Transfer window is finally behind us now. I for one, am happy to it be gone for the time being. It was not easy trying to follow every news and get a little excited when a particular name is linked and then be devastated when it’s either a false rumour or when our bid got rejected.
Not many would have been optimistic about chances to get the right personnel in. In fact, a lot were very adamant that the club were just going to sit on the £80 million and do nothing with it. Calls and shouts for “spend some fucking money” got increasingly louder. Then things changed.
Suddenly, we became very active in the transfer window. Two players were confirmed at the start of the day (Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos). Then it became very quiet on our front. It became very tiresome to wait for further news. I went to bed just 2 hours before the close of the deadline.
Even then, 2 names have already been bandied around. Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun seemed to be the Arsenal reinforcement in midfield. Yet, it did not come without some drama. Well, drama with the former and not the latter, at least. Twitter world got first whiff that we are in for the Spaniard.
Then it seemed there was an argument over transfer fees or wages and at that point, Arsenal were going to walk away. Before you know it, were were back in the hunt. Hence, why I said tiresome. I was as surprised as you are that both were completed. One on a permanent contract while the other on a season long loan.
A total of 9 players have been signed by Arsenal for this 2011/12 season. The nine are Gervinho, Arteta, Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Andre Santos, Park Chu Young, Carl Jenkinson, Joel Campbell and Benayoun (listed in decreasing value of transfer fees). Thanks to Arsenalreport for the information. However, we can also add Hector Bellerin, Jon Toral, Kristoffer Olsson, Leander Siemann and Serge Gnabry to the list which will take the number to 14 new transfers.
Overall, there’s still a lot left in the coffers. Which could open up for further acquisitions in January should the club require to add to the squad. Worth noting that long time target, Gary Cahill did not move during this window. If he does not sign a contract extension within these couple of months, it will be interesting to see what happens at the turn of the year.
Obviously, there has been some question marks over the reason why we do our dealings so late in the window. Trust me, those are valid questions. I’ve read reports on how early we’ve been in for some players only to be rebuffed and rejected. I cannot vouch for the validity of those reports, hence it makes no sense to link them here. We also cannot ignore how long the Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri saga dragged on.
You cannot blame the club for lack of trying. Big names like Eden Hazard, Mario Gotze and Yann M’Vila were courted to no avail. Had any of those went through, Andrey Arshavin’s record of being the most expensive Arsenal signing would have been shattered. Such was the value of those offers. Yet, none of those clubs accepted our offer. That was probably because they knew of our desperation and wanted to squeeze more out of the deal.
There’s no need to hide behind the fact that had any of those 3 names came, I would be far more upbeat about our chances this season. Let me put it this way. I’m underwhelmed when speaking in comparative of the ones we got and those that I mentioned. However, I’m pleased when speaking in comparative to before and after the closure of this transfer window.
We’ve got bags of experienced in the squad now. The new signings’ age reads like 26, 27, 28 and 29 (Park, Mertesacker, Santos, Arteta). These players will be able to give guidance to the younger players in the squad. Except for the last one, all are representing their national teams and with a wealth of experience featuring in major tournaments. My only questions remain whether these are the same players whom Arsene Wenger will depend on to lead his team over the finish line.
Also, many questions the deals on whether it was exacerbated by the drubbing on Sunday. This is another valid point to be made. Wenger and Ivan Gazidis has long hinted that reinforcements will be made. Whether or not, it would have been 5 players (only counting those which I think will feature heavily in the first team, the 4 from these 2 days and Gervinho) or lesser number of players, it is hard to tell.
Perhaps the heavy defeat played a part. Helping the manager to increase his quota for new players. In many ways, it is disheartening to know if this is actually true. However, despite all that. It doesn’t justify behaviour of fans, who were celebrating the signings yesterday as being proven correct and wanting a defeat to United to push Wenger’s hands. Shameful attitude that.
It has generally been a very positive end to the transfer window. We’ve improved our squad depth. That said, the best eleven that we have probably has not changed all that much even with the new inclusions. However, we now possess a much deeper squad to call upon. Let’s keep the positive going into our next game against Swansea.