Arsenal are once again quiet in the transfer market while rivals spend big

In Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester United have added three recognisable names to their squad this summer. They appear prepared for a fourth too, with reports of a £100 million move for Paul Pogba gaining steam.

Chelsea have signed Michy Batshuayi and N'Golo Kante for a combined £63m, and Liverpool have welcomed five additions of their own, including Sadio Mane for £35m. Manchester City are in motion with the signings of Ilkay Gundogan, for £21m and Nolito for £13.8m -- and they want more.

And then there's Arsenal. Since the £35m purchase of Swiss central midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach on May 25 and Jamie Vardy's decision to stay at Leicester on June 18, there hardly has been a sound from the Gunners in the transfer echo chamber.

They have appeared timid in the transfer market, reluctant to shell out the big bucks beyond the Xhaka deal. It is a pattern that Gunners' fans have become used to, if not exasperated by, and there are already fears the club could repeat last summer's transfer window, when Petr Cech was the only addition to Arsene Wenger's squad.

Vardy was forced into a decision after Arsenal triggered his cut-price £20m release clause, and he chose to stay put after a lack of reassurances over a starting position with the north London side. Additionally, Leicester's four-year deal compared favourably to the three years on offer at the Emirates given that Vardy is approaching his 30th birthday.

In recent weeks, Arsenal failed to close two very doable deals. Monaco signed Lille's French international left-back Djibril Sidibe, 23, for a fee of €15m on July 8 after holding off a late bid from Arsenal. ESPN FC sources close to the player suggest Arsenal refused to bid higher than the fee already agreed with the Ligue 1 club.

While Club Brugge central defender Bjorn Engels signed a new contract last week. He's a player in the style of Everton's John Stones who has been heavily scouted by Premier League clubs, but ESPN FC sources close to the 21-year-old suggest that despite interest, Arsenal failed to agree to a fee with Brugge.

So, they continue their prudence, with Wenger in sole control of team affairs and U.S. billionaire Stan Kroenke leading the way as majority shareholder.

In March, the club's published accounts suggested a cash reserve pile of £159m, the highest in world football. Arsenal will be further enriched by their share of the £8.3 billion TV contracts that have been struck worldwide by the Premier League for the next three seasons. Meanwhile, Cech and Mohamed Elneny, who signed from Basel in January, cost a combined £15m.

Xhaka's fee may look expensive, but £35m is now a going rate for burgeoning talent, while a glance at Arsenal's squad suggests further strengthening is definitely required.

Few would claim, aside from the worthy addition of Cech, the 2015-16 campaign did much to suggest that Wenger was ever on course to claim his first title since 2004. His team, who finished 10 points behind Leicester, looked short of the highest grade of quality in both defence and attack.

Olivier Giroud divides opinion among Arsenal fans and his performances at Euro 2016 served to compound his worth as a player. He scored three goals at the tournament -- once against Romania and twice against Iceland -- but played poorly in France's final defeat. By and large, he rarely looks a player for the grandest occasions. The move for Vardy suggested Wenger's desire for an injection of pace into his attack, a necessity now that Danny Welbeck is set to be out until 2017 because of a knee injury.

Last week, Arsenal were linked to Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi, with the player's agent naming both Arsenal and Tottenham as interested parties despite Icardi's continued desire to remain in Milan. However, Icardi's high demand (Atletico Madrid and Juventus are also interested) and commanding transfer fee of £40m or higher could deter Wenger from being drawn into a bidding war.

Wenger was also witness to a decent tournament from Laurent Koscielny in France's central defence at the Euros, but if last season is any indication he is in need of a partner. Per Mertesacker's lack of speed and Gabriel's rashness were both exposed at vital moments last campaign. So far, beyond the aborted Engels approach and an early link with Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, that trail has yet to bear any fruit.

Wenger has previously left big transfers late; Mesut Ozil and Welbeck signed on deadline day in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Perhaps he has a similar plan in mind this time around: working the market to eventually bring his targets to north London. But as it stands, Arsenal will begin their American summer tour with only one new face in Xhaka.