Arsene Wenger's Biggest Mistakes at Arsenal This Summer

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2013

Arsene Wenger's Biggest Mistakes at Arsenal This Summer

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    Arsene Wenger has not enjoyed the most productive summer.

    Despite Arsenal's huge resources, he has failed to bring in any player other than inexperienced Frenchman Yaya Sanogo. The patience of the fans is wearing thin: Arsenal are running out of time to strengthen their paper-thin squad.

    Go to the next slide to discover what Arsenal's biggest mistakes of the transfer window have been. 

Loaning out Francis Coquelin

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    In theory, loaning out Francis Coquelin is a sensible move.

    It allows the 22-year-old midfielder the chance to gain more first-team experience and affords Arsenal the opportunity to watch his progress and recall him if he is deemed good enough to rejoin the squad.

    However, Wenger made the mistake of allowing Coquelin to leave before securing a suitable replacement. Coquelin was the only obvious understudy to Mikel Arteta. With the Spaniard out for six weeks, Arsenal could use a player with Coquelin's tackling ability and positional discipline. 

Letting Gonzalo Higuain Join Napoli

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    Arsenal pursued Gonzalo Higuain for weeks. At one point, The Guardian's Sid Lowe described the Argentine as being "on the verge" of joining the Gunners.

    However, Higuain was eventually allowed to join Napoli, with relatively little competition from North London. By then, Arsenal had turned their focus to Liverpool's Luis Suarez. Higuain was no longer a priority.

    With the Suarez deal having since collapsed, Wenger must wish he'd pursued his interest in Higuain to its conclusion. Arsenal gambled on getting Suarez and lost.  

Pursuing Luis Suarez

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    When Arsenal bid just one pound more than £40 million for Suarez, they must have thought they'd done enough to activate an escape clause in the Liverpool striker's contract.

    However, it wasn't the case. Suarez was not able to wiggle out of his contract at Anfield and remains on Merseyside.

    When asked if Arsenal received bad advice about the clause in Suarez's contract, Wenger told The Mirror:

    I don't want to speak in detail about that. It's not the moment. One day, why not? I think it's not the moment to talk about that. I just said it's over.

    We have to get on with our lives. You seem to know as much as I know about the situation so I don't think we need for me to clarify that.

    It's staggering that a club of Arsenal's size made such a huge error about such an important facet of the deal.

    Arsenal pursued Suarez into a dead end. 

Expecting Real Madrid to Sell Karim Benzema

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    Having missed out on Suarez and Higuain, Arsenal turned their attention to Karim Benzema.

    This was a non-starter. Not only would Real Madrid be unlikely to sell both Higuain and Benzema in the same summer, but the player himself is reportedly uninterested by the prospect of moving to London.

    Agent Karim Djaziri told The Daily Mail:

    We can't stop the rumours. But I tell you: Karim will not go to Arsenal. It's never been a question for him and no contact has been made.

    He will stay at Madrid. The probable arrival of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid doesn't threaten him at all. Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale will play on the wings and Karim in the centre.

    Karim could very well finish his career at Real, the club of his dreams.

    Arsenal need to be realistic about their aspirations. Benzema is a lost cause.

Leaving It Too Late

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    Wenger's greatest error might be the delay in Arsenal's transfer activity.

    The likes of Manchester City and Tottenham have already conducted the majority of their business, but Arsenal have still made just one signing.

    There is now less than a week of the window left. Arsenal still urgently require reinforcements and may be forced to panic buy. Contemplation is a luxury the Gunners can no longer afford.