Arsenal fans were dealt another blow in the summer transfer period -- another day has passed without a legitimate transfer rumour, let alone an actual deal in place.
With Samir Nasri is about to move to Manchester City for roughly £23 million, Arsene Wenger's war chest continues to grow, while his midfield prospects dwindle.
The most recent target off the market is Juan Mata, who is expected to join rival Chelsea, according to Telegraph. The Valencia playmaker would have made a quality replacement for Nasri, but instead appears to be Andre Villas-Boas's newest addition. Chelsea also appear closer to finally bringing in Luka Modric from Tottenham.
Arsenal supporters continue to hold out hopes for Lille's Eden Hazard, a creative and speedy midfielder who is valued at £25 million. The Belgian is only 20 years old, and could be the most exciting young midfielder in Europe. There has not been a serious link between Arsenal and Hazard, but Wenger may be waiting for Nasri to officially move on before he makes a legitimate effort to pursue the young star.
Cesc Fabregas is officially gone, but so far there has been no reports of a potential replacement. The one that seemed promising was Jadson, a 27-year-old who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk.
However, last week, Wenger denied speculation about the Brazilian moving to Emirates. We are nowhere near on Jadson, he said. We are not talking to Shakhtar about him. On that same day, Wenger ruled out adding Mata and we see how that turned out. Holding out hope for Jadson is probably futile for Gunner fans.
It appears that the only faint prospect is Hazard, who Wenger has yet to deny interest in. Mario Gotze of Borussia Dortmund, Douglas Costa of Shakhtar, Alan Dzagoev of CSKA Moscow, Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille, and Adel Taarabt of Queens Park Rangers, are other players Arsenal could target, but for the moment, they are all just a part of broad media speculation.
Wenger may have more faith in his current group of midfielders than he's letting on. Aaron Ramsey performed well against Udinese, and Wenger has sung the praises of 18-year-old Japanese star Ryo Miyaichi.
It would be a major stretch to assume that a player like Miyaichi could play significant minutes this season, but his progress at least offers hope that the midfield may have some bright spots.
Current players aside, Wenger, Arsenal supporters, and anyone who follows the Premier League know that the Gunners can't stand pat. One of the most successful clubs over the past dozen years, Arsenal have too much pride to slip into the middle tier of the table when there is a surplus of funds to land world-class talent.
The transfer deadline is less than two weeks away. Wenger will have to dramatically speed up the process to bolster the midfield or face four full months without replacements for their two most prominent midfielders.
If he doesn't deliver, Wenger will have to also answer a lot of questions.