Arsenal didn’t enjoy the most fruitful of transfer windows compared to their supposed title rivals last summer.
Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea forked out an average of roughly £180 million each, whereas the Gunners invested just under £50 million in Alexandre Lacazette alone.
In what was an alarmingly quiet off-season in North London, Sead Kolasinac was the only other fresh face to arrive at the Emirates on a free transfer from Schalke.
Both players look to be fine acquisitions based on their performances to date, though a lack of additional reinforcements makes their signings somewhat redundant.
Arsene Wenger deserves some praise for keeping hold of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil for the time being, but leaving his squad thin in other key positions always had the potential to create a frustrating situation.
Barely more than two months into the campaign, it seems that time has come already.
International breaks often cause managers to worry about their personnel returning home in one piece, and after Germany hosted Azerbaijan on Sunday, Wenger will know exactly why.
Shkodran Mustafi played just 36 minutes at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion before clutching at his right thigh in pain for no obvious reason.
JOACHIM LOW'S UPDATE
Following a comfortable 5-1 victory for his side, German boss Joachim Low provided a worrying update on the Arsenal defender.
"With Mustafi it seems that it is some muscle tear or some muscle fibre tear," the 57-year-old told reporters, per the Evening Standard.
"In any case it could force him to a longer break.”
ARSENAL FANS REACT
Learning of an injury to a player like Mustafi is never welcome news to any fan, but in the case of Gunners faithful, they haven’t taken it lightly at all.
There's little wonder as to why Arsenal fans are so concerned about his potential long-term absence – Wenger now has just two natural centre-backs to fill his five-man defence.
Only Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding are currently fit to play, with Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers in doubt to return for their trip to Watford this Saturday.
If it wasn’t obvious during the summer, surely now Wenger recognises the need to snap up another top central defender in January.
How should Wenger cover for Mustafi's absence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.