The Daily Mirror chief football writer John Cross has delivered a damning verdict on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s transfer window this summer.
Granit Xhaka remains the only marquee arrival for the Gunners with just over a week to go before the deadline, although youngsters Rob Holding and Takuma Asano have also signed up.
It hasn’t been enough to quell the growing discontent with some of the club’s supporters, who expected big signings this summer to build on their runners-up finish in the Premier League last season.
Time is running out for Wenger to deliver that big name as he continues to come under intense scrutiny and criticism over his dealings in the market, and Cross has slammed the Frenchman for his lack of activity so far this summer.
“I think the worry is for Arsenal and for Wenger is the disconnect between the manager and the club and the fans is growing ever deeper,” Cross said on the Sunday Supplement. “I’ve always been a huge admirer of Wenger, but he really has lost me over this window. I think he’s been an absolute shambles.
“I think it’s been poor management, poor planning and I do think Arsenal fans have every right to be fed-up, frustrated and to voice their concerns.
“It’s been a disaster for Arsenal this transfer window because I do think at the end of last season there was a bit of a talk of a revolution with talks of three or four out and three or four in, major changes, and they fell short.
“You go through the summer and their only major signing has been Granit Xhaka and it’s just not enough. They need a striker, they started the summer by needing a centre-half and why-oh-why every year, do Arsenal go into August, something of a mess, a bit of a shambles, trying to drive a hard bargain on August 31.”
Many will agree with Cross’s assessment of the situation at the Emirates, while Wenger’s cause hasn’t been helped by the fact that his side have picked up just one point from their opening two games of the campaign.
Injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel mean that he must act and bring in a defender before the deadline, while the Gunners are still lacking a prolific striker to make the difference on a consistent basis in the final third.
In that sense, there is legitimate grounds for Arsenal supporters to be frustrated. However, on the other hand, there are two factors in Wenger’s defence with the right players simply not being available or costing well over the odds and not warranting the price-tags given to them.
It’s a difficult balance, but Wenger will have to deliver something before the deadline otherwise it promises to be a tough few months for the Gunners unless they deliver big results week in and week out.