Arsenal Transfer News: Where Does Samir Nasri's Exit Leave the Gunners?

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Arsenal Transfer News: Where Does Samir Nasri's Exit Leave the Gunners?
Gary Prior/Getty Images

With Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri's potential exit to English Premier League rivals Manchester City edging closer and closer, supporters must face the reality that their team may very well struggle to compete this season.

Much has been written about the side's lack of silverware since Arsenal's most recent Carling Cup final loss to Birmingham City in February.

In the early part of last season, Arsenal looked to be genuine contenders, but as the season waned, so, too, did their drive and determination.

No silverware since the 2005 FA Cup.

With the collapse of Arsenal's season came questions of just what the club's—and specifically, the boardroom's—ambitions were.

Is the management really intending to compete with champions Manchester United, free-spending Manchester City and Chelsea, and a galvanized Liverpool?

Or is the boardroom simply content to compete for Champions League qualification while quietly turning a healthy profit each season on their youth investment?

Is the business far more important than success?

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Nasri, left, in action against Barcelona in the Champions League last March

A massive outlay in transfer fees does not, of course, guarantee success in a league as competitive and intense as the Premier League.

Just because Chelsea spent £50 million on Fernando Torres in the end-of-season run-up trying to overtake Manchester United does not mean they were successful.

But this transfer window was always going to be a crucial period for the future of the Gunners, and based on the events of this summer, it seems that the wait for trophies is going to continue.

Now, all of this comes to the forefront in the discussion over Samir Nasri's departure.

Nasri has played a massive role in the side since his arrival from French side Marseille in 2008.

With the continued speculation over the departure of fellow midfielder and captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona, Nasri was poised to take over the massive creative midfield role at Arsenal along with Jack Wilshere.

Instead, it seems he will just leave.

While it is the player himself who makes the decision whether or not to sign a contract with a new club, the crux of his decision came with Arsenal's apparent refusal to compete with other "big" sides when it comes to signing the necessary players.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Arsenal supporters will be pleased to have won the race to sign young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Southampton this week, as it seems the club's reputation as the premier youth outlet in the country has served them well.

But are supporters really viewing him as the answer to a departing Nasri and Fabregas? As just what the side needs to compete this season?

It's all of the links to players the quality of Karim Benzema and Felipe Melo that nothing comes of that are the primary worry. That in the end, only Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho are the major buys who will start the Premier League season this weekend

It's the fear that it takes the sale of a player the quality of Nasri to fund the arrival of a centre back like Gary Cahill, which the squad has desperately needed for more than a year.

In the end, where does the potential departure of Nasri leave the mighty Arsenal and the passionate supporters?

The answer is in a mad rush to spend that money on quality players before it's too late, or else face the reality that, while Arsenal may be the best-managed football business in the world, they are no longer the name on the lips of worldwide football supporters as regular Premier League contenders.

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