Denis Suarez may be little more than “a squad player” at Arsenal, says Alan Smith, with business during the January window doing little to inspire confidence.
Unai Emery had made no secret of the fact that there would not be much movement in north London.
He was, however, linked with a number of players heading towards the deadline.
In the end, only one deal got over the line, with Spain international midfielder Suarez taken from Barcelona on loan until the end of the season.
That agreement includes a summer purchase option, but former Gunners striker Smith is not convinced that the 25-year-old will make much of an impact.
He told Sky Sports: “Arsenal fans would have loved to have seen a little bit more business, but they did manage to bring in Denis Suarez.
“How much will he play though as you imagine he may be a bit of a squad player?
“I do not think Emery would have given up on him and it will be good for his education, so hopefully he can come back a better player.”
Emile Smith Rowe moved out on Emirates Stadium on deadline day as Suarez arrived.
He has linked up with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a short-term loan.
A spell in Germany is intended to aid the development of an exciting 18-year-old talent.
Arsenal have already seen Reiss Nelson flourish after making a similar switch to Hoffenheim.
England U19 international Smith Rowe will now get the chance to follow in those footsteps and stake a claim to more regular minutes upon his return to his parent club.
Suarez, meanwhile, will be looking to hit the ground running and prove that he can cut it in the Premier League.
If he is handed an immediate bow by Emery, then he will get a baptism of fire on Sunday away at reigning champions Manchester City.