Less than two weeks remain until the August 31st transfer deadline, as Arsenal are in jeopardy of losing out on immediate replacements for Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
Arsene Wenger will need to speed up efforts to make additions. The Gunners once again have injury problems, and went into last week's season opener against Newcastle without significantly upgrading the defense or adding quality midfielders.
At the moment, there isn't even a player being mentioned to replace Fabregas or Nasri. With transfers often taking several days to complete, it may already be too late. The urgency should be apparent with this Saturday's Liverpool match at Emirates where the Gunners will likely have to rely on teenagers against one of the Premier League's elite clubs.
The logic of not having suitable replacements for last season's two most important midfielders is not lost on former Arsenal right back, and current pundit, Lee Dixon.
There's a definite void to be filled, said Dixon, regarding the midfield situation.
The trouble is, now everybody sees Mr. Wenger with £60 million in his pocket, and obviously the price of everybody is going to go up, but he's aware of that.
There's still two weeks to go in the transfer window, so that's going to be key.
The Independent and Daily Mail have mentioned 6'6 centre back Per Mertesacker as a possible target. The German is valued between £6 million and £9 million. That is a low-cost transfer for Arsenal, yet Mertesacker remains with Werder Bremen, and Arsenal reportedly have had little to no contact with other obvious transfer targets like Phil Jagielka, Scott Dann, Christopher Samba, and Gary Cahill.
If it takes all summer to come up short in a centre back search, could it possibly take less than two weeks to find two world-class midfielders?
Going into the summer, the key needs were centre back, defensive midfielder, forward, and perhaps an upgrade at goalkeeper. Some would argue that forward has been addressed with Gervinho, but few can say that the other areas have been adequately resolved. Fabregas and Nasri departing from Emirates shouldn't excuse Wenger from overlooking the other positions.
Wenger is capable of spotting a bargain, but this waiting game has probably gone on too long. Arsenal have the war chest to pursue exceptional talent, and perhaps that's worth spending slightly above market value, especially with the season at stake.
Rising stars like Mario Gotze and Eden Hazard may very well make Arsenal fans forget all about Nasri. More established players like Mathieu Valbuena or Jadson could be a catalyst for the Gunners for years to come. Daily Star reported that Arsenal considered a £12 million bid for young Russian attacking midfielder Alan Dzagoev, but that was last week, and there haven't been any new developments since then.
What is perhaps most baffling in Wenger's inability to upgrade Arsenal this summer is his awareness of the problem, and his lack of activity to fix it. Wenger is among the smartest men in sports, who has guided Arsenal to titles and did it with style. Yet lately he seems overwhelmed by losing Fabregas and Nasri, and doesn't seem to have any sort of plan to rebuild.
Winger Theo Walcott weighed in on Wenger and Arsenal's current status.
I'm sure the boss has got players coming in, Walcott said. I don't know, but if you sell one of your best players... I'm sure he's got some options coming in.
Arsenal fans sure hope so.