Even though the summer transfer window that has just closed felt to Arsenal fans at times as though we were stuck in a time loop and that Arsene Wenger was being his stubborn old self and refusing to accept the weaknesses in the Arsenal squad that everyone but him could see, we did get there in the end.
In fact, you could say that by spending close to £100 million and adding the experienced German international centre back Shkodran Mustafi and the Spanish striker Lucas Perez to his early capture of the impressive looking central midfielder Granit Xhaka, Wenger has done what many Arsenal fans have been calling for and strengthened the spine of the team in three key areas.
Add this to the addition of the veteran keeper Petr Cech last summer and in the space of a year we can see a much changed Arsenal side, and one which the Frenchman says is the most mature and ready to compete one he has had for some time.
Of course we will have to wait and see how the new signings adapt to the Premier League and blend in with their new team mates, but what he has seen in training so far has really encouraged Arsene and made him feel quite contented about the summer transfer business panned out, an Arsenal.com report explains.
He said, “They have settled very quickly and very well, so the real test is the games.
“We will see and know very soon, but what they do in training is promising. A least they have the quality and focus in training that we expected and on that front I’m very happy.
“We did [the deals] quite early compared to some other clubs because we finished our job on Saturday and the transfer deadline was on Wednesday. It was earlier than expected, because it was a quick turnaround on Saturday morning which we didn’t expect to go so quickly.
“They bring us qualities. Mustafi is a young centre back and already has international experience. Lucas is an interesting striker who is versatile, can play on the flank and especially though the middle. He can score goals and can also provide a good number of assists. With the way I like to play, that’s an interesting quality.
“I would say it’s the most mature squad I’ve had for a long time, because they are men. They are not 19 or 20 years old, they are 24, 27, 28 and the whole squad is quite mature.
“It’s the first time for a long time that I’ve had a team of what you can call men ready to compete. After, we have to show that we are good enough to beat everybody else.
“I always believe we have a chance, even when we had young players. Certainly I haven’t had a squad of players [like this] for a long time, who have enough experience to compete.”
I am not sure that getting the transfers done with a couple of days to spare is exactly early, especially as the Gunners started the season with two inexperienced centre backs and conceded four goals on the opening day, but I do see his point and am starting to get my hopes up that Wenger has done some good business and given us a stronger squad to compete for major trophy success this season. Do you agree?