More than £890m, a record, was spent with almost £600m on new players from abroad but the only serious outlay from the Gunners was £10m in bringing veteran goalkeeper Peter Cech across London from Chelsea.
That deal was completed so early in the summer that fans waited expectantly for more to follow. They waited in vain. Wenger’s faith in his current squad remains to firm that he decided no players out on the market could improve on what he has.
Hence the likes of Lukas Podolski in attack, Ryo Miyainchi and Abou Diaby in midfield have not been replaced. More, defence has been left dangerously think – considering all Arsenal’s competitions – with the further loan of Carl Jenkinson to West Ham.
Fans made their frustration felt in a statement issued by the Arsenal Supporters Trust which said: “Arsenal are in a very strong financial position and it is disappointing that the transfer window has closed with only the signing of Petr Cech. Arsenal have built a strong squad and just one or two more good additions would have strengthened the chances of winning a first [league] title in 11 years.
“No-one wants Arsenal to buy players just for the sake of it but we do want to see the money being invested to make the club stronger.”
That stance was endorsed by Arsenal’s former England defender Martin Keown. He said: “It’s been a missed opportunity because, apart from Manchester City, the Premier League is there for the taking. If you can put a run together, then you can do something. Arsenal might do that still but it’s unlikely.
“When I left Arsenal 10 years ago, they were dominating the Premier League. The fans got used to seeing trophies coming through. They had to lower their expectations because of the expenditure on the new stadium but now there’s no excuse in those terms.”
However Keown’s old team-mate Thierry Henry disagreed.
The Frenchman, Arsenal’s all-time top scorer, recognised that the club had been linked with Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani and saw this as evidence that Wenger had wanted to strengthen his squad but only with outstanding players of proven quality and achievement.
Henry said:: “It’s not a case that Arsene did not want to bring in any other players but it just did not happen. I think Arsene still believes he can win the league with the team he has and that is his prerogative.”