Image Source: Кирилл Венедиктов (CC BY-SA 3.0)
It is great news to hear of England international Kieran Trippier's decision to join Atletico Madrid in Spain. Rare is it to see an English player move abroad. Yes it does happen, but faced with the choice of being sold on, they usually opt to stay somewhere else in the Premier League and Trippier should be congratulated, he has made the right decision. It will be incredibly difficult for him too- different country, different culture and Diego Simeone the hard-lined boss man in charge. But if Trippier digs deep he will become ten times the player he is and he will grow as a person too. Inevitably the first six months of his career with them will be the most important and he will have to make an impact. It will be fascinating to see if Trippier can convince Simeone that he is a player that will not just be part of the squad but an integral first team member of it.
If Arsenal fans thought that the exit of Arsene Wenger would lead to big name signings then they have surely been let down. Wenger was infamous for keeping the books balanced and the case could be that Unai Emery isn't, but his board still are.
In the three windows that Emery has been able to purchase players the Gunners have spent less than £80m, the bulk of that was almost £75m last summer, which was good investment, but still pails in comparison to the likes of Manchester City or Liverpool who can spend that amount on one player.
But this summer has been, to date, damning. Look at the evidence. Four players have been brought into the team, all youngsters, with three of them coming on free transfers and straight into the Academy. Only one player has been purchased for money and that is the unknown Gabriel Martinelli from Brazilian side Ituano for £6m. Martinelli is only 18 and yes there is a chance that Arsenal's scouts have dived in early and bought a player that could be a superstar within a few seasons, or more likely, there is a chance that Martinelli's star will shine brightly at moments before fading. It is telling that no European superpowers were sniffing around the player.
All of this leads to the fact that Arsenal have spent just £6m this summer and that just isn't good enough for a team that clearly need new investment after a lacklustre season. True their run to the Europa League final was impressive but once they met a decent team in Chelsea the gulf in class was evident, and this wasn't even a great Chelsea side.
Of course the transfer window hasn't closed yet and there is still two weeks left. Emery has set his sights on two possible players. William Saliba of Saint Etienne and Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace. But even these two come at a catch for Arsenal.
The Gunners were all set to wrap up a deal for Saliba for around 30m euros, which would have seen the defender then being loaned back to the French club for a season. That could now fall through with rivals Tottenham seemingly looking at the player too. Then there is the case of Zaha where Arsenal will not budge on their £65m valuation of the player. Palace want £80m and the stalling has now allowed Everton to circle in and they have reportedly confirmed their interest in the Eagles forward.
What does this all mean for Arsenal? Well going into a new season no one is talking about them challenging for the league, and this is a club where a new generation were seduced by their brilliant attacking football and being part of the big 4 clubs in the Premier League. There is now a feeling that the club do not hold that place any more. Arsenal do still have quality players in the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lucas Torriera although the former seems an unfinished product. But not being able to sell Mesut Ozil who clearly doesn't want to be at the club may come back to haunt them and there is a feeling that Arsenal have not moved on. Indeed this upcoming one could well see the club properly fall from grace and not even be challenging for a top six place. The board need to chuck an empty metal detector of hope, and dig deep in their pockets.