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Column: Arsenal players under even more pressure to perform after club's failure to buy big


And so it ended. In the same way it was opened on Wednesday, 1 July at midnight, the summer transfer window shut down last Tuesday at exactly 18:00. team manager Harry Robertson assesses the situation at Arsenal and says the players will be under even more pressure to perform as a result of the club's failure to sign important players.

The summer transfer market is over.

For some, like Manchester City, it was another summer of signings with illustrious names joining the club such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

For others, namely Arsenal, it was another summer of "maybe he will join", "he would be a terrific signing for the club" and of course, the same old "if we find an exceptional player in any sector, we will do it".

Manager Arsene Wenger likes to keep the fans on the edge of their seat, waiting and waiting, telling reporters that "I'm there to buy players, if we find them we'll do it" or else "if we find somebody, we will do it".

That's what he said in the summer of 2013 and in the summer of last year.

And in all fairness he wasn't bluffing. Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and of course Alexis Sanchez were all important signings made by the Frenchman to strengthen the offensive department of his squad.

But this year something went wrong and unfortunately for the Arsenal boss, midfielder Abou Diaby is no longer in the squad to be hailed "like a new signing".

And therefore, it was no surprise to read that fans were disappointed after a non-eventual window which leaves them short in attack and with a number of undeniable problems at the back.

Now according to some, Wenger did try to bring in new players this summer only that all players he approached are either not for sale or happy with their respective club.

Let's start with the obvious.

There was no way the Gunners were going to sign Karim Benzema or Edinson Cavani. As Thierry Henry correctly pointed out, these two are happy where they are, playing alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in other words, Arsenal had nothing to offer that Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are not offering already.

But what about Gonzalo Higuain?

I strong believe that he was the one Arsenal should have made an offer for. His buy-out clause at Napoli could have been triggered for £67.4m, which let's face it, it's an early Christmas gift considering that Manchester United signed 19-year-old Anthony Martial for a fee that could rise to £58m.

Also, many in Italy agree that the player is no longer happy to play for Napoli.

He missed a very important penalty against Lazio on the last day of last season's Serie A, a penalty that would have probably sent the Partenopei to this summer's Champions League play-off.

Not to forget that minutes after the game he was attacked together with goalkeeper Mariano Andujar by a group of 15 thugs, furious that their team failed to finish in the top three.

Maybe I'm wrong but I believe that had Arsenal made an effort to sign the Argentina international then by now they would have had a world-class striker in their squad, a player who is desperately needed, a player who knows how to score goals.

Also worrying is how there were very little or no rumours at all concerning the defensive department.

Yes, Petr Cech joined from Chelsea to bring experience and leadership in defence but in all fairness I feel that Arsenal sold Wojciech Szczesny just when he was reaching his peak.

He started strong for Roma, called a "hero" by Poland's version of Eurosport after a brilliant save to deny Juventus in last week's 2-1 win and I feel there's more to come from him.

Remember he's only 25.

Fact is that as I explained in my previous column, a strong centre-back should have been a priority especially ahead of a very long and tiring campaign.

So what next for the Gunners?

If I were Arsene Wenger I would be extremely concerned by the huge amount of pressure to perform my players will be under.

The club had cash to buy almost anyone according to club Lord Harris so the move from Highbury to the Emirates cannot be an excuse anymore and Arsenal fans know this.

They know that an already-strong team could have been strengthened even further, strong enough to challenge for both the Premier League and the Champions League.

They know that the club made a terrible mistake in assessing Danny Welbeck's injury, a player who will be ruled out for months after undergoing knee surgery last week.

Instead, as the Arsenal Supporters' Trust pointed out, they were left bitterly disappointed after "the transfer window closed with just the signing of Petr Cech".

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