Maybe it’s about time that Arsenal changed their Transfer Strategy?

Is it About Time Arteta and Edu Changed Their Transfer Strategy?

The Gunners failed to sign their top target this winter because they did not want to overpay. Mykhailo Mudryk is one of the top five targets. After Raphinha, Bruno Guimares, Lisandro Martinez, and Joao Felix, that Arteta has now failed to sign.

All of these players had the ability to help Arsenal, but Edu and Arteta did not believe they were in a position to make irresistible bids that would persuade these clubs to sanction the departures of these Arsenal-linked players.

“Mudryk absolutely set on Arsenal, but as reported throughout, #AFC had their own top-end valuation. Getting sucked into a bidding war has never been something they would engage in. Arsenal always focused on their bid and always said they would walk away if Shakhtar didn’t cave.” tweeted Ben Jacobs.

Other than Jacobs, Fabrizio Romano has also claimed Arsenal is not a fan of fighting with other teams for players, saying in his Caught Offside podcast, “I think Arsenal have a very clear strategy. I’m told they don’t want to overpay or enter into crazy bidding wars.”

Anyway, that’s the path (of not going into bidding wars) the Gunners have taken, but do you think it’s time to change things up? Personally, I believe it is.

Arsenal is now at the top, and staying there necessitates quality. Arteta previously preferred signing promising prospects, but after acquiring quality players such as Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, that may be the way forward.

Leave aside the unfathomable sum for which Mudryk could have been signed, if Arsenal wants to add quality, they may need to go big in the transfer window.

If it needs to go to a bidding war, Arsenal must be prepared to compete with the big boys.

Darren N

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50 Comments

  1. Absolutely not.

    I’m happy with the Arsenal transfer strategy. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and being 8 points clear seems pretty good eating to me.

    The proposed alternative “strategy” is to join clubs like Man Utd and Chelsea in overpaying. I have to say that’s not a smart idea.

    Nor is it really possible – apart from the obvious issues, there’s financial regs, both UEFA and PL. Chelsea sold a lot of their CL winning players in recent times for decent amounts, they also made £106m in the CL run, so their position is very different to Arsenal’s.

    What that means, in simple terms, is that right now Chelsea can spend more. What it also means is that Chelsea is taking a massive gamble on winning things. They are in danger of becoming the next Leeds Utd.

    They are amortising the contracts over long periods – Mudryk was offered an 8.5 year contract because it spreads the fee in FSR terms over that time – that’s how the regs work.

    The risk is that he flops and they have someone sitting there for 8+ years taking £200k a week and unable to offload him because no-one will pay that wage or anywhere near the fee Chelsea paid for him. They’ve done the same with other recent signings…

    This is an *existential* risk. Chelsea may go bankrupt if this fails, as Leeds did when they pinned all their hopes on CL qualification. I really do *not* want Arsenal to do the same thing.

    1. Spot on mate, why pay over the top, why get into a bidding war, it is silly money that is being thrown around, Chelsea and City act like the loads of money Harry Enfield character of many years ago. They are crass, have no style, and no class. I prefer the way we go about our transfers. We only want players who want to play for us, the team we have are a bunch of excellent players who enjoy playing together, and enjoy the direction Arteta is taking them. Why do you think there is so much harmony among the players, staff, and fans. This is Arteta’s dream and so far it is coming true. Gone are the days of fans fighting and arguing amongst themselves, the only downside is that toxic so-called fan base on Youtube, which is still a cancer. I prefer we take things slowly and build up a system that will benefit Arsenal for years. Tell me which other club has this, that Arsenal are displaying?…No-one

      1. City don’t do that. Apart grealish all their other players have had market fees. Its only Chelsea and United that historically throws money at players

        1. True…… I noticed despite city’s money, they hav a strict policy they follow even though they spend a lot. City won’t just jump any random transfer just bcos other teams are in it and steal the player. They knw the type of players they need and go for it

          1. Is we thinking of the same City – the City that had a transfer ban imposed for violating the old FFP rules?

    2. Well said, IDontKnowWhyIcare.

      You can’t compete with an irresponsible club who’ll just say, “we’ll pay you what Arsenal pays plus x”.

      May they get their comeuppance.

    3. I agree with “absolutely not”. There is only so much money a club can spend. Arsenal need 3-4 better than average players especially since we will be competing in the CL next year. Overpaying on 1 or 2 means not getting the needed quality in the 3rd or 4th player (of high quality) that is also needed to sustain seasons in multiple competitions. Overpaying gets you the one player you want (who maybe turns out to be a game changer and maybe not) but there is a trade off in that now you cannot get others that you want

      1. agreed as well. We know that they need depth, so I am pretty sure that Arteta, Edu and co are aware as well. Two years ago I would have been more negative but we are behaving differently now. I am at a point where if they don’t make a deal I believe that they made the right call.

        We can only afford the occasional poor expensive decision so it is best to be a bit cautious.

        I fully get where people are coming from though – it is so exciting to be top of league and playing great football – we all just want to to keep going.

    4. IDKWIC

      Agree the transfer strategy has been great and I feel Edu and Arteta have learned from past mistakes.

      Now it seems to be buy the right player at a decent price or don’t buy any player. I love that. In the short term it may penalise the team (not even sure it does TBH) but in the long term it’s the only strategy that Arsenal can have if they want to achieve greatness.

    5. They are in no danger,that has been chelsea’s way and they have something to show for it,what has Arsenal got to show for been tight-walleted? My fellow Arsenal fans make me sick with our shortsightedness,we need to aspire higher..Arsenal is the only club where strengthening in times of glaring squad depth deficiency becomes a problem,,,all you hear is 8points clear 8points clear which will all be for nothing if we don’t win this league,we should have added two players by now to have capable deputies for our central midfield and striking positions…The ends will justify whatever transfer strategies that’ are been facilitated..

      Edu and Arteta should all be sacked and the Kroenkes forced out if their foolishness and unwillingness to provide cover for certain areas costs us this title

      1. “They are in no danger…”

        You know that… how exactly?

        The evidence says otherwise.

        And if you’re comparing the Abramovic years to now you’re missing a whole lot of points.

        1. Abramovic took over in 2003 before FFP existed and pumped money into the club – as Wenger put it “financial doping” leading to success that was not based on their history of achievement on the field.

        2. Once FFP came along, Abramovic injected monies as loans but also a lot of it as gifts which were not subject to the rules – you won’t often get that from a businessman (although Kroenke provides gifts to the LA Rams, not to Arsenal, all we get ios loans from KSE at interest).

        3. Boehly almost certainly will be providing loans – he’s a businessman who bought Chelsea as an investment. This is not the same type of owner as an oligarch like Abramovic or the sportwashing type of ownership.

  2. We need backup players. Good players who are Premiership ready. Leandro Trossard is at his peak, has at least two top years ahead, scores goals and plays the Arteta way. Not expensive.
    We desperately need midfield cover for THIS year. If we end up like last January we will get burn out and injuries and we will falter. Life is real and not based on magic. We CAN slip up with a couple of injuries….just factual reality. Trossard is a no brainer. Yes he is older but experienced, scores against the best and plays progressive football. He is fit and ready. For a midfield player why not Tielemans who is available?

    1. Trossard has attitude problem. We don’t players with similar character like Guendozi to come in and disrupt the dressing room.

    2. I agree, would want to put Trossard through a hard heart-to-heart (which I am sure would happen – so I guess I am sort of agreeing with Howard and am on fence :-)) though. Same with Tielemans.

      For this window I like depth and EPL experience. These guys know how to play here, less of a gamble.

      If a worldbeater is available at the right price and terms of course you jump, but can’t go crazy.

  3. Change something that has given us a decent chance of actaully competing for the title??
    Bad idea.
    We need to keep going down this route and not change just because it is maybe working better, or rather quicker, than planned.

    1. If Arsenal/Edu/Arteta do not consolidate and we get injuries, what do you fantasize will happen? It’s not theory….it’s reality. Would you *&%$ up another year? Thankfully Arteta WILL get a couple of players cause he knows what we need. ‘Not change’? You mean do the same as last year and screw the January window up?

      1. Last year was also part of the rebuilding project, and the fact that we didn’t run around like headless chickens buying players, that don’t fit our profile, is very much what has given us the team, we have now.
        Only people, who don’t understand the neccessity for a good strategy think missing top 4 last year was a big set-back. It was not, as most can see.

        1. Arteta/Edu/Arteta/Kroenke are trying to win the league THIS season. We are top by 8 points. To do that with our bench would be problematical Arteta has said we are ‘short’ and is looking. Listen to what he actually says and then not just suddenly write ‘no-speak’. You seem like a politician saying nothing.

          1. I am not against signing players as long as they fit into our strategy, and that is what I both hear and see, is the plan. If we can’t get them in January, we wait.
            Chasing around thinking, we can secure the title by leaving our strategy is useless. Winning the title this year only happens, if 1) Our current squad keep performing at a level above what can be expected
            2) We prioritize the PL without compromise
            3) None of the Manchester clubs go on unbeaten long streaks
            Either way we must stick to our strategy to be able to compete in future years.

      2. Edu has promoted himself to such an extent that he’s undermining Arteta’s achievement. Edu negotiate for players Arteta has fingered and nothing more. He doesn’t manage the team neither does he bring in a player without MA’s approval.

        Dean never tried to use the press to promote himself/work above Wenger.

      3. @ Sean

        If you cast your mind back to last year, what was actually happening is that we were out of the EL and both domestic cup competitions.

        There were 17 PL games left on the calendar and the reports were (reports, we don’t know for sure) that Arsenal made the decision to stick to the squad they had (with some still to be offloaded).

        The *reported* target last season (again, reported, we don’t know) was that the target was European football (not: not CL specifically).

        When we almost came 4th people started talking about screwing up they January window. But that’s revisionism, rewriting history – the actual objective was achieved in spades, to the extent that we almost went one better – and then were hauled over the coals for it by blinkered fans with short memories!

        When you add into that the re-aranged away matches vs Newcastle and Spurs when if we’d played them on schedule (in Steve Bruce days) the results would almost certainly have been different… the terrible refereeing decisions vs Spurs… you can say we were actually very unlucky. But… still achieved the target which was European football.

        1. How boring, blame everything/ everyone else except poor decision making and accept incremental improvement as an excuse for a victory parade. This season is the perfect storm for Arsenal .There will be no excuses for not winning the title. The fast start thanks to Jesus means that every game is in our players’hands. While the other big clubs are in disarray or rebuilding mode it would be foolish to push your luck with a skeletal squad. An injury to Odegaard ,Saka, Partey or Martinellii will have consequences.

          1. “Boring”? Strange word to use.

            Which part of it did you disagree with? The decision to live with the squad we had with the objective to achieve European football… was it wrong or right?

            To what extent was that decision responsible for the squad being what it is now, producing a superb season?

            Because I’m pretty sure that the squad we have now didn’t emerge out of thin air, it’s based on the decisions that have been made over a number of seasons and transfer windows.

            If you think otherwise, then perhaps you can pen something a little more eloquent / persuasive than “boring”.

  4. Yes Arsenal needs to change their transfer strategy, not necessarily to a bidding war contest far from that.

    They need to develop lots of strategies as opposing clubs begin to fight dirty , we knew all along Chelsea likes our targets we saw that with Raphinha.

    Create Smoke screens, act as if we are intrested in lots of targets by doing that you can send them up the wrong tree while you zero in on your targets.

    Agents are key in today market whether we like them or not develop that relationship and deal with them generously, they can make life a lot easier.

    Be much more decisive when perusing our target, it was Alex Furgeston personal involvement and different tactics why Man United got Ronaldo and not Arsenal I am told, even though spoke to the kid first.
    A got the feeling at time we weren’t sure Mudryk was the real deal , I still do.

    But I see a massive room for improvement in our transfer dealings, still have an abundance of idea how we could improve.

    1. Agents are the issue.. they Ct for clubs and players and only look after themselves. However sneaky you are suggesting Arsenal should be is irrelevant if the agent is leaking offers and rinsing their golden eggs !

  5. Many fans here seems to miss the real issue ,if you are after a player then you should go and get it done swiftly not dilly dally ,in mudrik case we knew the valueation so you put a bin in say 50m because you think thats how much as a club you value him but gets rejected then if you really want that player go have a sit down and come to a conclusion dont just go to sleep and then couple of weeks later you wake up and decide to pay whatever shaktar wants and then get shafted by a decisive chelsea tranfer policy ,now the issue they said we got money to spend and are willing to spend its almost 3 weeks wasted on muddy ,as a arsenal fan i would have much more respect if the board comes out clean and says we cant, we dont want to spend on january at least we know where we stand ,but this time around we really need back ups for couple of positions dont £&£&£& this up like last january and we dished the 4th to spurs on a plate ,we can win the league but only with reinforcements

    1. Not always possible. We did that very well in the summer wtyh Jesus, Vieira arriving quickly.

      With Mudryk the player terms were greed very quickly, reportedly around £37k a week.
      The problem was that his Transfermarkt valuation is around 40m euros but the club wanted £100m and held out for £89m.

      That caused a lot of delay and then with Chelsea reported as offering £200k a week wages and offering “more than Arsenal” to Shaktar…

      You can’t always act quickly unless you’re prepared to capitulate to the other side’s demands which is not a good approach to negotiations. We’ve done that in the past, it’s good that we don’t do that now imho.

  6. Nothing can ever be perfect! You don’t ditch your strategy because it fails one time, disregarding the myriad of other times it worked. Though within reason, one should remain open to change strategy, but strategy works only when one follows through with it.

  7. There’s no need to change policy. Note it, other clubs would soon start following this policy. Of all the players at Arsenal’s disposal currently, how many were signed at ridiculous price. Look at Lukaku and the likes at Chelsea and other clubs what’s the end result. As Grealish justified the pay? What’s Anthony doing at Man U? Has his performance justified the sign up fee paid? Common Gunners, don’t change what’s working! Others would soon join the train against ‘the Shylock European teams’ who exploit EPL teams by selling at exorbitant price.

  8. Suggest we need to be more secretive on our interests and dealings, look at the way gakpo moved to anfield, first anyone knew about it was when the deal was done. If we continually publicise our targets we will keep getting gazumped at the final stage

  9. If Arsenals transfer strategy is not to pander after mercenaries, i have no problem with that. We may or may not agree with, what we think is or is not incompetence but that is our strategy. There are more Mudrycs out there who are willing to come to Arsenal because they just want to play for Arsenal, our problem is finding them. Mudryc got a better offer, he took it, we move on and find the right player, we dont know for sure Mudryc would have been, so we go again and find another piece for the jigsaw.

  10. I vote for sticking with the transfer strategy that has helped us top the table at the halfway point.

    Really the first comment in this thread says it all. Weĺl done IDKWIC.

  11. Doubt Darren even believes in what he just said esp the last sentence. Why would we go into a bidding war with Chelsea when there’s truckloads of talent out here waiting to be snapped up at a fair price?

  12. Maybe not change it entirely but perhaps be more flexible. Surely there must be players out there we can sign without breaking the bank (could even be loan with possible option/obligation to buy) and compromising our future plans to help with this title push.

  13. We have the best strategy in the league seeing it’s got us where we are now.

    Might as well rather seek to improve on it the more. It’s just a sport and we ought to keep it that way

  14. Nahhh.
    Stick with the plan.
    Don’t overpay or join the bidding war with the likes of chelss, mancss.
    Believe in Edu.
    And improve continuously.

  15. Yet another article from a shallow thinking writer who does not concern himself with realistic REASONS WHY the club does NOT do his bidding. A more intellectually bright writer would at least have tried to also put the case against his view, as an alternative. Any dimwit can write a piece making out a case for what THEY PERSONALLY want to happen.
    But only more deep and wider thinking folk have the nous to realise that in all debates there are at least two, and generally many more than that, considerations to write about.
    If I have to read one more article from a ” spend it all and be damned for the consequences writer,” I will scream !

    And SOME of those consequences would certainly be a problem with wage structure, FFP, a less harmonious dressing room and a two tier type of player; ones who, as at present, give their all for thE team and others who may well be mercenaries, JUST AS MUDRYK IS NOW SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN ALL ALONG.
    I long for better and wider, deeper thinking, articles but rarely find them on JA these days.

    1. If I have to read one more comment from a “shallow thinking” reader who just insults every writer for not being “oh I’m so intellectual and talented” Mr Fox. I think I’ll scream too!!!
      How I long for comments that discuss the topic instead of insulting everyone within earshot.
      You are trying my patience and it’s wearing thin…..

      1. EASY SOLUTION THEN AD PAT. Get better writers , ones who can think about more than just what they PERSONALLY want.

        All I do with my posts is to TRY to get people to think, before writing SIMPLISTIC nonsense.

        And look at all the posts under Darrens simplistic piece; not exactly in aggreement with him , to put it very mildly indeed, ARE THEY!

  16. I’m 100% in support of suspending/ditching the transfer strategy simply because it is not relevant to our position in the league at this time. Hear me out. The main purpose of the strategy was to build on project youth – gradually introduce young players to add value over time. Winning the league now was not a priority.

    But now, we are in a position to actually win the league if we are smart in this window. Smart means doing all that is necessary to improve our chances by adding all the missing pieces. Of course, the price has to be reasonable. (Wilfred Zaha and Tielemans fit this criteria).

    Can we really expect to win the League, if we do not plan to win the league?

      1. Weren’t we in a “wonderful position” last season too but failed to get top 4 – essentially running out of steam at the end? We are likely to run out of steam again this season if we don’t add a few quality bodies to the squad. A strategy serves no useful purpose unless it is updated often to reflect reality. This is what I meant to say. Your question was entirely valid. Thanks.

        1. Although it wasn’t a good Jan transfer window last season, it would be pure speculation that any new signings would have been a success.

          What isn’t speculation is losing both our first choice fullbacks, and arguably the best central midfielder in the league, all to injuries, and at the same time.

          It was injuries that really cost us. We’re better prepared for that now, but I agree that we must add to strengthen our position, just as long as we don’t sign someone for the sake of it. It has to be the right fit.

  17. Of course we need to adjust our tranfer policy. It’s all nice wanting to do tranfers on the cheap, but this doesn’t give you titles and success in modern football. Just think about the players we have missed on in the past and where we could have been had we signed them. We urgently need some squad depth this window! Last January showed exactly that! Its like the Kroenkes do not care about winning the title, but rather about making Arsenal profitable again. For them it’s mainly business.
    On the other side, we can’t afford having world class players sitting on the bench; we are not at Citys or Chelseas level of squad depth yet. So better invest some money to bring in good covers for 2-3 positions instead of buying a Mudryk or a Diaby!

  18. I disagree. The same transfer strategy created this awesome team which are top of the EPL right now. A lot of factors are at play here. If Man City and Man Utd didn’t stupidly splashed money on Grealish and Anthony respectively, Mudryk wouldn’t cost that much. When Chelsea were almost dead and buried, just like 17 years ago, another sugar daddy came and rescued them like a desperate pathetic club they always been. We now gonna witness the way rich man burn their money. And most importantly, it’s the winter transfer window where everyone is over inflated, especially an unproven player from a corrupt country like Ukraine. At the moment, Martinelli and Saka are already superstars, Nketiah has proven that he’s worthy, ESR just returned, Jesus not far behind and Nelson will return too. Morons will keep saying we are short without realising we are standings above the clubs which are overwhelmed with high salary players. A bit larger perspective will calm your nerves down.

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