By Josh Clarke
The sale of Robin van Persie to bitter rivals Manchester United prefigured a dismal week for Arsenal. An exasperating 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland in their opening Premier League fixture sealed it.
Though the Gunners controlled possession against a Black Cats side characterised solely by gutsy defending, their performance was all-too-similar to dominant performances last term that required Van Persie's predatory instincts to salvage three points.
Simply put, the Gunners cannot afford a repeat of last season's utterly dismal opening to the campaign – primarily because, this time round, there's no flying Dutchman to dig them out of trouble.
The captures of Santi Cazorla, Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud represent positive pre-emptive transfer market activity before Van Persie's departure yet, for the Gunners to truly cope with the void left by their talisman, captain and top goalscorer, Arsene Wenger needs to spend big again before the window shuts.
After all, the £22 million received for Van Persie, on top of the further £15m that Barcelona added to the coffers in exchange for Alex Song, means that Wenger must have a bit of cash to play with.
|Read our match report as the Gunners endure a frustrating start to the new Premier League season|