Arsenal may have broken their transfer record to land Alexandre Lacazette, but former Gunners midfielder Aleksandr Hleb does not believe that he represents an improvement on his French national team-mate Olivier Giroud.
Arsene Wenger had to splash out £46.5m to persuade Lyon to part with their star striker, whom Wenger has been monitoring for several years.
The 26 year-old has settled quickly at the Emirates, netting four times in his first seven appearances.
Interestingly, Giroud is still preferred to Lacazette in the French national team, and Hleb remains unconvinced that Arsenal have acquired anything they did not already have, after another frustrating summer.
Speaking to The Independent, the Belarusian said: “Football is a crazy world now. The market is crazy, there is just so much money involved.
“Arsenal would have wanted to sign more players but it’s too difficult to compete with the likes of Manchester City and PSG.
“The signings that did come through are good, like Alexandre Lacazette, but I can’t say that’s a ‘fantastic’ signing.
“I am a fan of Giroud and I don’t think Lacazette is better than him. I think the two are on the same level.”
Perhaps their most important business of the summer was clinging on to their talismanic forward Alexis Sanchez, despite Manchester City's determination to push through a £60m deal on deadline day. Despite this tricky saga, Hleb believes that the Chilean can still be persuaded to pen a new contract in North London.
“Arsenal found themselves in a very difficult situation with Sanchez,” the 36 year-old added.
“On one side, if he doesn’t want to play for the team you could say it would have been better to sell him for good money.
“On the other hand, he’s such an important player for Arsenal and is a leader.
“I have seen him play this season [against FC Köln and Chelsea] and he still fights, gives his best and scores goals. He looked professional rather than angry that he didn’t get his move to Manchester City.
“I think he will wait until the winter, see how the team are playing and maybe sign a new contract. Performances like the one against Chelsea are encouraging.
“Why not stay at Arsenal? It’s a great club with huge tradition, great fans and Arsene Wenger as the manager. They can achieve things. Why leave?”