Arsenal opted against January splurge in fear of long-term implications

Arsenal are claimed to have prioritised their long-term project over taking a risk in the January transfer market to chase Champions League football.

The target for this term was always believed to be make a return to Europe, and when they ended up bottom of the table at the end of August, it was feared that we could well endure a torrid campaign.

Things really turned around after the international break at the start of September however, and we went onto win all of our matches that month as we went on a hot run of form which saw us move into contention for not only Europe, but even a top-four spot. While Spurs and Man United looked to be faltering, it looked like West Ham could well be the team to aim for, and an opportunity to make a stake for fourth could easily have been in our minds.

It is now claimed that we saw that opportunity and decided not to try and push it, in fear that it could have interfered with our long-term goals, while they also concluded that allowing Aubameyang would be better for the overall feeling in and around the squad due to his attitude to rules and his lack of form.

James Olley at ESPN claims that his previous form and ‘infectious personality’ in and around the squad previously had allowed them to overlook his antics, which include turning up late to team Covid tests and training, but it was no longer considered possible to allow such things to continue.

Having missed out on the top-four by such a slim margin, you have to believe that we missed a trick by not improving the squad, but the club seems happy with he decision they took, and hindsight is always a wonderful thing…

While I believe that the club may well have taken a shrewd stance for the long-term, the fact that it was widely believed that we made a move to sign Dusan Vlahovic kind of reputes some of this. We clearly did try to sign a quality player to bolster our squad, but their decision not to then panic and bring in a riskier option may well be justified if we can still bring in a top alternative this summer.

Can you understand why the club wouldn’t do their all to try and clinch a CL spot in January?


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  1. Is this really an article because it is so comical reading what Arsenal were supposed to do in January to save the long term future of the club. Not strengthening the team, in fact weakening it was supposed to be a good thing. Giving away our striker was supposed to improve things? I think from January to now has been a disaster and in part due to very very poor squad decisions. It didn’t work out very well!!!!!!

    1. Not quite, we had a good run in January that got us very close to top 4, so that wasn’t a total disaster. For that reason, I don’t think the loss of auba hurt us at all, and may have been a benefit, but the fact we made no signings whatsoever, while spurs made two very good ones, is what came to bite us.
      It’s never a good look to let someone of auba’s stature leave for nothing in the way we did, but honestly I can’t imagine who’d have been willing to pay for him at that moment in time. He says playing badly for a year and a half and was on massive wages. Barca took a chance on him and it looks like it paid off for them , but if they hadn’t, we’d have been stuck with a very unhappy, dreadfully out of form player on 350k pw.

  2. the only thing this club is consistently good at is talking out both sides of their mouth

  3. Nobody on planet earth predicted Arsenal would make top 4 in the summer. A great deal happened this season. and was dominated by Mikel Arteta and his my way or the highway mantra. 5th place was remarkable considering the two previous 8th places finishes. By accident and by design the club finished just two points off CL football and well clear of Man U in 6th. We should be thankfull with the progress we are making. Top 6 challenging for top 4 is an ideal position to be right now halfway through the two year process.

      1. He is just trolling
        How is cementing an opportunity when it arises having an implication on long term plans common sense shows it only facilitate it.
        We lost money by coming short, made it hard to convince players to come, players will demand more wages without champions league football..
        No one expected arsenal to be in top 4 what does that mean as it is totally useless, no one expected Leicester to win the league does that make them not to win it, no one expected Tottenham Hotspur to make top 4 either but they are in champions league, we shot ourselves in the foot and we have no one to blame but ourselves, 4 points ahead with 3 games to go all against teams that were below us in the table then it’s an insult to the fans too..

        1. GD I know he is I replied to a lady on here the other about his continuous same line “No one on planet earth” well no one expected top 4 and we didn’t get top 4 when we eventually expected to 😂 he’ll claim top 5 next year is amazing progress 😛

          1. How can a normal human being say nobody on plant earth expected a certain outcome, is that not madness? Speaking for the whole world at large

  4. This club is becoming a walking contradiction, all we get is mixed messages from Arteta to Edu to Josh Kroenke to journalist who cover the club.

    At the beginning of January window it was
    ‘we need to maximize every window’
    ‘we are short in midfield and striking positions’

    To after the window closes
    ‘Edu did a fantastic job’

    Then in a recent press conference Arteta intimated that he wanted to sign players but wasn’t ‘allowed to’ for whatever reason
    Josh Kroenke said something about financial fair play in that interview on the club official website

    It went from a whole host of ‘reliable’ journalists saying we were apparently in negotiations with Sassuolo and made an official bid to sign Vlahovic but was rejected by him to hearing the other day that sources at the club saying we were used by whoever in negotiations between Sassuolo, Juventus and his representatives, implying our interest in signing the player wasn’t as strong as previously made out.

    So which is it?

    1. Arsenal were on talks with Sassuolo to sign who exactly?
      Are you talking about Vlahovic’s twin brother or a clone? Either exist unfortunately.

  5. I smell revisionist history in this article.

    What is worse, in my view, Dusan Vlahovic, was NOT the player we really needed to buy in January.

    If we had bought or even loaned a good DM, I think we could have held our own against Brighton, Southampton, and possibly Spurs too.

    If we had won one of those games, the world would be a different place.

    PS I like the reference from Dame Vera Lynn, to Janus.
    I think it fits the Arsenal suits to a T!

  6. To answer the question at the bottom of the article for me no I can’t understand why we didn’t sign anyone in January at all. Poor shortsighted management.

    If it is to do with FFP then stop giving our players away for free and start making money on them by selling them at the right time.

    Could easily have loaned a DM & CF.

    Everyone saying we should be happy with 5th given where we started the season after 3 games etc well no we shouldn’t be happy with that given CL football was in our hands and we totally messed it up. And this is the reason many fans don’t have much faith going forward. We are not shrewd in the transfer market we are far too slow to react a bit like how we play as a team and its frustrating as fans to see it constantly happen.

    You don’t need to buy star players all the time it’s the type of player you sign that can work. Take Kamara for instance great little player sign for free if he doesn’t work out sell him for a profit if he works out we signed him for free signed a player in a position we so desperately need he’s young and an upgrade on our current CM so it’s a win win situation. But we wait and wait near to the end of the window just to save money on wages just like wenger always did.

  7. I’ve heard it all now 😂 Although didn’t Arteta say his new deal could be a “final push” for the players to finish in the top 4?!


  8. What Arsenal lacked that came back to hunt us is Depth. I hope it will be corrected? Secondly what are our priorities? Can we aim to win Europa this year? Let Arleta put everything into it. Our bench must be as good as the first eleven. Not full of school boys.

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