Arsenal have always done things differently, and who can blame them? In this world of spiralling transfer fees and even higher player salaries, it’s to the club’s credit that they refuse to get involved in the bidding wars that the ridiculous transfer window creates.
Whether Emmanuel Adebayor leaves Arsenal now remains to be seen. Ronaldinho’s departure to AC Milan seems to have closed the door on his Italian dream, and whether Barca will be prepared to make him their sixth signing of the summer now seems in doubt.
Logically, having sold the Ronaldinho, Deco and Dos Santos, they probably still need a forward. Let’s hope Adebayor proves to be their target so that we can cash in while his stock is still high.
If Arsene Wenger relies of Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela, Robin Van Persie and Niclas Bendtner as our forward line next season, with Eduardo coming back at some point as well, hopefully, I am going to be more than slightly concerned.
And the departures of Alex Hleb and Gilberto Silva this week leaves a thin squad thinner still than last season. If Wenger had strengthened in January as many Gooners thought he should, we would have won the title.
Sure, rookie Aaron Ramsey may well prove to be a fine replacement for Gilberto or Mathieu Flamini, and we have Abou Diaby (injury concerns notwithstanding) and Denilson ready to step up.
But even if we sign Amaury Bischoff from Werder Bremen, I still suspect that we’ll be light in midfield, unless Tomas Rosicky moves inside to accommodate Vela on the left. I don’t think Gareth Barry is the right player for Arsenal FC.
Late last season, Wenger highlighted the Gunners’ rearguard as being vulnerable to long balls, hinting that we may be signing a central defender. That has not happened, and after the performances of William Gallas and Philippe Senderos at Euro2008, the urgency for a rock solid centre-back grows more vital to the club’s hopes.
I’m not convinced that we’ll be any the wiser before the end of August, when Wenger tends to wait to sign players when clubs fear losing out on their windfalls.
But wouldn’t it be nice to get everything settled before the start of the season so that the new team can get to know each other and we can start looking forward with optimism rather than apprehension?