Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dropped the strongest hint yet that the club's activity in the summer transfer window is over, after expressing concern that signing too many players can hinder competition within the side. The Gunners currently have 26 players in their first team squad, with 11 players having already been allowed to leave on loan.
The North London club have been urged to improve their attacking and midfield options after making just one senior addition to their squad this window, in the form of former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Karim Benzema has been continually linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, but those rumours are yet to come to fruition.
Despite coming under pressure to make another late signing, following last summer's deadline-day acquisition of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, Wenger feels he has the right balance in his squad. The Arsenal boss is conscious of stockpiling and therefore diluting competition in his squad, while also having the numbers to challenge first team regulars.
"It is an impossible job,'' said the Arsenal manager, according the club's official website. "I always get asked two questions: Why don't you buy more players, and how do you keep them all happy now? I believe that competition is part of our job, but on the other hand you have to get the number right.
"If you have too many players in the squad, it goes against competition. If you have a certain number of players who think they never have a chance to play, you have killed something. Then if you do not have enough players, it creates too much of a comfort zone."
Such are the club's attacking options, Wenger is finding accommodating his best players a struggle, with the role of Santi Cazorla among the headaches facing the Arsenal manager. The Spaniard has operated in a deeper midfield role this term after being relinquished of responsibilities on the wing.
"It is tricky, because he is an important player in the build-up of our game," the manager said ahead of the crunch Premier League visit of Liverpool. "He is naturally a guy who brings fluidity, and gets you out of tight situations.
"My thinking [on putting him out wide] was more about physical power in the centre of the park, to win the ball back and be capable of winning challenges. Santi is a more technical player. And also to get him higher up, next to Ozil, to play through the lines, find those two, and combine in the final third.
"It worked sometimes, and sometimes not. The first goal in these games is vital. But anyway, against West Ham [United], I changed in the second half and brought Cazorla back to central midfield."