That is the beginning and the end of Arsenal's transfer activity this summer. Right or wrong, for whatever unknown reasons, Arsene Wenger's going into the rest of this season (until January, that is) with virtually the same squad that he ended last season. The combined transfer spending in the English Premier League this summer ended up at roughly £860 million, and Arsenal contributed £10 million, or around 1/80th or so of that amount.
So why did Arsenal stand still?
Was it because there was no one in the market that could improve upon the current players? As many of you have probably read, Arsenal is the only club in the top five leagues to have not signed an outfield player this summer. Are we to say this means that players like Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, and, dare I say due to the fear of pushback, Francis Coquelin, were, and still are, better than any other available options that were potentially for sale?
Is it because Arsenal can't compete in the current market? It's no secret that EPL clubs come armed with millions upon millions of pounds thanks to new TV money. With FFP rules being relaxed, new home grown rules that will slowly up the number of players with that designation from eight to twelve starting in 2016, and Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United having no problem with overspending to land the players they need and want, is it because Arsenal are a club of principles and have made the conscious decision to only pay what the available players are worth - crazy market conditions and uncontrollable factors be dammed?
What's right? And what's an overreaction?
Is it right to think that squad continuity is worth more than new investment? Is it wrong to think this only works in a linear world, where there are predictable equations? That, with other title-contending clubs aggressively adjusting their squads to change how they play, how they line up, and how they adapt, achieving past results with no change to the current squad that finished so strongly last season could actually set the club back this season?
I'm writing all of this out, asking all these questions, because I legitimately don't know the answers to them as a fan. Only Arsene Wenger, his staff, and the executives at the club, understand how we got to this point and how they plan on navigating through this first half of the season. But I do think these are important questions to continue asking, because if the factors we're up against in an open market maintain for the upcoming years ahead, we'll be seeing more transfer window periods like the one we just all suffered through.
So...what is it?