To say this summer has been 'mixed' for Arsenal fans would be an accurate summary. But mixed is a sure improvement on 'must do better' - which would be an acute description of last summer's activities - until deadline day at least when business finally picked up.
On the plus side - signing Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud are shrewd signings, for little over £22 million combined. They may take a little while to settle, but when they do, Arsenal will have two dangerous goalscorers on their hands.
Of course balancing that out is a big negative, the Robin van Persie situation has cast a shadow over the Emirates which is still without a resolution heading into August. This has been supplemented by Arsene Wenger's weekend announcement that Jack Wilshere will be out until October.
The good news, is that despite a pre-season which has so far underwhelmed in terms of scorelines, when it comes to performances, a young midfield starlet has stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
That man is Thomas Eisfeld, a player signed in January from Borussia Dortmund which very few Arsenal fans would even have heard of beforehand.
It certainly appears as though the Gunners have signed a gem - for a paltry £420,000. A cruciate ligament injury had delayed his progress at Dortmund, and Arsenal swooped in the January transfer window to sign him for a bargain price, with his contract set to expire this summer.
It was worth paying the fee, because the 19-year-old was in fine form for Dortmund's youth team, scoring six times and providing six assists in 12 games this season, and the German champions may well have sought to sign him to a new contract.
Their loss is certainly Arsenal's gain. When he was signed Arsene Wenger would not have expected him to be pushing for the first team so quickly, but his progress and circumstances means he is demanding consideration.
The aforementioned to Wilshere, Rosicky - a player Eisfeld describes as his idol - also nursing a knock, and question marks over Aaron Ramsey and About Diaby, mean the a third place in a midfield trio alongside Song and Arteta is well and truly 'up for grabs.'
Arsenal have been linked with Santi Cazorla and Nuri Sahin, both midfielders of the highest quality, but Eisfeld's performances in the Far East will certainly have given Arsene Wenger food for thought.
What the Gunners must do is begin to prise their minds away from Jack Wilshere and plan without him. On previous evidence an 'October' return is likely to turn into December, and then who knows.
Eisfeld has scored two game changing equalisers for Arsenal on pre-season, and has merited more chances. Whether they come in the Premier League or the League Cup, he will feel now is his time to take them.
With Wilshere out for at least two months, Eisfeld should be handed his place in the squad. When - and if - the Englishman returns and Eisfeld has not kicked on, then loan him out to gain further experience, but until then he should be given the opportunity to continue his belated yet rapid progression in the professional ranks.
For Arsene Wenger, it would be an ideal solution, another bargain star who fits the mould of a Cesc Fabregas ready to help pull the strings in midfield. If the young German can have anywhere like the personal success the Spaniard did at the Emirates - forget the lack of trophies - fans of the North London club should rest easy that Arsene Knows after all.
Is Eisfeld a quick fix worth trying? Or do you want to see Wenger spend big as well on a midfielder?
image: © wonker