Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to spend has once again been evident in this transfer window.
Arsenal’s years to financial prudence appeared to be over after the arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez during recent transfer windows, but the signs are that the negotiator still drives a hard bargain.
Wenger’s greatest strength is his ability to pick out value-for-money deals, but it also his biggest weakness and the most frustrating factor around his management style.
Whilst the marquee arrivals of Ozil and Sanchez have appeased these concerns slightly, their unwillingness to spend big to keep up with their rivals was still clear to see.
The fact that Arsenal need a defensive midfielder of real quality is clear to see and even Wenger has admitted as much from his transfer targets this summer.
All window he has been chasing a player to fill this gap in his squad, but still the Gunners are forced to go into the campaign with what they already have after their failure to acquire any player on their manager's wishlist.
For this Wenger has nobody else but himself to blame. The North-London side were offered William Carvalho on deadline day for €30 million, but Wenger would not budge from the €23 million price-tag he was prepared to pay for the Portuguese man.
Arsenal have been told by Sporting that they can sign William Carvalho for €30m but they will not raise their offer. (Source: Times)— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) September 1, 2014
It means that Arsenal go into the season with Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta as the only players in their squad comfortable with playing a defensive midfield role for the side.
The duo are experienced campaigners, but not of the quality needed to win the Premier League and for the sake of €7 million Wenger may have cost his side a chance of claiming the title.
The rest of his purchases this summer have created a real sense of positivity around the side, but there is glaring weakness in the side that needs to be amended.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and even Manchester City have been swift in bringing in recruits in positions they feel are in need of an upgrade, but Arsenal still go into the season with a gap in their squad.
The Gunners lost by an aggregate of 13 goals against City, Liverpool and Chelsea last season and Wenger’s stubbornness has led to them being unlikely to close that gap this time around.