The summer transfer window began in such a positive fashion for Arsenal fans.
Lacazette arrived for a club record fee of over £50m from Lyon and, having been on Arsene Wenger’s radar for years, it was a coup to finally get the French striker through the door.
However, as he addressed the media one week before the transfer window, Wenger confirmed the news Arsenal fans had been dreading.
“It’s dead because Monaco has closed the door,” said Wenger, when asked to give an update regarding a deal for Lemar.
“We have the numbers, we have the quality to deal with that.”
Arsene Wenger on Thomas Lemar Arsenal Transfer by FootballWhispers
Starting a transfer window with such optimism is a familiar feeling for Arsenal supporters and it is why this summer feels like a case of déjà vu.
However, instead, Arsenal were left scrambling during the final days of the transfer window to sign the striker and defender they desperately needed.
However, that soon faded as not a single outfield player arrived after.
Many of Arsenal’s issues in the transfer market have been caused by the club leaving their business to the last minute.
The biggest example of such a scenario occurred in the summer of 2011.
What resulted was one of the biggest deadline day trolley dashes in the club’s history.
Such a chain of events should surely have acted as a warning for Arsenal about the dangers of leaving your business to the last minute, but it appears they have not learned.
They have been left cold in their pursuit of Lemar, while other clubs have swooped in and signed players from Monaco.
Wenger may argue the door is now closed, but it was clearly wide open earlier on in the summer given Manchester City signed Silva and Mendy. Chelsea also managed to prise Bakayoko away.
Arsenal have simply turned up to a fire sale after all the stock has been sold.
Reacting slowly in the market has cost Arsenal many times before. In August 2011 they had two bids rejected by Bolton for Gary Cahill, when they had been chasing the player for close to 18 months. By January he was a Chelsea player.
After the Suarez fiasco had unraveled and, ultimately failed from Arsenal’s point of view, they went back for Higuain – but it was too late. The chance had gone.
It was a similar story a year ago when, at the start of the summer, Arsenal checked in on the availability of Lacazette.
By the time they returned in August, Lacazette’s asking price was closer to £60m as Lyon could not afford to lose him so late in the window.
Arsenal, as we know, got their man this summer but one has to wonder what his impact could have been had he arrived 12 months sooner.
Admittedly other factors have impacted the Gunners’ dealings in the transfer market.
The chance to sign Suarez from Liverpool for just over £40m is an understandable distraction, as was the issue this summer of needing to get players off the wage bill before new ones to come in.
However, the fact is such issues in the market keep repeating themselves when it comes to Arsenal.
Time and time again they are leaving it to the last minute to complete their business and it is becoming an all too familiar story for supporters.