Arsenal supporters will be disappointed but not shocked if the Gunners fail to add a notable name or several before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 2.
The club's offseason inaction has become a routine in recent years, and long-time manager Arsene Wenger has taken a bulk of the criticism and blame for it. Recently, the Frenchman has begun downplaying Arsenal's transfer hopes and taking a quiet approach to the upcoming deadline.
Wenger's latest comments suggest he's either bracing Gunners fans for impending disappointment or warming them up for a pleasant surprise next month, per Sky Sports:
I will not give you any names because I think it would be unfair for the players and create some wrong hopes.
You can see that many of the disputes you have all over the country are because managers speak about players. In our job it's just - be discrete and try to make things happen, that's what we try to do.
You can come back to me and say 'yes, but you don't make things happen' but still most important is what happens on the football pitch. The rest? We work very hard on it.
Wenger makes a great point when he says that the only results that matter are the ones on the pitch. But at the same time, Arsenal hasn't had the amount of positive results they would like on the pitch in recent seasons.
It's been almost 10 years since the Gunners last won the Premier League and nearly that long since they played for the UEFA Champions League title. But results aside, Wenger's decision to downplay the transfer deadline and to avoid naming last-minute targets makes the most sense at this juncture.
There's less than a week remaining before the window closes, and any talk of potential targets would only set the club up for disaster if a move failed to go through. Not to mention meaningful matches are being played and the last thing Wenger needs is to say something that could wind up becoming a distraction for his squad.
Instead, Wenger's silence keeps the focus on the players he has and opens the door for the club to potentially surprise its fanbase with a quality player at the start of next month.
The Gunners have been linked to topflight forwards like Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema this summer, but they have nothing to show for their interest thus far. Adding a talent like Benzema could at least help Wenger and the Gunners leadership save some face.
Arsenal is also at an advantage at the moment, having looked impressive in back-to-back victories over Fenerbahce and Fulham. After being embarrassed at Emirates by Aston Villa to open the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, the Gunners have outscored their last two opponents 6-1.
Results like those make Wenger look and sound like a genius.
In reality, Wenger and Arsenal are fooling themselves if they believe they can win titles without adding a dynamic striker at some point this season. But if they aren't going to land one this summer, it makes perfect sense to remain mum and to redirect the focus to the talent they currently possess.
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