At the beginning of the summer, Arsenal's chief executive Ivan Gazidis claimed the club had sufficient financial firepower to compete with the biggest sides in European football, and that they would be willing to splash the cash on high calibre players.
Fast-forward to just a day before the beginning of the Premier League season and there has been only one new face at the Emirates - the low-key signing of French youngster Yaya Sanogo.
He may be a fantastic player in the future, but the Gunners need a couple of key signings to come in and have an impact this season. If they fail to do so, they fail missing out on a coveted Champions League berth.
Credit must be given to Wenger for managing to keep hold of the players currently at the club (thus far), something which he has failed to do in the past (see Robin Van Persie, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure,Thierry Henry, need I go on?) However, there has been little interest in their squad anyone, an indicator of their mediocrity.
The only player who has been linked with a move elsewhere was Laurent Koscielny, although those rumours appear to have died down. Other than him and perhaps Theo Walcott, none of the Arsenal squad are likely to get near the starting eleven at a top side such as Bayern Munich or Barcelona (Jack Wilshere included. He has a great deal of potential, but is currently no more than a good player - being English, he has been overhyped by the media).
With the current squad Arsenal have, they will, I believe struggle to regain a top four spot, and have absolutely no chance of mounting a title challenge. They have a few talented youngsters who need more time to reach their peak, some good players, but not many top players.
Last season they secured their position by the skin of their teeth, narrowly edging out Tottenham. Since then, in contrast to Arsenal, Spurs have added Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Soldado and Etienne Capoue to their ranks - top players with European pedigree.
However, the Gareth Bale saga could be Arsenal's saving grace. The disruption to the squad caused by the rumours surrounding his future, and potentially losing the fulcrum of their side could affect Tottenham's potency and cause them to lose their way, at least temporarily while they come to terms with the loss.
On paper, providing they can keep hold of Gareth Bale, or at least reinvest the funds from his transfer wisely (ideally in a direct replacement, a new centre-back, a new striker and perhaps even a left-back) then Tottenham could comfortably usurp the Gunners as the cream of north London.
Liverpool, another potential rival, could also be affected by stories surrounding their key man, Luis Suarez. It has become clear that a move to Arsenal for the Uruguayan is not viable, but his addition could certainly push the Gunners in the right direction, whilst denying Liverpool their talisman.
The Reds must not be ruled out though - Daniel Sturridge is capable of taking on the goalscoring mantle if it is vacated by Suarez and canny additions elsewhere, such as the aforementioned Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet, could make them serious contenders. Everton could also mount a charge, and Swansea may even be outsiders, but it is very unlikely.
In order for Arsenal to give themselves the best possible chance of maintaining their top four status, they must purchase a top defensive midfield player, as well as a goalkeeper, centre-back and striker if possible. Having missed out on some of their top targets already, though, their options will be limited, and they may end up missing out.
On the other hand, they may be saved the by the ongoing sagas at their rivals.
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