The lack of transfer activity at the Emirates Stadium this summer is astonishing. Nonetheless, at least Arsenal’s forward line is still flush with options, even if those alternatives to Olivier Giroud don’t include Edinson Cavani, Karim Benzema or Jackson Martinez.
Instead of such appetite-whetting signings giving all connected with the club a huge lift for the season that lies ahead, one of the Gunners most enigmatic players outside of Abou Diaby will now be supplementing the striker ranks.
Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell has decided to remain in north London and fight alongside Giroud, centre-forward convert Theo Walcott and oft-injured Danny Welbeck for his place in the team.
In spite of making one appearance for every year he’s been at the club (4), 23-year-old Campbell apparently turned down offers of further loan deals from across the continent this summer.
Although he has shown promise playing for Olympiacos on loan in a recent spell – famously scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League in 2013/14 – this is not the ‘signing’ Gooners were glued to their televisions to usher in on Deadline Day.
It has since transpired that Paris Saint-Germain striker Cavani was available for a fee of £50m, but citing a lack of sell-on value, Arsenal being Arsenal opted against such an outlay and made do with current stocks.
An obsession with the balance sheet and a fixation on the long-term view have once again left Arsenal fans bewildered, while their club’s chances of landing that elusive Premier League title have yet again been jeopardised.
It’s only four games in, but Arsene Wenger’s side are now deemed 6/1 shots to supersede Chelsea come May.
Benzema may have been slightly out of reach all the while as the Frenchman had no desires to leave Real Madrid, though given the finances available to Wenger, a sorely tempting package no doubt could, and should, have been wafted in front of him.
Cavani was certainly attainable by all accounts, and for whatever reason the powers that be decided against pushing the boat out to land Jackson Martinez earlier in proceedings, who was gleefully snapped up by Champions League rivals Atletico Madrid.
It’s okay for those fans who pay through their noses for Emirates season tickets though, because while every other side in the top-flight signed at least five players compared to Arsenal’s one this summer – they still have Campbell on the books.
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