With the long-expected transfers out of Cesc to Barcelona and Nasri to Manchester City over the summer, Arsène Wenger was of course left with the dilemma of finding suitable replacements for the pair at a fairly respectable price.
The fact that Arsenal did manage to qualify for the Champions League made this task easier but did Wenger’s last minute buys – panic buys? – pay off? Martin Keown certainly thinks not, stating that “the building process seemed to start very late on transfer deadline day”. Has this lack of urgency scuppered Arsenal’s chances of success and of attracting new talents in the future?
Arteta is certainly what looked to be a Cesc-like player, with incisive passing and goals from midfield, but he looked lazy on Sunday against Spurs. He has already scored for the Gunners in the defeat to Blackburn but hasn’t had a tremendous impact. Of course, replacing Cesc with a player as good as him was always going to be an impossible task, but Arteta has been slightly disappointing.
Nasri, on the other hand, was replaced by Chelsea reject Yossi Benayoun, undoubtedly a tricky player with the ability to dribble like Modric but he is no Nasri. Would the Israeli chase the ball like his predecessor did for his second goal against Fulham, desperate to score regardless of the crazy angle? I doubt he would have exerted so much effort.
Wenger’s Arteta deal was regarded as a shrewd move by many but has it really worked so far? Cesc’s departure was ‘imminent’ for at least two seasons before the summer, so should we have prepared for the worst beforehand, rather than leave it late and see our transfer options decrease by the day?