An Analysis of Arsenal’s Transfer window as Arteta targets 100 goals next season

Arsenal’s transfer window. An analysis by Bebeto

Arsenal is keen on a successful transfer window. This is coming off a disappointing season in which several factors contributed to achieve a key target. Arsenal and everyone never predicted a season in which narrowly missing on Champions League qualification would be such a big disappointment. This failure exposed a lot of weaknesses which has guided the team’s approach to transfers and
team building.

To understand Arsenal’s approach to the window, we need an appreciation of the team’s weaknesses last season. The premier league table is the easiest indicator of performance. A quick look shows Arsenal scored way less than the top four teams. Liverpool and Man City scored more than thirty goals more compared to Arsenal. Mikel already knows.

. This article from the Guradian confirms Mikel Arteta targets 100 goals if Arsenal are to be title contenders next season.

How he thinks the team will find an additional thirty to forty goals is demonstrated by the targets he is looking to sign. Mikel is looking at sharing the scoring burden among the team members. The alleged bid for Victor Osinhem was a gamble. If Napoli had accepted the reported 60 to 90 million euros depending on source. It would have been a good piece of business. Arsenal does not seem to spend anything more than that because their goals and budget would never allow it. They are looking for both quality and numbers. They realise it’s possible to get two good players for the amount Napoli wants. Napoli reportedly wants north of 100 million pounds for their striker. This is problematic on so many fronts.

There is no guarantee the player will deliver after such a huge outlay. Every transfer is indeed a gamble, but Arsenal does not look too keen on a Lukakusque type of move. Ossimeh scored basically the same number of goals as Giroud. HE doesn’t seem to do well on the assists side as well. This is a league where Ibrahimovich, Sanchez, and Miki are still relevant. This is a backwater league. Football
players and agents seem aware of the fact as well. Not many players seem keen to move from there to EPL.

Is Arsenal not better served if this amount of money is spent on Jesus and Raphinha or someone similar for instance? They may not have the stature as Victor but know how to deliver in EPL. They will still give good numbers for both goals and assists. Over the years we have seen players coming into the Premier league with big reputations and dismally fail. Arteta is simply borrowing
from the Manchester City 2021/2022 title winning book.

@JackMumf noted “In total, City have eight players in the top 50 scorers in the league (at least 6 goals)” Arsenal already has Saka, ESR, Martinelli, Odegaard in this list. Eddie Nketiah falls short mainly because of limited playing time.

The addition of Vieira, possibly Jesus and Raphinha will bring in potential for more goals by a margin. Fabio Vieira is a case of genius scouting and problem solving to quality squad depth. He has played as an attacking midfielder, winger and striker at Porto. He won’t play as a striker at Arsenal but that he has done so before will be testament for his abilities to shoot and hold it against centre backs. He may fill in for any wing role or allow Odegaard to fill in for Saka without compromising the attacking midfield quality. I am sure am not the only one who has seen Odegaard playing that right side with effectiveness. The three signings have the potential to solve the issue of goals and creativity by a margin. An Odegaard off day will no longer hurt as much with the coming in of Fabio and Raphinha (hopefully). There will be lots of goals for us to celebrate if the club pulls off these deals. A single focal striker is easier to cut out compared to multiple sources of threat. Arsenal once did this under Wenger and it’s coming back again. Martinelli, Jesus Saka, Nketiah and ESR are poised to break out and challenge top scorers in the league. One or more from this group will pleasantly surprise us.

There has been links with Gnabry. He is very popular with the fans. I believe it is more a case of the ex for Arsenal supporters. It’s like the cry out for Guendouzi. He is one transfer that looks unlikely. Transfer business must be smart. All the players Arsenal is linked to or has signed have potential for higher resell value. I believe Raphinha, Jesus, Fabio and Martinez can give two to three brilliant seasons and be sold on for one and half to twice their current value. Gnabry is one player you would expect to come in and be sold for a token fee to a retirement club in the end. I believe resell value is also an issue with Sterling.

Investing plus or minus 100 million on Osimeh is a similar gamble, he may still have a high value in three seasons but chances of the deal being profitable are slim.

Gnabry has so little to prove and may not be as motivated as Raphinha {unlikely} or Jesus. He will bring the goal threat. This team needs players who appreciate they won’t be guaranteed starters. He will have to fight it off for playing time and it will not be easy. If he was a prolific outright striker, it would be easier, but he is a hybrid like Jesus, Raphinha and Martinelli. I believe these two will do more than him in aspects other than scoring. While Gnabry has played for Arsenal before, he still has no Premiership experience worth talking about. He had so much promise in his time in England but failing to do well om loan at West Brom is a serious blemish. Arteta played with him at Arsenal and may know the circumstances. The biggest fear is being one of the players who do so well in Germany and can not hack it in EPL.

The EPL table tells a poor defensive story as well. All top four teams have a better defensive record as well. How is Arteta trying to improve on this aspect of the team? In Arteta’s game defence is a team effort. It starts with the press. Raphinha, Eddie and Jesus will make Arsenal a dangerous pressing machine. Raphinha tracks back so well it improves the full back cover. The addition of Saliba
and possibly Martinez will bolster the team defensively and give options to play differently. Alternating between back three and four is a possibility this coming season. It will make the team less predictable and easily adjust to opponent strengths.

A bigger pool of defenders will mean good rotation and good cover in case of injuries. Injuries to key defenders cost the team a chance to qualify for champions league. Martinez will cover and compete for both Gabriel and Tierney positions. Saliba will cover and compete with Ben White and Tomiyasu. Martinez may turn out to be one of the most important signings for this team if completed. He
reportedly can cover for Partey as well. This is one position that dearly cost the team last season.

In the Partey position Lokonga will be stronger and wiser this season. He may not be a fan favourite but has good technique and numbers on his side. A strong run in Europa League and local cup games beckons.

The five substitutes rule will make games more interesting next season. It may mean higher intensity games from teams with deeper quality squads. It will allow teams playing with different sets of attackers in a single game. Arsenal realises such a thin squad may struggle in five sub rule games.

The intent from the club promises an exciting season to come. These players may not come but the alternatives are bound to still make it worth the wait.

This is an opinion which may be totally wrong. Like most of us there is no inside knowledge of transfers implied. I believe our club technical team makes the decisions in the best interests of Arsenal.

By Bebeto

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33 Comments

  1. We can buy whoever but it makes no difference if our tactics don’t change.

    Things that need to change:
    – half hearted high press
    – slow build up play
    – side to side passing in attacking 3rd
    – zero plan B
    – continuous aimless crossing

    633 crosses in 38 games last season with a 24% accuracy….did we change tactics when it clearly wasn’t working….NO

    1. When our plan A worked, it worked pretty well….but when it didn’t then it was a disaster.

    2. 24% accuracy sounds pretty good to me!
      Can yo please tell me where you found these stats and give us Man Citys, Liverpool’s, Tottenham’s and Chelsea’s for comparison?

      1. The EPL has a website Ad Pat, sure you’ve seen it? But I’ll help you out….

        Man City – 19% and will change tactics to win a game when plan A not working. We lost 10 more games than them

        Liverpool – 25% and will change tactics to win a game when plan A not working. We lost 11 more games than them

        Chelsea – 21% and will change tactics to win a game when plan A not working. We lost 7 more games than them

        You can’t take half my comment and ignore the last bit, if you read my full comment you’d see the main issue was not changing tactics.

        1. The change of tactics has a lot to do with personnel at your disposal. Defenders respond differently to Jesus than Lacazette. Hopefully Fabio will bring in some shooting accuracy from the midfield and better chances. Right wing may never be the same if Saka shares minutes and unpredictability with a different player. If Martinez signs we get stability and cover at left back, left CB and difference at DM. He brings direct play for front runners like Eddie and Martinelli. Injuries may never be as crippling as last season.

        2. The analysis is far too limited and the conclusion is prejudicial. Those teams you reference have better first team players in many positions and deeper squads.

        3. @pjsa, I called you out because you said ” 633 crosses in 38 games last season with a 24% accuracy….did we change tactics when it clearly wasn’t working….NO”

          Now you tell me that Arsenal were actually better than most top teams. Why should we change tactics if its working?

      2. And I wonder how many goals were scored by us vs those you mention.

        Im not a betting man, but I would take a gamble that their conversion rate was greater.

        basically we played this plan without the required personal. Failure on managers part imho.

  2. Our goal tally was way below the top two EPL teams because we relied too much on open play, despite having an unstable system

    We need players who can frequently score from set-pieces and these players must be willing to be rotated

    We also can’t attack if we keep losing duels and second balls on a cold rainy night in Stoke, so we need tireless high pressers and excellent ball winners behind them

  3. All those players to rotate would be great, but when has MA ever done that? He might do so for Europa and league cup, but In the prem he’ll just play his favourites and everyone else will just get frustrated.

    1. Think we need to give him the benefit of doubt. The incentive to rotate is higher if you have top players on your bench. The league will also be won or lost through 5 substitutes. Deeper squads will play high intensity games knowing they can replace key players with similar quality after 60 minutes. This may become the era of the super sub again.

  4. Arsenal lost the first 3 games and 5 of the last 10. The middle 28 games we went
    Won 17 Drew 3 Lost 5.
    2 home losses one each to Liverpool + Man City.
    3 away losses . Liverpool. United + Everton.
    The team was in 4th place 6 points clear of 5th.
    On that basis we did not need any new players at all. despie injuries the team finished just 2 goals and 2 points off CL and fully 11 points in front of Man U.
    We finished 22-3-13.
    Another 7 goals and with out so many defensive injuries would give us 24-5-9 = 77 points which in a closer league will be enough to get 4th place or better. So with just 7 more goals needed do we really need to spend 100mill fee/salary on a striker? Probably not. However the plan seems to be 36mill on an AM 7m on a winger 6m on a GK. 100mill fee/salary striker and a 36mill versatile defender. Have we got the balance right? Only time will tell.

      1. Ok we get you. A striker and 7 goals is all will need and prayers that Perisic and Richarlison go on vacation for Spurs while we continue licking goals like basket. Thanks

        1. Agreed, their business so far has been pretty good.

          I just hope Arteta and Edu get this window right and the players by into his ethos.

          make or break season

          1. 25 each wow now those are high expectations. both players will be challenging for golden boot then.

    1. With a better squad depth, we possibly would have won at home against Brentford, drawn or lost to Chelsea and lost to City. Tail end of the season we could have fought better at Tottenham avoided another loss or better. A better investment though points towards an attempt to close the gap between us and top two. Like you said , time will tell.

  5. Do we really need this type of in depth analyse when the window is nowhere near over and the signed players have yet to show us anything. What matters at this stage is that goals are not going to come easily with our current midfield unless Viera proves to be Modrich and Verratti rolled into one. At the moment the available pool of players seems to be getting snapped up when by one, but not by Arsenal. Let’s hope our “brainstrust” have some aces up their sleeves.

  6. An interesting article by Bebeto, It has to be said though , it must have been written SEVERAL DAYS AGO, or even a full week, as it has been clear for sometime that RAPHINHA-who was constantly mentioned – is not coming to us.

    I found that lackof being up to date with events, a puzzling matter, which rather let down the whole piece, interesting as it, otherwise, was!

    1. Excuse me Jon, but is there any official announcement yet, we can hope can’t we? Not everyone knows everything like you me old son…

  7. 100 goals for next season. We would certainly need another top striker to achieve that and I just cannot see another major goalscorer being signed. If we get Martinez he’s way too short to play CB in the EPL, so he (I assume) will be a defensive midfield player or maybe in a back 3. As a DM he could be a good buy and would give the other midfielders a chance to attack more. Of course that would mean a happy making ‘goodbye Xhaka’ (bottle of bubbly time). I still think we would need a player like Tielemans and give us a strong midfield in whatever competition we are playing in next season.

  8. How can you have a transfer window analysis when there is still something like 2 months left of this transfer window?

  9. To bridge the gap to top 3 and Spurs, we still need to bring in another FW/RW, DM/CM and a LB/versatile defender.
    -Attacking position I think it would do no harm in looking towards Watford for either Emmanuel Dennis or Ismaili Sarr, who, although not ‘glamorous’ signings would both bring quality to our Frontline and we could get them relatively cheap because Watford got relegated.
    Midfield-Tielemens is an obvious choice, given his premier league experience, but I think Fabian Ruiz is another good option,£26M, deeplying playmaker, who could also play the no.6 role, should Partey inevitably get injured, if push came to shove, as he has good defensive contribution.
    Leftback/Versatile defender- Martinez fits the bill perfectly but is very pricey at reported value of €50, so Zinchenko (who we was linked with earlier in the window) shouldn’t be overlooked.

  10. We would have to radically change the way we play to get anywhere near to a 100 goals. From what i have seen we are not capable of moving up from one of the lowest scorers in the league to one of the better. The way we play is so so slow and predictable, we cant ever get 100 goals playing the way we do. Since Arteta came, we have struggled up top and failed to get a spark from our forwards.

  11. An interesting piece, the only part I found unlikely was the bit about the re-sale value of players. That seemed a bit optimistic.

    I’d forget Raphinha as well – it’s reported (yeah, I know) that Barcelona are going to bid. We’ll see. But there’s a difference between a Raphinha who wants to play for Arsenal and one who plays or Arsenal but wants to play for Barcelona.

    I’d prefer Gnabry (with sensible wages).

    Also unsure of what to make of any Grauniad report – in the end, just another report – but 100 goals seems a stretch, sounds like journalists making up rubbish as clickbait.

    P.S. I also expect to see a different style (or styles) next season. I liked Emery’s stated intention to play different ways against different teams.

    1. Should have read:

      “But there’s a difference between a Raphinha who wants to play for Arsenal and one who plays FOR Arsenal but wants to play for Barcelona.”

  12. I can only assume this article was written by an Arsenal “Spin Doctor”.

    One who does not seem to be very current in his knowledge.

    All I got from this nonesenese was a “What a wonderful world this would” when the list of players mentioned all scored copious numbers of goals next season.

    There is no analysis of how these many players will actually play together, just there will be lots of goals.

    I guess it must be time to renew Season Tickets!!!

    I must say that the point that really annoyed me was:

    how allowing 5 substitutes was going to make the game more exciting.

    Surely using that logic, allowing 10, 20 100 substitutes would make the game even more exciting!!!
    I am sure the TV companies would love the extra substitutes too, think of all the extra commercials they could run.

    Overall I find this article a load of drive.

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