The complexities that Arsenal have come across during this transfer window in only securing one signing all summer could have all been swept away with a wiser strategy from the outset.
Working under the restrictions of a measly transfer budget has meant that identifying top-quality recruits for the Gunners squad has clearly been a factor for Unai Emery following the failure to reach the Champions League at the end of last season.
However, adapting his transfer gameplan in light of those limitations would surely be a better way of maximising Arsenal’s activity before the season kicks off in a matter of weeks.
With little money at his disposal, exploiting the top end of the loan market should perhaps have been Emery’s first port of call.
And with the likes of Dani Ceballos and Malcom just some of the names linked with temporary Arsenal moves over the summer months, it would hardly be far-fetched to suggest that adding quality from Europe’s best is beyond The Gunners’ capabilities despite their lack of financial resources.
Adding to the Arsenal attacking ranks with those two in particular whilst only covering wages over a 12-month period should still leave ample room for bringing in a marquee signing at around the £40m The Gunners are thought to have to play with this summer.
That said, Emery does not have a pretty previous history in that specific area of the market, with January’s signing of Denis Suarez a largely ineffective and fairly pointless act given the Spaniard’s brief spell in North London.
But it would be tough to suggest adding players in without delving into the transfer pot represents anything other than solid and pragmatic recruitment given the limited nature of this window for Arsenal.
In many ways, that has left this rebuild being more a case of giving the team what it needs rather than what it wants.
That’s because Arsenal were a team heading into the season without any amount of depth on the wings – and with an even larger hole in defence following the recent actions of Laurent Koscielny – Emery has to realise going all-out for the likes of Wilfried Zaha not only neglects the immediate priorities of the squad, but curbs the club from making them go further with what little funds they have been afforded.
Although Emery seems to have wisely cut corners by drafting in midfield options from the youth ranks in the shapes of Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, he will not have gone far enough in that regard if utilising the loan market to Arsenal’s benefit ends up being overlooked by the season’s start.