Arsenal’s inertia in the transfer market has been driving their fans to distraction this summer and a combination of their traditional conservatism over late signings and rivals not wanting to let key players disappear now the season has started suggests a bet on them making less than 1.5 permanent or loan signings between August 21st and September 4th may not be bad value at 3/1.
Considering their big-spending summer transfer windows of recent years, it may seem like madness to insist that the Gunners will fail to bring in more than one player before the end of this year’s sale season.
However, Dejan Iliev of Macedonian club Belasica was the sole player to sign on at the Emirates after the first week of August in 2012, with big-money deals for Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud all concluded long before Iliev arrived on August 31st.
In fact the only summer window of the last six in which Arsenal have recruited more than one player after August 6th was the 2011/12 window, when their 8-2 hammering by Manchester United exposed the alarming lack of squad depth at the club, precipitating a £26m spending spree in the last two days of August.
Among the foursome brought into the club on that occasion, Andre Santos and Park Chu-Young in particular offer stark warning of the perils of diving into the window at the last moment and the memory of such erratic spending will send a shiver down Arsene Wenger’s spine.
And of course, trying to do your business within the shadow of September also makes it very hard to convince clubs to let their brightest stars go with so little time to replace them.
With this in mind, bids such as Arsenal’s double swoop for Swansea stars Michu and Ashley Williams will surely never be entertained in a month of Sundays, making it difficult to foresee where the Gunners will pick up players of the quality of those they’ve previously been linked with this summer before the close of the window.