An update on Arsenal’s recruitment and rebuilding plans

Revisiting the recruitment plan by D$

In April, just before Arsene Wenger announced he would retire, I posted an article about how we should rebuild and targets we should look to recruit (in defence, midfield and GK) and I would like to revisit it now. Of the list of players I mentioned in that article, we signed one – Lucas Torreira. He is a player I have admired for a while so, obviously, I am very satisfied by his acquisition. He has added everything that I mentioned in the article – great closing speed and tackling, as well as good quality on the ball and passing range.

Besides Torreira there were some other midfielders that I had suggested. Pablo Fornals continues to impress in La Liga and I think it is only a matter of time before he is signed by a ‘big’ club. He seems to still fly under the radar at this stage, aside from when he got a bit of social media exposure when he scored a fantastic long-range lob and then performed an audacious piece of skill in a match against Athletic Bilbao. This is only a snapshot of what the boy is capable of and I really hope we consider him in the next transfer window.

We recruited Sokratis at the back and I have largely been pleased by his performance. However, in the article I had recommended an emphasis on youth as this should be a part of a greater transfer strategy – building towards having a lot of great players reaching their peak at Arsenal in a few years. I don’t know if Sokratis (or Lichtsteiner) will have much value in a few years but in the short term, he is great. Interestingly, In the article I had mentioned Clement Lenglet who was signed in the summer by Barcelona. Although he has only featured 3 times for them, he must be a great prospect to be recruited by such a great club. I had also mentioned Issa Diop who was picked up by West Ham. After a few shaky performances early (he isn’t the finished article yet) he has recovered to put in some great performances and many had him as the Man of the Match when West Ham beat Man Utd a few weeks ago. At just 21, it is clear that he will develop into a world-class defender. Çağlar Söyüncü was recruited by Leicester City and although is highly thought of, he hasn’t featured yet, so it is hard to judge if he up to the standard.

With regard to goalkeepers, I was endorsing Alban Lafont in the article whom I see as a ‘keeper with great potential. We ended up with Leno who is a little more advanced in terms of experience and development. Leno has been great so far so I can’t complain.

As with every transfer window, I am left wondering if this was a case of the fish that got away – I suppose time will tell with regard to some of these prospects. However I think it is still worth discussing our goals and philosophy to achieve these goals. Sokratis and Lichtsteiner were good signing but won’t realistically be able to challenge for the title whilst these players can still have an impact on matches. They may well contribute to getting us into the Champions league next season, which would be a great achievement. But is this really the goal? I for one want us to aim to win the league, and for this we need to build a team over a few seasons.



  1. Phil says:

    D$-it was only late last season that I was aware of Torreira when his name was being mentioned.I recall someone advising we look at his performances in Seria A on YouTube and straight away I saw why he was just what we needed in midfield.So that was one player the scouting network got right.LT could become a legend at this Club.But to keep a player who will only get better we as a Club need to improve.If we are not playing Champions League Football we will struggle to attract and keep the quality players like Torreira to and at the Club.
    That’s why this season is so vital.We simply must get Top4 or win the Europa Cup.Emery recognises the importance of this competition which is why he fields such strong teams and loads the bench as well.
    In regards future targets we can be confident that the Sven and Raul partnership will bring the players to our Club that we can afford to buy.
    Let’s remember Arsenal is a big Club and a big attraction to players.I trust our transfer team to get the players in that Emery needs.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Pablo Fornals was rumored to be Arsenal’s target previously, but now Arsenal do not need more CM

    For the right winger, Arsenal are linked with Nicolas Pepe and Ismaila Sarr. But I think they would be another missed opportunity like Fornals, because Arsenal have got the rising Nelson

    1. Sarmmie says:

      We don’t have depth in our CM position actually, rabiot is the person I’m hoping we get though, he’s young, proven, and very good

      1. Break-on-through says:

        Barcelona are said to be interested too. If that’s true well then we may forget about him. I said it myself ages back, those Barca central midfielder’s are not all good enough, the ones in the first team. Some AFC fans rate them a little too highly just because they play for Barca. Your man Rakitic is a Croatian Ramsey. Barca still looking to fill the void Xavi left, and soon they’ll probably find Iniesta irreplaceable. They might go for Hazard to replace Inniesta. Mbappe would be some catch for them, but Real will likely want him to fill the Ronaldo hole. We really missed the boat there, Arsenal and their bloody finances.

  3. Break-on-through says:

    When you say you mentioned a certain Lucas Whoa Torriera, do you mean you mentioned a rumour linking us to him, or do you mean you knew of him and said he could be a smart choice for some lucky team. If its the latter then well done mate, its not easy to follow an unknown youngster and have professionals arrive later with similar thoughts to your own. I seen a few in here trying to do that and credit to them, when I checked them ( the players) out I got the impression that they were not youngsters on, the hot to watch-list, instead it seemed these couple of players were purely being speculated on by the lads who tried their hand at scouting for a small bit. Torriera I must admit I never heard of or seen before we were said to be interested. I usually don’t like fans bragging rights when it comes to AFC signing players because I usually don’t believe that there’s any logic to it whatsoever. But if a fan is keeping tabs on unknown quantity and quality while making predictions, well that’s not the worst hobby I ever came across, and who knows maybe even one day agents will be knocking at your door.

  4. jon fox says:

    D$, Wenger did not retire. He is still looking to manage and Bayern have been mentioned as a possible club for him. I doubt he will ever retire while he can walk and talk.

  5. inkfight! says:

    Think we’re going to have to be a step ahead of the game in terms of recruitment as I don’t see us signing any (or many) players beyond the £20-30 million price point (post 100% Kroenke ownership).

    Obviously there are plenty of gems out there but it could still be a risky strategy. I suppose we won’t really know toll next summer but my suspicion is our “big spending” days are over (again).

    1. lcebox says:

      Just had to lol cause i cant remember the big spending days …. when were they?

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