Arsenal fans would have tuned in to transfer deadline day expecting nothing, and are still likely to end the day enraged at how the club has managed to put themselves in a position to be mocked by the wider football public.
The Gunners' disastrous start to the season kick-started a late scramble to bring in Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco, which has ended with the player snubbing a move to London as he wishes to play Champions League football, but not without Arsenal seemingly chucking their morals and principals out of the window along the way.
Lemar deal looks "dead" (again). Am told #afc offered £75m + £17m in add-ons. Lemar did not want to play for a Europa League club (ouch).
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) August 31, 2017
Sky Sports source - Thomas Lemar doesn't want to join Arsenal because he'd prefer to move to Liverpool.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) August 31, 2017
It has since been suggested that Lemar was open to the move, but there was simply not enough time to completed due to his international commitments.
Either way, a fee of €100m for Thomas Lamar is insane, even for this window.
Would it have mattered in the grand sceme of things if that deal went through, and the Frenchman arrived and became one of Arsenal's best players? No, probably not, as the fees that were resoundingly laughed at last summer - most notably Paul Pogba for around £86m and even Sadio Mane for £35m, actually, particularly Mane - now look like great deals.
What makes things worse for Arsenal, if that were possible, are the comments that Wenger made last summer when that Pogba deal had been completed.
Arsene Wenger calls Paul Pogba's £100m fee 'completely crazy' - https://t.co/JmpvQpnppI pic.twitter.com/D1KibAPXlA
— Sky Sports PL ? (@SkySportsPL) July 31, 2016
It is completely crazy if you compare it to normal life. That is for sure. But we live in a world where every activity that is worldwide makes a lot of money.
Football has become a worldwide competition and that is why clubs can afford to do it. Does it make sense in the way the player can give you that investment back? Nobody ever could calculate.
What is crazy is how the tables have turned.
Then, Manchester United were seen as a laughing stock in the transfer window for the manner in which deals were botched, to public knowledge, in the years after Ferguson, but since Mourinho's arrival they have made some outstanding signings and look in good shape to challenge for the title. Arsenal, and Wenger in particular, has let the squad grow stale at the Emirates.
The problems have continued to be in the same areas year after year, and yet the transfer policy doesn't change, the same kinds of players are brought in and either leave or stagnate it seems. Would Lamar have helped the midfield not get over-run? Would he be strong at defending corners? The answer to both of those answers is no.
Even worse is the fact that Arsenal walked away from AS Monaco earlier in the summer when they demanded £52m for Lemar, only to return on deadline day and bid £92. That reeks of desperation, and it is something the fans of the club should be very worried about, especially as it would not even solve the major problems in the team.
Wenger never liked to spend big money, but he kept his team competitive by spotting hidden gems and developing them into stars. That well has dried up for Arsenal, and now that they seem to be willing to get in line with how their competitors are operating in the transfer market, it looks like they are quite some way behind.