'Arsenal's transfer policy is a joke'

European Transfer News

After an off-season signing spree of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira and Mattéo Guendouzi, there was a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the Emirates in the post-Arsene Wenger era.

However, the excellent early season form has somewhat dwindled at the mid-season mark, with the Gunners aiming for a top-four place in the top-flight.

With Rob Holding, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all out injured, a real need for defensive reinforcements were apparent.

However, manager Unai Emery confirmed his hands were tied due to no funds being available from the club's board, and midfielder Denis Suarez on loan from FC Barcelona proved to be their only business of the month.

This has led to former Gunners forward Nicholas to question the ambition of the club, who have fallen off their perch as the dominant force of English football over the last two decades.

"This Arsenal transfer policy is a joke, it really is a joke – ever since David Dein left the building," Nicholas told Sky Sports after the club missed out on Ivan Perisic, Christopher Nkunku and Yannick Carassco.

"I'm confused because we all need defenders, they're hard to get. Liverpool spend £70million getting one of the best and we don't seem to identify this.

"We're the ninth richest, we were the sixth richest last year and we can only get loan deals. I don't care if this manager likes this player [Suarez] or not but please Arsenal, get some defenders in.'

Nicholas believes Arsenal fans have every right to be frustrated with the club's transfer policy after multiple failings in recent years.

He added: "[Cesc] Fabregas was a change from [Patrick] Vieira. We went from being physically com[competitive to being technically competitive and I don't mind that.

"I'm not a dinosaur enough to say I don't want change. but you've got get the balance right. Arsenal don't get the balance right.

"Now we've got a new bunch of guys on a committee who sit there and they pat themselves on the back for bringing in [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang. We all knew he was a fabulous footballer but he's another attacker. We all know these are good players.

"Have you got the ability to look at [Shkodran] Mustafi – not good enough for the price. We've done it too often. Find quality defenders, bring them in, and then the fans will give you the proper judgement."