Around this time last year, Arsene Wenger was saying his goodbyes to captain Cesc Fabregas. Fast forward a couple of weeks that same year, and the Arsenal manager was this time watching Samir Nasri pull on a Man City shirt.
It proved to be nothing short of disastrous come the start of the season.
Arsenal were very busy on 'Deadline Day' 2011, cue dramatic music. Fans can become obsessed with the energy of the end of the transfer window, made even more dramatic by Jim White shouting at you through the TV screen. Some say he can still be heard on mute.
The arrivals of Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Mikel Arteta were sped-up by the humiliation at Old Trafford only a few days before. The transfer sagas of Fabregas and Nasri had left Wenger no time to find suitable replacements, and he knew it.
Arsene is methodical in his squad additions. Each player is impeccably scrutinised before they sign along the dotted line, and Wenger is even more obsessively strict before he lets the media take a sniff.
The 2011 summer signings would have caused some sleepless nights for a man of such immaculate order.
Present day, and Arsenal are on the verge of announcing a club record signing in Santi Cazorla. Wenger has shown his methodical scouting process by having the player on his wishlist for a number of years now, pipped last season by money-bags (well used to be) Malaga.
Cazorla will be Wenger's third signing so far, the experienced Podolski and accomplished Giroud making-up the other two. Nuri Sahin could also become a welcome fourth addition in the coming weeks.
It wouldn't be an Arsenal summer though without a star player wanting out. Its no secret that Van Persie has been subject to offers from both Manchester clubs and Serie A champions Juventus since announcing that he will not be signing a new contract.
Yet Wenger has used last season's 'soap opera' of a window to bring in recruits as preparation for the talismanic forward's imminent exit. He has also no doubt, purposely split the media's attention on Arsenal's transfer comings and goings.
Many have speculated that Cazorla's arrival is an answer to Van Persie's rhetorical question that suggests the club lacks ambition. It is simply not true. Wenger will not let any player infiltrate his ways of shaping a football club, both on and off the pitch.
The Arsenal boss has bent his stubbornly precise ways by spending big. This will consequently better equip his side physically and mentally for the loss of their captain, for a second time in two years, and perhaps dust-off that lonely trophy cabinet.
One can only hope so.