Wenger's $93m gamble to get it right
The manager who cautions against reckless spending like a broken record has finally hopped onto the bandwagon.
Like a grumpy father parting with his money at a toy store cashier, Arsene Wenger reluctantly and finally dips into his transfer kitty.
The answers to his team's defensive and attacking woes? A German and a Spaniard.
Centre back Shkodran Mustafi and forward Lucas Perez came for a combined fee of some £52 million ($93.1m), one day before the end of transfer deadline.
In the grand scheme of things, it's a drop in an ocean awash with money - English Premier League summer transfer spending has surpassed £1 billion for the first time.
However, in Wenger's bubble, £52m is an obscene amount which would have previously made him throw up.
But then again, this is Wenger's last throw of the dice.
The Professor who introduced to the Premier League science and fresh ideas from the continent has been struggling to squirm out of the stagnation that has been plaguing Arsenal.
Three Premiership crowns in his first eight years, the last of which featured "The Invincibles" who went through the entire 2003/04 season unbeaten, cemented his position in the club's folklore.
But the goodwill has been subsequently eaten up by 12 years of malaise, which brought one Champions League final and few notable Premiership title challenges to speak of.
Not even six FA Cup triumphs under his charge could make up for the disappointment of missing out on the bigger prizes.
His stubborn refusal to splash out on big-name players in a fast-changing football landscape, often with detrimental effects, further eroded the confidence of the Emirates Stadium faithful.
The Arsenal board stands by him with unwavering loyalty but many among the fans have turned on him.
Wenger's final hand is Mustafi and Perez, the late reinforcements to shore up what has proven to be a creaking squad.
If there was a hint of desperation somewhere, that's because Wenger truly is.
It took just one game into the new Premiership campaign to show up their defensive frailties, and one more to expose a blunt attack.
An injury-hit and unfit rearguard came unstuck at home as Liverpool punished them with a comeback 4-3 win, before they were held goal-less at defending champions Leicester City's ground.
Suddenly, settling for another top-four position looks untenable.
Mustafi, 24, looks a sound investment with plenty of years left in him - exactly the sort of player Wenger fancies - and crucially, he will alleviate much of the pressure with centre backs Per Mertesacker and Gabriel ruled out for extended spells with injuries.
But the former Valencia man is also an expensive choice by Arsenal's standards.
At £35m, he is the club's record signing for a defender, smashing their previous mark of £16m paid for Calum Chambers two years ago.
The fee also makes Mustafi the fourth-most expensive defender ever, behind David Luiz, John Stones and Eliaquim Mangala.
It goes to show how far Wenger is prepared to go this time round.
But Mustafi is no stranger to English football, having spent his formative footballing years with Everton, for whom he spent almost three years with.
With his experience in the Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga and with the Germany national team, he will be seen as a reliable partner for Laurent Koscielny in Arsenal's central defence, although he is also capable of operating as a right back.
Intelligent, technically excellent and strong in the air, he appears to be just what the Gunners need at the back.
Perez, though, doesn't look as convincing.
Wenger's search for a striker is no secret, but the 27-year-old's arrival came after unsuccessful attempts to land Leicester's Jamie Vardy, Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata and Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette.
He appeared on the radar only after his exploits last term, when he scored 17 league goals and made eight assists for Deportivo La Coruna.
Although he has played as a left winger and striker over his career, it wasn't only until last year that he made his mark as a centre forward.
He doesn't play quite play the role in the mould of Olivier Giroud though, and will instead look to use his pace and stamina to trouble Premiership defences.
But, at £17.1m, Arsenal have paid for their sixth-most expensive signing of all time.
Combine the fees of Perez and Mustafi with earlier summer arrivals Granit Xhaka (£30m), Rob Holding (£2m) and Takuma Asano (undisclosed fee), and that's a total outlay of almost £90m by them in the past three months alone.
From Wenger, who has one year left on his current contract, this is a huge statement of intent.
It sure seems he is hell-bent on going down in a final blaze of glory.