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Why Arsenal and title rivals’ deadline day inactivity made sense

| 02.02.2016

Should Leicester hang on to top spot in the Premier League, their crowning as champions would not only be the most shocking result in the history of the division, but will likely come with one of its lowest points tallies.

The Foxes currently lead the way by three points from Manchester City. So far, they have collected an average of 2.04 points per game.

All things being equal for the rest of the campaign, the King Power Stadium club could claim the title with a total of 78 points, the lowest tally since Manchester United reigned the 1998/99 season.

Equally, any one of the chasing pack could easily overhaul Claudio Ranieri’s men. City, Arsenal and Tottenham are all within striking distance, while Louis van Gaal still clearly retains the belief that his Man United side are in with a chance, despite being 10 points adrift.

With the title race still wide open at this late stage of the season, it made perfect sense to see all five of those clubs resist the temptation to make a splash on transfer deadline day.

There is an argument that one big signing would have been all that was needed to swing the crown one way or another, but with each squad still in with a chance, why risk it?

January is a notoriously tough time to find season-changing recruits, so it makes perfect sense for each team to back the players that have got them this far.

Value is hard to find in the winter market, so betting on the current roster and hoping the randomness of the season lands favourably for you looks to be the smart play. It just so happens that all five clubs made the same move.

Obviously Arsenal signed Mohamed Elneny earlier in the piece and Leicester were openly courting another striker after adding Demarai Gray and Daniel Amartey, but ultimately the 2015/16 Premier League crown will be decided without the impetus of January purchases, which makes it all the more exciting.

City are currently Ladbrokes’ favourites to claim the trophy at 13/10, with Arsenal trailing them at 6/4. Tottenham and Leicester share 8/1 odds and the Red Devils are distant outsiders at 40s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.