This weekend was pretty terrible if you're an Arsenal fan. The team blew a 1-0 lead en route to a close, but not that close, 4-3 loss. This loss also took place at home and added to the "one win in the last seven season openers" slump this club is mired in. To top it off, they lost one of its three best midfielders to injury and he now joins the club's three best centerbacks in the physio's room.
Much has been made of the depth at CB with Valencia's excellent Shkodran Mustafi being linked to the club for the better part of last month. However, according to the pretty reliable David Ornstein the club isn't as close to the player as we would hope.
Arsenal yet to agree fee for Mustafi. #AFC considering Omer Toprak & Simon Kjaer as alternatives but Mustafi remains priority & keen to join— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 15, 2016
Price the issue. Arsenal want to hold back funds for possible striker signing. #AFC transfer budget factors in fee, salary, agent commission— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) August 15, 2016
Yuck. Yes, the backup striker role is a concern but given how a mish-mash of attackers netted three yesterday while the defense gave up four, perhaps the club should pivot toward addressing the gaping hole of veteran CBs instead of now looking for that elusive bench striker. Toprak and Kjaer are fine, I guess, but they're more in the Gabriel mold of being okay bench options without truly coming in as an impact player.
While this is hardly a final say on the club's dealings and though there is still two weeks worth of transfer activity to come, it's starting to get a little frustrating that this deal is dragging on and on. One would hope that the club moves aggressively early this week in order to get Mustafi in and acclimated as soon as possible given the three points already dropped.
Stay tuned for more.