Arsenal could have established themselves as genuine contenders for the Premier League title had they managed to acquire Radamel Falcao ahead of Manchester United, according to Jamie Redknapp.
Arsenal had been linked with an approach for Falcao on deadline day as Arsene Wenger scoured he market for another striker following injury to Olivier Giroud, but it would appear chose not to pursue the transfer of the Colombia international.
Manchester United, of course, were able to complete a notable coup by signing Falcao from Monaco on an initial season-long loan deal, with the option to make the transfer a permanent one at the end of the campaign.
This deal allowed Arsenal to recruit Danny Welbeck, deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, to ease their woes up front somewhat, but Redknapp had hoped Wenger would go all out to bring Falcao to north London.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Redknapp said: “[I] would have also liked to have seen Arsenal sign Falcao. They are so close to being title contenders.”
Manchester United are reported to be paying £24 million, with wages taken into account, just to rent Falcao, while they would be expected to outlay double this in order to recruit the player on a full-time basis.
It is a deal that Arsenal decided was financially beyond them, or so it has been claimed, and Wenger will be content to have paid £16 million to conclude the signing of Welbeck - a player of far lesser standing, but one with plenty of potential.
Welbeck, however, has yet to convince that he can progress into a goalscorer of real repute - something Arsenal are in clear need of - and much will be expected of him following the deadline day arrival at the Emirates Stadium.
“I like [Welbeck] and always hear good things about his attitude and personality,” Redknapp added.
“He’s a good athlete but doesn’t score enough goals and doesn’t get in the right positions enough. I’m pleased for Arsenal fans that they signed someone. Welbeck is going there with a real point to prove.”
Arsenal fans will be desperate Welbeck can fulfil his promise, preferably sooner rather than later, and the optimists among them will look to the way Daniel Sturridge was able to flourish after his transfer to Liverpool.
Sturridge has become one of the Premier League’s leading marksman since being offered the opportunity to play in his favoured position having, like Welbeck, initially had to endure spells on the wing or the bench in the early part of his career.