Did Arsenal get lucky with January signings?

Arsenal insider David Ornstein has claimed that the club planned their January transfers well, but could understand how it could have come across as unorganised.

The Gunners completed the arrivals of two big signings this month, while allowing the wantaway Alexis Sanchez to quit the club in the process.

The Chilean was allowed to join rivals Manchester United, with 29 year-old Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction as part of the deal, but we are believed to have been resigned to losing Alexis on a free transfer come the end of the season, and could consider ourselves lucky to have landed such a top replacement in return for a player with little time on his contract remaining.

Our club followed up that move with the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a former team-mate of the Armenian signing from their time at Borussia Dortmund, and can now boast a deadly looking front-line.

Journalist David Ornstein is known for his inside knowledge at the Emirates, and he is of the belief that our plan came together nicely this month.

“What may have seemed from the outside to be a lack of a coherent plan, actually came together satisfactorily,” Ornstein told BBC Sport.

“Arsenal were in a difficult situation because Sanchez wanted to leave and suddenly it came about that they could get Mkhitaryan as a replacement, which was not something they anticipated.

“So they came out of that quite well, despite not getting any money for one of the best forwards in Europe.

“And then of course they secured Aubameyang, who was their preferred target to replace Sanchez, for a fee of around £56m when he was valued at around £100m recently and supposedly considered by Real Madrid.

“Right now I think they will be fairly happy about it.”

Do we have to consider ourselves lucky or did our club pan out the window on point?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Aubameyang Mkhotaryan


  1. Innit says:

    When you are sixth place and you even lose to the worst team in the League, Even Wenger knows something is wrong.
    Question is, will Wenger finish the job?
    Our attack is sorted, but what about central midfield and central defense?
    We are still behind a few teams and they will just improve this summer
    I fear Wenger will get lazy and cheap this summer
    I hope not

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      depends on the budget given in the summer as the club is not run by a country and also depends on who is available….

      top centrebacks cost around 100m and barca and real are not gonna let umiti and varane go for cheap and easy…the same goes for the other clubs…

      1. Rkw says:

        U should have watched barca game last night … Valencia had a decent centre back called Gabriel who cost them a few million from some club in north london … Arguably wenger’s biggest failing is not to get the best,out of players he has

        1. Nothing changed says:

          So true. Gabriel was a very good defender who was misused by Wenger. Many good players are made to look ordinary with Wenger. Look at Laca now and last season. Wenger damaged his game and confidence.

          1. Vlad says:

            Unbelievable. I hate it when some people start talking out of their arses. Gabriel had one decent game, and all of a sudden he’s great player? How many Valencia games have you seen this season? Valencia’s record in the last 4 games is 1 draw, 3 losses. One of those losses came against Las Palmas, the team that sits in 19th place. Gabriel got 2 yellow cards, and a subsequent red card in that game. He’s terrible. He was a better right back for us than he was a CB, and that’s not saying much. He lacks discipline. He lacks positional awareness. He lacks communications skills. He’s just plain BAD.

        2. ClassyGunner says:

          Completely agree. Gabriel had all the attributes of a good centre-back. How players supposedly loose confidence and never get it back at Arsenal is a big mystery.

        3. Gun-Powder says:

          Even Coquelin played well too…

  2. gotanidea says:

    No, it was not luck, because it was the fruit of Wenger’s, Gazidis’, Mislintat’s and Sanllehi’s connections and works. Arsenal would not get the high profile players without the negotiation skills of these people and thanks to Gazidis for bringing Mislintat and Sanllehi in.

    Looking at their good work so far, I am hoping for the other high profile players to come in. There are many unsettling high quality players and contract rebels (such as Draxler, De Vrij, Manolas, etc), I am sure Arsenal’s negotiation experts can get at least two more players before the next season begins.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      exactly connections help with the german connections Lehmann and Mislintat…

      now we have Raul…spanish and south american players would be easier to obtain as well

    2. dragunov762mm says:

      Apart from Mislintat negotiation skills, to look back all situations, that was perfect blessing in disguise.
      Alexis want away, Jose ultimately robed him from the open hand of Guardiola. He came with win win solution to wipe his expensive bench warmer in the name of Mikhi.
      Mikhi wanted second wind of his dimming career, somehow the fate made his old dream come true by joining the club he once admired.
      Aubameyang was desperate in pursue of his Real Madrid dream, Mislintat came in right on time with the stepping stone club idea (I’m sorry that’s my first respond of this saga). Dortmund reluctant to sell unless they get the replacement first. Chelsea who eyed Giroud, putted Batsuayi as their solution. Problem solved. How on earth you could design such chain of solutions which include three parties?

    3. Midkemma says:

      I put a lot of praise on Sven for convincing Gazidis to part with cash, to get back in and rebid this window instead of reverting to a panic buy on deadline day.

      AFC still put in a bid that would obviously get rejected and that didn’t change. It wasn’t a bid I thought anyone would consider for Auba, if we had Auba and someone offered £44 million then we would all expect the board to reject it INSTANTLY unless he was in his final 6 months.

      The board took too long to sign Auba and it had too many similarities with Lemar.

      Raul was appointed yesterday? I hope Gazidis called him up and spoke to him but no way to tell either way, I don’t mean this as a negative but as something good, we could act quicker in the summer window.

      I think we had a very good window and I have hope we will build on this in the summer and potentially finish the rebuild of playing squad, maybe new manager as well.

  3. barryglik says:

    The bad.
    We could have got 60m in the summer
    for Sanchez but turned City down and
    turned 35m down in Jan and ended up
    with an out of form Mkhitaryan from Man U.
    A debacle really. Mkhitaryan is no goal scoring machine like Sanchez
    so to replace Sanchez’s goals we had to shell out another 55m on Aubame.
    A lot of money considering we just spent 50m on record signing Lacazette.
    Again a panic over reaction to fan anger over the Sanchez debacle
    similar to the panic buys for Wellbeck and Perez who are both certified flops
    and who along with the Giroud 18m sale will be sold to pay off the Auba purchase.
    Sanchez, Giroud, Wellbeck + Perez sales to pay for Auba is not great business.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      welbeck was wanted as a loan and likely to be returned to utd after that season ended

    2. gotanidea says:

      Arsenal should have sold Sanchez when he did not want to extend eight months ago, but Arsenal were worried of the fans’ reactions. Ozil should also have been sold when he did not want to extend last season, but luckily there is no real interest in him till January and only Arsenal were willing to meet his 350,000 salary demand.

      LMAO’s performances have to justify extravagant salaries, otherwise jealousy would start to plague the other players. Let’s see what Wilshere would demand for his contract extension and which other club’s interests would come for him.

    3. Alex says:

      I am curious to see how fans like you would react when Mikhitaryan starts to perform and play like a different player as compared to when he was at Man-utd. Yes Wenger should have sold $ancash for 60m in the summer. It was a lack of foresight on his part to think that $ancash will stay committed to us. Getting Mikhitaryan is better than not having anyone at all. With the sort of position that the club is in now we have lower negotiation power to attract top players to our club. Besides, we can’t say for sure that Mikhitaryan is a bad player.

      Fans like you are really fickle-minded. When Arsenal do not splash the cash, you guys complain of lack of ambition, etc. When they do, you consider that as a panic buy. Furthermore, it’s beyond me how you managed to compare Welbeck, Perez with the likes of Lacazette, Auba. How could you label them as panic buys when they are of much higher quality than the lousy examples which you quoted and tried to compare them to.

      We don’t just need a change of manager, we need a change of fans like you as well.

      1. Alex says:


      2. Paul says:

        Gabriel, coquelin, szesny, Martinez (bad decisions to sell when you see their performance at other clubs and Martinez loaned out), Walcott (a little downgrade of aubameyang) , xhaka(no tackle, no intelligence to bring your team out of trouble and contributes nothing) and we couldn’t bring in our most important problem a proper defender to partner koscielny, manolas would have been a great signing , then the Gabriel issue is happening with kolasinac again……..paying 60mils altogether for mustafi and xhaka ( players with no intelligence whatsoever) all these shows wenger is really past it, WENGER OUT

    4. Chris Mcglennon says:

      Perez was hardly a flop mate his conversion rate for minutes on pitch was far from being a flop .He just didnt get a chance to show what he was made of.

      1. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

        Don’t worry Chris, you won’t change the minds of some people regarding Perez. They don’t let the facts of his performances when Wenger deigned to play him get in the way of their view of the world!

  4. barryglik says:

    The good.
    We offloaded 2 more
    of the average and over paid.
    Debuchy 32m in fee and salary=flop.
    Walcott 2 good seasons in ten.

  5. Ken says:

    So we are not happy yet again, you don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. Sanchez for the Mac is good business; why, because one has something to prove and the other has been unsettled for a move he wanted months ago, and then ended up at man United. Did anyone see man uniteds last game or Sanchez, he threw his arms in the air when the didn’t get a pass, it begins.

  6. Phil says:

    How can it be considered a bad window for us.We got Mikki in place of Sanchez and Auba to replace Gironde and Walcott.Debauchy offloaded And Coq as well.4 fringe payers out with Sanchez replaced by 2 top performers who it seems both want to be here.Lucky?I think we were fortunate Mikki came in to the equation for Sanchez as the wages they had to pay him woulod have reduced any fee we would have got.
    Apparently we bid for Evans very late in the window.VERY VERY LUCKY we did not pull that off.It means muddling through with what we have this season and VERY VERY LUCKY we now have Sven and Raul in charge of transfers.No more Wenger signings at last.

  7. McLovin says:

    Our squad is extremely thin. 23 players (excluding Santi), 2 of them are U21’s, so in total 21 senior players!

    I expect Alex Song to sign soon. Maybe even Sagna heh.

    1. GB says:

      Well Song is training at Colney

    2. McLovin says:

      Even Nasri is available on a free LOL

  8. Ted says:

    Barryg.. Replacing Alexis with mihki and Auba is great business, not panic buying. Auba was our first choice alexis replacement. Fans like you with a very negative reasoning sound really digraceful. Be logical and intelligent when you criticize, stop hating.

  9. Baggio says:

    My best 11 ATM “4-1-3-2” or “4-4-2”


  10. Grandad says:

    Looks good on paper Baggio but knowing Wenger he will never leave out Xhaka and Mustafi because that would be an admission of his incompetence in the transfer market.

  11. mogunna says:

    That is the best news i was about to break; Alex Song is back home in training since left Rubin Karzan january 31st; that’s 2 days ago…So, he is free to sign and exactly the piece missing to fill up the hole in our Arsenal ship. We sinking from the middle defense, in front of the back 4 or back 5 or whatever, you need this hole filled or we sink from the middle as our CD is shaky, Kos is alone and no one to sit in front of him, to protecting, just come from all direction straight for him to deal alone with in central area of defense and pitch….

    So, he should be fit in a few as he played 16 games in the raw recently before to leave rubin Karzan. He sure knows our football and home, will dictate our game and make us more secure and powerful going forward. I’m not sure what XAkha really does beside, passing the ball, helps possession but to pass to just pass doesnt impact the game, run next to player you just pass the ball to get it back to pass it to another player and run to get it back from him because other player can’t do nothing with that pass doesn’t do anything but passing around, doesn’t move our game forward, he keeps doing that in our side of the pitch are too far from danger zone on opponent’s side…Certainly can look involve and be most succesful and numbers of pass in the league that way but these passes and touching the ball as much as he wants and run for it, doesn’t do anything but useless possessions and passess. You saw pass of Ozil to bellerin and majority, his passes always creates danger or help move game forward, wwhen he gets the ball, oponent are scared, they know, he’s going to make something out of nothing…Xhaka makes nothing out of something…

    Song allows to have our back 4 and add one spot in attack. All you need is wilshere next to him, Ozil in front of them, Miki, Laca and Aube.

    without such a DM, we need 5 defender as we do but still don’t fill the hole in center defending part of the pitch, no one in front of Kos wo is alone, Mustafi is no security, he just better than Mertesaker wich is bad… easy to destroy us in that area and where you score goals. If there’s not 2 CD in front of keeper, and not a CMD in front of them, you get why we in trouble, even with 5 in defense, still a hole in CMD.

    Come on Song, wake these people up and bring that Arsenal true spirirt back home..;

  12. Ronny says:

    Always an element of crossing your fingers obviously but I don’t think we were lucky. The reason I think that is one change …… Mislintat in Dick Law out 🙂

  13. JJPawn says:

    This the best January in a long time. Great to see that Alexis is finally gone, and that he is at Man U, and not City. Manu will have problems as that team is not well managed despite the money dumped on big names. Dissension by players and anger at Maurinho will make them perform below par, while the style won’t give them much either.

    City is the real threat, and likely untouchable, but injuries can hurt any team.

    Chelsea can go on a run if Giroud gells. But the politics and drama at Chelsea is going to make them a hot and cold team, and Hazard’s head has turned as United and Real will come calling.

    Spurs should lose Kane at least. Others will want more money, and they will be disgruntled with no title or money.

    Liverpool’s high press game cannot work without some great players. And they are vulnerable to middle table/tough teams willing to force them to pass around rather then attack into open lanes.

    At Arsenal the costly front four should be have license to attack, and just doing that will keep the opposition on the back foot most of the time.

    Wilshere is too slow to play in the EPL. He is only one tackle from a serious ankle injury. They will sell him. The best news is that Wenger has given on older British core. Hurrah for that! He is still a gentle man, and has allow Theo and Giroud to choose. This mangerial style makes his players like him, and with the right talent he will get more out of them. His problem was lack of talent around Alexis and Ozil.

    Now the entry to Auba and Mhki adds to Ozil. Laca will do better with less attention to him, as it will take a lot to contain the speed of Auba opening lanes for others. Welbeck on the wing cutting in will be dangerous. Mhki does shoot. Ozil has been asked take more shots.

    The Arsenal defense weak in the main task can however score. Sead is deadly from outside the box and Elneny can shoot as can Monreal and Bellerin.

    There is a chance to make the top four still with something like a 3-5-2 with Laca playing a bit behind Auba. Ozil and Mkhi interchanging, and Welbeck tracking back to use his speed to harass counter-attacks against Arsenal.


    Sead can play in the middle and dominate as his calling card is physicality rather than pure speed. Elneny obeys orders and can cover the back three very well with his speed. Defensively speed matters, and Welbeck can be tasked to track back and help Monreal, while Bellerin can hold his own with cover from Elneny, given we play attacking football and stopping the counter is important.

    There are too many negative write about anything Arsenal. That casts its own shadow on the players. Watch when Arsenal “fans” start attack Ozil again.

    I sure we will get someone solid for Koz or Mustafi in the summer. Likely sooner than later.

    The younger fringe players will be uses, and one of them will rise. Maitland Niles is the most likely, and he can play DMF as well. So, while Wenger says what he says about the defense, he is also motivating the younger players to step up.

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