Arsenal were chugging along very nicely before squandering the chance to go top of the Premier League with back-to-back defeats against Everton and Manchester City. Those loses sparked the usual hand-wringing and heated debates between supporters regarding their status as genuine contenders for a first title since 2004.
Never one to make a statement of intent in January, Arsene Wenger has been largely spared the usual questions regarding his New Year plans by an almost daily obsession with the status of contract talks regarding Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. The Frenchman will feel that he adequately addressed his main areas of weakness during the summer with the signings of Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez, and the likelihood is that he will be content to stay pat until next month's deadline – unless a top-quality player becomes available.
What they need
Gunners fans have been pleading for the club to splash out on a "world-class" striker for years now, although Sanchez's success recent success in a central role has acted as a riposte. And while Perez has largely failed to impress for his new employers, Danny Welbeck's impending return from another serious knee problem will further boost those forward options.
Wenger has already ruled out signing a replacement for long-term injury victim Santi Cazorla, pointing to Arsenal's wealth of midfield options and the likely difficulty involved in finding a player of similar influence. Right-back depth could be one area to target with Mathieu Debuchy sidelined and Carl Jenkinson failing to convince during the absence of Hector Bellerin.
Who could join?
Julian Draxler was once again linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium after reaffirming his desire to leave Wolfsburg, although it has since been confirmed that the Germany international is heading to Paris Saint-Germain in a deal believed to be worth up to €47m (£40.1m, $49.1m). French playmaker Dimitri Payet, who has refused to rule out the possibility of leaving West Ham in 2017, recently brushed off suggestions that Wenger views him as the "missing piece of Arsenal's play".
The Sunday People suggest that Arsenal could be eager to reignite their interest in Isco and Talksport have made new reference to a long-standing pursuit of Napoli's Jorginho. A future successor to 34-year-old Petr Cech also appears to be on the agenda, with the London Evening Standard revealing that contact has already been made over a possible January deal for Jordan Pickford that would see the England U21 star loaned back to Sunderland for the remainder of the season. Scouts have also reportedly been dispatched to run the rule over Guillaume Hubert of Standard Liege.
According to The Mirror, Arsenal's plans to launch a future swoop for highly-rated Valencia left-back Jose Gaya serve as a clear hint that Wenger plans to remain in his post beyond the summer of 2017.
Who could leave?
West Ham, Stoke, Sunderland, Watford, Burnley, Hull and Aston Villa have all made loan enquiries for Jenkinson according to ESPN, while summer signing Rob Holding could join Aston Villa on a temporary basis. Meanwhile, left-back Kieran Gibbs, out of contract in 2018, has apparently emerged as a potential recruit for new Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce and fellow relegation strugglers Swansea City.
Forgotten striker Yaya Sanogo, who Wenger previously revealed was suffering from a confidential medical problem, is a prime candidate to seek pastures new before his current deal expires next summer. Fellow forward Chuba Akpom could also head back to the Championship in order to increase his exposure to regular first-team football.
What the manager has said
"Of course, the return of injured players affects how I look at the transfer window," Wenger said. "Because we have Lucas [Perez], we have [Olivier] Giroud, we have Alexis [Sanchez], we have Welbeck, [Theo] Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is nearly a striker. So we have plenty of options offensively. Defensively, we are not in the need at the moment."