So the transfer window slammed shut without us signing an out-and-out striker to cover for Kane/give him some competition. And while I’m disappointed that we didn’t get anyone in we have otherwise had a really good transfer window.
Yes it’s left us with only one striker (unless Adebayor somehow works his way back into the first team picture) but to play devil’s advocate, we played all of last season from November onwards with practically one striker.
Another point to “look on the bright side” is although N’Jie and Son are not “out-and-out” strikers; they do play in a forwards position, and can hopefully fill in if Kane needs resting/gets injured. And we saw that Chadli was being used there to some success in pre-season so he is another option. So if you count them three as forwards and put them with Kane we’ve got 4 attackers! (I am of course clutching at straws there)
On the other hand, why did we put all our eggs in the one basket? It seems that Levy had one target in Berahino and wasn’t going to look anywhere else. I find this shocking when we were having reported £25m offers rejected for a player who still has a lot to prove, when we could have gone across London and signed Charlie Austin for £10m less than that and have been in a better position. Granted Austin could have been a “one year wonder” and flopped but there’s nothing to say that Berahino would be a guaranteed success. Another option was possibly Javier Hernandez who signed for Bayer Leverkusen for reportedly only £7.3m! I know he would have wanted first team football but why didn’t we at least have a go at getting him?
But in my opinion, when you look at the players coming in compared to the players going out we’ve got a younger, hungrier squad than before. I’ll list them below and you can then make your own mind up as to whether it’s a marked improvement:
When you look at the players we got rid of, we’ve got rid of mistake making/lazy players (apart from Aaron Lennon, Lewis Holtby, the unproven Ceballos so he doesn’t count, and Soldado who wasn’t lazy and didn’t make mistakes as it were, but missed his chances) and we’ve brought in what seems to be hungry players.
Yes we could have also done with an actual Defensive Midfielder but so far Dier is doing a decent job there and we’ve still got Bentaleb who can play that role as well.
This transfer window for me would get a mark of 7.5/10. It would have been higher if we’d signed that elusive “out-and-out” Striker and Defensive Midfielder, and if we’d got rid of all the deadwood (I’m looking at Adebayor and Fazio… and possibly Lamela).
The problem comes for me is IF we had signed the managers original targets when he wanted them, we wouldn’t have ended up with as much deadwood. When you look at who we wanted the past few years (Joao Moutinho & Morgan Schneiderlin) and who we got in their place (Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli) is there any wonder why we’ve struggled to get to where we want to be? The blame for that has to go to Levy and Baldini, not the manager(s).
Let’s hope that we have a squad who can work and gel together, and get us where we want to be. OR we can just wait until next summer, when Levy/Baldini can let us down again and we’ll be having this same conversation, again!