Football

Lucas Perez.

Perez signing farce shows Arsenal are re-living their horror 2011 transfer window

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Arsene Wenger today admitted that he had misjudged this summer's transfer window, telling reporters at his Friday press conference that, having expected it to be the easiest window so far, it had actually turned out to be his most difficult.

Having watched on as Arsenal failed to snag target after target across Europe, fans of the north London club will most likely agree with their long-time manager.

Today could prove to be a turning point, however, with news that Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez is in London to complete a medical ahead of a £17 million transfer. But, while Gooners will be relieved to finally see a new face, the Spanish forward's arrival actually encapsulates the issues that remain with Arsenal's transfer policy.

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Making the same mistakes

After failing in bids over the summer for the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Jamie Vardy and Alexander Lacazette, Perez certainly wasn't Wenger and co.'s first choice when it comes to bringing in competition for Olivier Giroud.

Indeed, yesterday it was revealed that Arsenal had actually ruled out making a move for the 27-year-old back in July. Now, one month on and just days away from the transfer window closing, his imminent arrival smacks of a panic buy.

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In echoes of Arsenal's 2011 transfer window when they made four deadline day signings (Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun and Andre Santos) in an effort to address a poor start to the season, Wenger appears to be once again moving towards a last-minute, Plan Z approach rather than having got his business done early.

Back then, Mertesacker and Arteta provided valuable additions. Benayoun and Santos, however, were panic buys that didn't pay off.

FBL-EUR-C1-ARSENAL-MONTPELLIER-TRAINING

Adding in deals that summer which included over £10 million on Gervinho and £3 million on Chu Young Park, it was a disaster from start to finish.

Remember, this was the summer Wenger waved goodbye to Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, and Gael Clichy and the likes of City, United and Chelsea were signing Sergio Aguero, David de Gea and Juan Mata for a combined £80 million.

There are certainly similarities this year as Arsenal - clearly in need of reinforcements - have watched their rivals spend millions whilst sitting on their cash until the last minute.

One season wonder?

According to GiveMeSport's Spanish Editor, Martin del Palacio, Wenger could be falling into the same trap as in 2011 with Perez, as he looks to appease fans desperate for new arrivals.

"Lucas Pérez is a bit of an enigma," he told us. "After a completely undistinguished journeyman career who took him from the Atlético Madrid feeder teams to Ukraine to Greece, he found his stride at Deportivo last season.

"So far he's a one season wonder, and it remains to be seen if he can become one of those late blooming strikers or another of Arsene Wenger's transfer failures."

FBL-ESP-LIGA-DEPORTIVO-SEVILLA

That's a pretty severe warning for Arsenal fans who have spent all summer waiting for proven, high-profile additions to a squad that clearly needed improving after squandering a clear opportunity to win the Premier League last season.

Even as he awaits his medical today, there are already plenty of sceptics...

And his CV to date doesn't exactly scream proven goal-scorer.

Before scoring 17 goals in the league last season, the 27-year-old had never hit double figures in a first team career that began in 2009.

Gamble

With Arsenal needing reinforcements both to put pressure on Giroud, and offer an alternative goal-scoring option, the fact Wenger has had to resort to the Deportivo striker at this stage is a sign that he hasn't yet learned from previous transfer window mistakes.

Only time will tell if the Gunners boss will be proven right in taking a chance on Perez.

At the minute, fans of the north London club are just relieved to hear a player is arriving, but that won't last long if he turns out to be more Gervinho than Robin van Persie.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
UEFA Champions League
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Football
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Arsenal
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