But adding Sneijder would have lifted the spirits of everyone connected with club and restored Arsenal's standing as legitimate contenders this season.
The departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri have left a huge void in the attacking portion of the Gunners' midfield.
A technically gifted playmaker is beginning to look like a pressing need, particularly in light of Jack Wilshere's ongoing injury concerns and Aaron Ramsey's struggles to cope with the pace of the new campaign.
It seems that any creative midfielder added to the Arsenal ranks will have to meet the requirements of the club's low key recruitment policy.
Here are five cheaper alternatives to Wesley Sneijder who have emerged as potential targets on deadline day.
The rumours have gathered some pace and the Cottagers attacker could eventually become a shock addition to the Gunners midfield.
Dempsey is a crafty and industrious player with plenty of Premier League experience. The USA international possesses underrated technique and has a respectable goal scoring record from advanced midfield areas.
The biggest assets Dempsey offers to Arsenal are his energy and tremendous work rate. After witnessing the sight of midfield players going through the motions to keep up with Manchester United runners on Sunday, a player as determined as Dempsey would be a very welcome addition.
Dempsey does not have the reputation or star power of many other potential additions, but he could surprise many as a resourceful link player between the midfield and forward lines.
Mercurial Italian schemer Riccardo Montolivo has been linked with Arsenal several times during this transfer window.
With only one more year remaining on his contract, Montolivo could be an attractive prospect for the Gunners.
Blessed with a precise and varied passing range and a thunderous shot, Montolivo has all the attributes to restore the creative flair and attacking potency to Arsene Wenger's ailing squad.
Fiorentina will still likely expect a hefty transfer fee from any suitors, and Arsenal would have to fend off interest from Serie A clubs.
Montolivo would need to work hard to make a quick adaptation to the fast paced and physically demanding style of the Premier League.
Arsenal are said to have enquired about the availability of talented Spanish playmaker Mikel Arteta during the last 24 hours.
Convincing Everton to part ways with Arteta at this late stage will no doubt require a substantial transfer fee. The price could be anywhere from £9 million upwards.
Arteta's skill and flair would instantly upgrade Arsenal's midfield and allow Arsene Wenger's team to return to their familiar brand of stylish, quick passing football.
Arteta's Premier League experience also makes him a tantalising prospect in this window. Any deal would present a challenge, but Arsenal should make a real effort to snare the creative Toffees star.
Cerebral Israeli schemer Yossi Benayoun seems to have emerged as one of the more likely candidates to bolster Arsenal's midfield ranks on deadline day.
The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries during his time at Chelsea and has become surplus to requirements following the addition of Juan Mata.
Benayoun is not the high profile signing many are calling for, but the hard working midfielder could be a smart, low key pickup by Arsene Wenger.
Like Clint Dempsey, Benayoun would offer plenty of commitment and energy to Arsenal's midfield trio. He is an extremely active player, who utilises clever footwork and a cultured touch to provide creativity.
Benayoun would have to prove his durability, but the Premier League veteran certainly possesses the quality to be a valuable contributor for the Gunners.
Sochaux starlet Marvin Martin is one of the most productive playmakers in French football. He led the nation in assists last season, and reports have emerged this morning that Wenger is still keen on bring Martin to North London.
Martin is a quick thinking, decisive attacking midfielder. His instinct for a defense splitting pass is exceptional.
He has proven on international duty that he can provide a decent goal threat from midfield. Martin possesses the guile and skill to be a big success at a higher level.
He is the most natural fit to orchestrate Arsenal's intricate passing game. At this late stage, Sochaux would no doubt require a fee in the region of £12-15 million for Martin.
Arsene Wenger has moved quickly in the wake of the disaster at Old Trafford. Bringing in two experienced international defenders is a promising move.
But Sunday's defeat posed as many questions about the midfield as those that concern the defense. Quality recruitment in both areas will ease the tension around the club and convince the fans that Wenger's squad can still compete for honours this season.