The summer of 2013 began with strong optimism for Arsenal fans. Arsene Wenger, the thrifty, supposedly tactically brilliant French manager was given a startling £70,000,000 ($107.5 million) war chest to bring in top-tier talent to the North London club during the off-season transfer window.
The rumor immediately exploded. The Wayne Rooney to Arsenal campaign exploded, then fizzled out when the feisty Englishman's eyes seemed to steer towards Chelsea. Next, Gonzalo Higuain, the under-utilized striker from Real Madrid seemed only hours away from joining Arsenal, but talks again stalled, and the Argentine settled into a transfer to Napoli.
Next: Luis Suarez.
The controversial Liverpool striker, known as much for his bad behavior as his incredible goal-scoring abilities, is certainly one of the best players in the world — so much that Arsenal's £40 million bid has been met with derision from Liverpool's ownership.
Arsenal has a desperate need for a left back, some depth at central defender, perhaps a new goalkeeper, and certainly a consistent scoring threat. Theo Walcott long awaited a move from the right wing to central forward, and though his wish was granted midway through last season, he has yet to prove to be most effective at the position.
If Arsenal goes all summer without spending at least half of the allotted £70,000,000, it would seem to solidify their place as a top-6 team every year, but leaves them hanging behind Manchester United and Manchester City — perhaps even behind Chelsea.
If Wenger manages to fill some pieces before the beginning of the season, Arsenal could be a threat to challenge United's place atop the table, but until then, the Gunners will look to challenge for the final place in the Champion's League.