Is Arsene Wenger naive or arrogant in the transfer market? Who, if anyone, do Arsenal need to spend big on this summer?

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By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER

Arsenal’s stuttering start to the season continued against Liverpool

After Arsenal’s goalless draw with Liverpool, Arsene Wenger came in for stinging criticism from Gary Neville over his ‘naive or arrogant’ transfer policy, while even his former favourite Thierry Henry called for the Frenchman to splash out before the transfer window closes.

There are seven days left until the transfer deadline, but Wenger so far looks set to stick with his current squad, who have had a stuttering start to the new Premier League season and look short of being true title contenders on the evidence so far. 

So, is Wenger ‘naive or arrogant’ in his transfer dealings (or lack of them)? Does he need to sign new players this summer? If so, who?

Here, Sportsmail’s team of reporters answer the key questions…

Arsene Wenger is under fire after Arsenal’s slow start to the new season continued against Liverpool

Olivier Giroud (floored) reflects the frustration at the Emirates as he and his team-mates failed to score

Olivier Giroud (floored) reflects the frustration at the Emirates as he and his team-mates failed to score

Arsene Wenger rebukes Gary Neville’s claims of arrogance

NEIL ASHTON

Wenger is stubborn. He broke up his best team in 2006 after they had lost the Champions League final by substituting power for tidy, one-touch footballers who wanted to pass the ball into the net. Since then they have always been off the pace in the Premier League and in Europe. Wenger is not changing for anyone.

Why would they sign anyone else? The club’s realistic ambition for the season is to finish in the Premier League’s top four and play Champions League football. They are good enough to do that, but not good enough to win either competition. Haven’t we been here before?

The Arsenal team that started the Champions League final in 2006 was full of skill, pace and power

The Arsenal team that started the Champions League final in 2006 was full of skill, pace and power

Wenger's teams have now faced years of being outmuscled by the big guns at home and in Europe

Wenger’s teams have now faced years of being outmuscled by the big guns at home and in Europe

MIKE KEEGAN

I think Gary Neville hit the nail on the head. Yes, Wenger was hampered by the new stadium and has done a wonderful job under the circumstances but he should know by now that style needs substance and Arsenal have not had that for a long, long time.

In an ideal world the rugged Arturo Vidal would have given that midfield the power and devil Neville was referring to, but Bayern swooped. Karim Benzema would make an immediate impact up front but he appears to have ruled out a move and so Edinson Cavani, who still has some good years in him, would be a welcome addition.

MATT BARLOW

Wenger is more arrogant than naive. He trusts in his philosophy and will not fold to popular opinion. Arsene knows best after all. I’m sure he appreciates its vulnerabilities, but has faith in the quality of his players to overcome them. It is admirable in a way. Flickers of success offer encouragement, perhaps mislead. But he is losing the argument with modern football.

Arsenal’s squad clearly lacks balance. Deep in areas. Terribly shallow in others. They still lack physical presence in the centre of the team. And who wouldn’t like a better centre forward? But spending for spending’s sake doesn’t work, just look at Angel di Maria, Mario Balotelli, Juan Cuadrado, Filipe Luis – total cost £120m and all gone after a year or less – and the summer of 2013 at Spurs.

SAMI MOKBEL

Wenger is not naive, or arrogant. Stubborn, perhaps. He’s sticking by his footballing principles; preferring panache over power. The assertion he isn’t making signings is nonsense. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Petr Cech…

He certainly needs a striker. The club have virtually given up on Karim Benzema and are now exploring a move for Edinson Cavani. A new midfield anchorman wouldn’t go a miss, either. But Wenger is fearful a new big-name midfielder will stunt the progress of Francis Coquelin.

Karim Benzema (right) has declared his intentions to stay at Real Madrid and ignore all interest from Arsenal

Karim Benzema (right) has declared his intentions to stay at Real Madrid and ignore all interest from Arsenal

Edinson Cavani (left) could be available from Paris Saint-Germain if Arsenal offer big money

Edinson Cavani (left) could be available from Paris Saint-Germain if Arsenal offer big money

JOE BERNSTEIN

I’d describe Wenger as obstinate rather than naive or arrogant. His perennial failure to sign an A-list centre half, holding midfield player and centre forward has worked against the club’s interests.

Does he need to sign players? Undoubtedly, if his ambition is still to win the Premier League. People talk about strikers but the lack of a Mats Hummels or Morgan Schneiderlin has cost Arsenal many trophies in the last decade.

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI

I love the way Wenger’s teams play but at the same time it is abundantly clear that there are nowhere near enough players in his squad capable of doing dirty work. I wouldn’t call it arrogance, more a misplaced idealism that has not been terribly productive over time.

I think one mistake was not seeing through the interest in Morgan Schneiderlin – he would have been excellent in that defensive midfield position. He also needs a proper striker, but none of that is news.

Wenger did not fight for Morgan Schneiderlin, who joined Manchester United from Southampton this summer

Diego Godin has signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid, meaning he is going nowhere

Wenger did not fight for Morgan Schneiderlin (left), who joined Manchester United from Southampton this summer; and Diego Godin (right) has signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid, meaning he is going nowhere

DOMINIC KING

He’s neither naive nor arrogant: just very stubborn and single-minded. He knows what he wants in terms of the players he recruits and won’t be swayed.

Wenger should be kicking himself that Diego Godin has signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid. He would have been a perfect addition.

LAURIE WHITWELL

Wenger is arrogant. He cannot possibly be naive after nearly 20 years at Arsenal and as one of the game’s greatest thinkers. He simply believes his team can win trophies this way.

If he wants to win the title he’ll need to buy, although he occasionally gives off sounds that this is not the be all and end all. He needs a striker of substance – Robert Lewandowski or Gonzalo Higuain if not Karim Benzema – and an imposing midfielder – Paul Pogba.

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez for £35m last summer proved that Wenger is still prepared to spend big money

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez for £35m last summer proved that Wenger is still prepared to spend big money

Arturo Vidal (left) joined Bayern Munich this summer, but could Robert Lewandowski (right) be up for grabs?

Arturo Vidal (left) joined Bayern Munich this summer, but could Robert Lewandowski (right) be up for grabs?

CRAIG HOPE

I would say Wenger has a ‘naive arrogance’ – a well-meaning faith in a squad which he believes is good enough to win the league. It is not.

He needs a goalscorer, a central midfielder and a centre back… now where have we heard that before?

Wenger looks tense - and so does his bench - watching the exciting goalless draw against Liverpool

Wenger looks tense – and so does his bench – watching the exciting goalless draw against Liverpool

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