaped basket, West Brom made one of the signings of the summer, bringing in Diego Lugano from PSG.
With Cardiff reportedly just a signature away from signing Etienne Capoue from Toulouse, that would be three players who were perfect for Arsenal, playing against them next season.
The Capoue deal is not yet done, so there is still time for Wenger to sign the 25-year-old defensive midfielder who is exactly what his side are crying out for.
But both Bony and Lugano are missed opportunities, and while some may claim they would rather sign the finished article than a star-in-the-making, just wait until Bony hits his stride next season.
For a fraction of the price Liverpool are quoting for Suarez, Arsenal could have signed all his goals and none of his baggage.
While Lugano – captain of the Uruguay national team and with experience aplenty – could have been the centre-back to both ease the temporary loss of Thomas Vermaelen and ultimately prove a bedrock in the Gunners’ defence.
Players are missed out on every day, but Wenger was once renowned for spending small and thriving regardless. For less than the cost of a volatile Uruguayan he could have signed all his club’s solutions and still had change.
With Capoue seemingly stalling over a move to Cardiff, there is still time to get at least one of them.
Do you agree that Lugano and Bony could have thrived at the Emirates? And should Wenger move swiftly before Capoue signs for Cardiff?
image: © Matt and Kim Rudge