At what point does it become acceptable to panic over the lack of signings made by Arsenal this summer?
Is it too early to indulge in a bit of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing, or should I wait until a week before the start of the season, when we are all losing our collective shit?
After a really quite promising start to the summer – with Granit Xhaka wrapped up early on, and an offer on the table for Jamie Vardy – I find myself underwhelmed that little has changed in the past month.
Sure, we made a move to sign for Japanese starlet Takuma Asano but, by Arsene’s admission, he is very much one for the future, not someone who is like to fill the world class-shaped hole in our attacking line up tomorrow.
At the end of last season, fans were united in feeling that we needed a deal of investment in the squad over the summer in order, at the very least, to meet the renewed challenge of our rivals.
And, while others have moved quickly in the transfer market – I think most prominently of the despicable Jose Mourinho – we have floundered and dallied and delayed.
Even the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham have made early, decisive moves to bring in players – even if they are rank average.
But are the wheels even in motion at Arsenal? Are the signings we sorely need being pursued and discussed?
The faithful fan in me certainly hopes so, but the weary cynic in me suspects otherwise. It’s happened all too often this last decade; a pre-season packed with hope and expectation and excitement obliterated come the morning after the transfer deadline, when we are left with more or less the same squad with which we finished the previous campaign.
It can’t happen again this time, can it?
Arsene must have had greater plans in place than a speculative bid for Jamie Vardy. I have to believe that his scouts were briefed and on alert for a suitable striker and a centre back this past six to eight months.
This is a surpassingly important summer for the club, and for Arsene, too. If he harbours ambitions of another contract, he has to deliver a major trophy. Another Champions League finish will not be enough this time. To that end, I expect that he will be going hammer and tongs from now until the end of the window to fill the gaps that exist in our squad.
If we arrive at the end of the window without those requisite signings, the fans who wavered at last season’s end may well find themselves falling into the disgruntled camp, and the club does not need that.
Personally, I believe that promoting from within will be enough to bolster our first-choice midfield. The same cannot be said of our attack and our defence, there must be significant reinforcement and it must be of a calibre that will allow us to mount a serious and sustained title bid from mid-August.
I know it’s still early, but let’s keep everything crossed that, in the slightly embellished words of Eddard Stark: Signings are Coming.