Opinion – Arsenal shouldn’t make any signings in the January transfer window

Do Arsenal really need to sign players this January? by Lagos Gooner

It is another transfer window and, as expected, clubs are busy looking out for players who they can either buy outright or bring in on loan. Arsenal has always been a club that never bought the idea of a January transfer window. Under our former French coach, Arsenal found it difficult getting players into the club during winter window transfers; even if they did bring in a player, it is mostly on a loan deal. So, here we have another January transfer window; but should we go over the odds to sign players this January? I don’t think so.

Last January transfer window, we brought in Denis Suarez from Barcelona. We had spent almost the whole transfer window going for him and when we finally got him, we felt we had gotten the exceptional talent who would turn our midfield around; but we were proven wrong in the long run. Suarez came to Arsenal, played a few games and then got injured for the majority of the season. It was a bad business, as far as I am concerned.

Fine, some will argue that we bought Pierre Aubameyang in during a January transfer window but I will counter that argument by saying, if we had not brought in Auba, we would have still done fine that season. We had Lacazette, who was our record signing then and I am so sure that he would have been our first choice striker, if we had not bought Auba and we gave him all the support needed to thrive at Arsenal. I am not against Auba; he has done more than enough to pay Arsenal back but what I just said was that we would have still done fine, without him. So to me, the transfer was just a show of intent, and not a solution to a problem.

The department we seriously need to strengthen at Arsenal is the defence and defensive midfield position, but then even if we don’t strengthen those positions this January, the heavens will not fall. With a long term injury to Chambers, one may be forced to plead with the club to sign a defender this winter but if we do sign a defender, where do we keep Mustafi, Luiz, Holdings, Sokratis and Mavropanos? We still have a good number of players to fill up the defensive spots, until the end of the season.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not against us signing players, but let us sign because there is a good player with a good value, and not because we must sign a player. With the squad we have, we can still positively compete in all competitions until the end of the season. I would like us to lower our expectations and allow Arteta to build the confidence in the players we have at the moment.

The team is starting to play well now and signing a player who can’t break into the team straight away is a waste of transfer money.

Sylvester Kwentua


    1. The guy is coming back from and ACL injury, give the guy time. Even though he is able to play he has been out of action for 12 months, of course he is going to be rusty. According to research it will likely be another 6-9 months before he is close to performing how he did prior to his injury.

      I challenge you to recover from an ACL injury and be straight back to the player you were immediately following your return to the first team.

      Deary me some fans really do not have a clue and are so quick to rite players off!

      1. Well said Will. The guy should get encouragement and support. To get on him about last nights performance is strange. I am happy he got the minutes, I hope he will get more game time in whatever game Arteta sees fit and I have no doubt that Holding doesn’t need our criticism to know he was rusty last night and that he had a poor game when it comes to passing. His positioning was not all that bad but overall there is room for improvement. To get rid of Holding based on one game after this type of injury and this length of layoff is plain dumb IMO.

        1. Or, play him in a competitive FA cup match against a lower league side alongside some of our other senior defenders so he can get used to playing with them. All I am saying is that to rite him off because of a few bad passes (in a half where everyone was awful) is silly and uncalled for – tell me I am wrong…

    2. You can’t just say get rid of him after a performance when he’s just come back from injury

      That’s totally unreasonable and unfair

      1. phlip you are watching a different match to the rest of us Luiz was 10 times better than Holding

    3. Neath Gunner, I totally agree with you Holding should have been withdrawn at half time he was rubbish

  1. I find this post misguided. We need a CB. Actively need a CB. Not maybe, not perhaps…but for sure. If there is no-one out there to fit the bill obviously we can’t sign, but if there is we MUST sign. We must hunt a CB down. Our CB’s are poor. Our squad both defensively and in the midfield, is not good enough….Arteta or no Arteta. Our squad is not good enough at the back in REALITY. Socratis, Luiz, Holding. Arghhhhhh!!!!!! Keeping playing Saka as a wing back is not good enough. He is a young man without the defensive, physical or mental attributes. We have no creativity in the midfield. We could lose plenty of games because our confidence has been fragile for some time. Remember the Watford game? We have the worst 3 central defenders in the EPL, Socratis, Luiz and Holding. We SHOULD buy if we can.

  2. Some fans suggest to buy another DM and another CB

    We already have too many players of those types. Although some of them are mediocre, Arteta’s system seems able to improve them

    Arsenal had better get a towering striker to break a parking bus, because we will have a deadlock in a game sooner or later

    1. We need this postion filled we need that position filled …dont we love it when the window is open..
      To tell you the truth my fellow gooners. I am just happy we have a guy at the helm who can get a response from the plaers we have
      I was very sceptical at first but MA is winning me around.
      We do need new blood and time will tell which type of players he bring in but for all our shakey defence and midfield we have two clean sheets …last might we were lucky but hey we are due a bit of lady luck
      A big shout out to all you leeds fans last night
      Great turn out and great noise
      I look forward to you seeing back in the prem as you guys have been through it over the years and still stuck in there

    2. We won’t be anywhere near the top 4 with those defenders

      There’s a limit to how much you can improve them

  3. We need a miracle and a team effort to get back to top 4. We will not get relegated.

    A new CD will need time to get used to the PL. We should not bring in an old stop-gap player who is going to cost us a lot in salary or transfer fees. I think Boateng would be a mistake and another Silvestre.

    So if we can find a starter type CD who can play for us for many more years to come, sign him. If not, we don’t have the pockets to waste money on an average one season wonder who has his best years behind him.

  4. The January window sees clubs taking players on loan, but with first option to buy…a most sensible way to assess a player in my opinion.

    Two players (perhaps three) will make this squad a really powerful unit and I hope to see Arteta’s words come to fruition.

  5. Our CB’s are not good enough for the EPL so why not change them this month? I just don’t get the logic that it is better to loan in January than buy. Any player coming into a new team structure requires time to settle into new surroundings whether they are bought or loaned. We badly need 2 quality CB’s who can at least get some experience in the EPL before the start of next season. I don’t think our current defenders can perform consistently for the rest of the season, they are just not good or fit enough.

    I do believe that at long last we have a manager that recognises our inherent defensive weakness and will treat it as a priority. The first half against Leeds must have embarrassed him it was so bad.

    1. Andrew, the clear and truthful answer to your first line question is KROENKE! I would have thought that was clear to all Gooners.

  6. I read the title “do Arsenal realy need to sign players this January ” and laughed out loud, really, at the lunacy of this question! If anyone at all, even a single person, actually thinks that we don’t NEED, (as distinct from may well not, only because of Kroenke) to sign virtually a whole new outfield defence and more besides, then that fan is living in cloud cuckoo land. Why are such ridiculous titles used as headlines on here? Serious question both Admins, WHY? The question was not will we sign but “do we need to sign” and that is madness to even have to ask!

    However, when you actually read the article itself it goes off on a tangent about poor buys we previously made, in Denis Suarez, but I say that fact has nothing whatever to do with the current FACT that we urgently need lots of new and better players and to get the deadwood gone. I do not say this will happen but merely that is what “we need” as the article, ridiculously, asked! So many misunderstandings happen because of sloppy use of English on here. If all said precisely what they mean , instead of assuming we can all read their minds as to what they ACTUALLY MEAN, then we might have fewer needless disputes. HEADLINES USED DISHONESTLY BY ADMINS ARE NOT HELPFUL EITHER!

    1. Hi Jon, I think you must have read a different headline to me! My one clearly states it is an opinion by Sylvester and has opened it up for discussion. It doesn’t say “do Arsenal realy need to sign players this January ” It says in fact “Arsenal SHOULDN’T make any signings in January” and is clearly one man’s opinion.
      I know you are a stickler for facts so I just had to correct you My Lord….

      1. Pat,Just below Artetas picture does it or does it not say “Do Arsenal really need to sign players this January” by Lagos Gooner! Care to explain to “My Lordship” how that does not constitute a clear headline , albeit below the main headline . It WAS asked and so I REPLIED. Would you rather we ignore inconvenient sub headlines Pat?


        1. Further to my above post , you and I both know that the writer himself was actually arguing(as he is quite entitled to do) that we do not basically need signings this month but the sub headline used by you and carrying his name, misrepresenred what the article actually said. It is PRECISELY this sloppy, even dishonest use of headlines and sub headlines that I find so wrong and so deceitful. I detest lies and half truths. It seems you admins care little for precise truth, certainly when it comes to headlines. Please stop doing this, as it is offensive to our intelligence. Before dismissing my words as those of an irritating pedant – I can almost hear you thinking it – you would be well advised to reconsider your own attitudes toward using incorrect headlines designed to draw people in. Good sites are either totally honest or they are unworthy and that is all I have to say. I do not expect change, unfortunately!

        2. The sub headline was the one sent to me by Sylvester. The main headline was mine as I didn’t agree with his one either!

      2. ADMINS, No answer to my further posts I see. Why am I not surprised! Could it be that there is no answer to my truth !

  7. I’d be surprised if we shelled out £50 plus million on a player in this window given the reports we don’t have any real money. We can’t keep mortgaging our future spend on instalment transfers as that will impact the clubs transfer agility for a long time to keep adopting that approach. So where do you find a player that will improve us that another club is willing to sell given every club out there has a target to meet in the season. Dunk is all well and good but why would Brighton sell and increase relegation risk now. We need to be realistic, unless we sell some of our players it will only be at best a loan or past their best type signing coming in. I’d rather stick with what we have and have a budget to use in the summer than get in a bit part player that doesn’t add anything.

    1. “Dunk is all well and good but why would Brighton sell and increase relegation risk now.”

      This. 👍

      Any player from another league signed now would be overpriced AND need time to adapt.
      Any good player from the EPL might not need time to adapt, but he would be HEAVILY overpriced if good because why would they sell him med-season when virtually EVERY team is either fighting against relegation or to reach Europa league.
      If you do not believe me, check the table.
      Which team can afford to lose a top player?? None unless you think Norwich are out, but they’re just 7 points from safety.

  8. Every transfer window we tend to forget our problems by giving reasons why we shouldn’t sign players. We have suddenly forgotten that none of our CBs can defend, Our RBs are not the best and our midfield has not dominate any match in a long while. We are currently 10th in the league and our performances even with Arteta is still jittery but for reasons I don’t know you think we shouldn’t sign any player this January.

  9. Last night I thought our worst two players and by a distance were Holding , who looked so rusty and below par that I despaired and Xhaka, who was not booked or sent off as some refs might well have done, I just don’t get what some managers, see in him. To me he is an accident always waiting to happen and apart from brute strength and height brings NOTHING WHATEVER of value to the team. WHY is he still here? Anyone know?

    Credit though to Arteta for the halftime hairdryer treatment which clearly worked, even on some of the snowflake younger players we and most teams have.

    1. Jon, interesting thoughts in your first paragraph regarding Holding and I’m sure you will agree that he needs playing time in order to recover from a long injury.

      The second sentence, however, is even more interesting, in as much as…following the hairdryer treatment every single outfield player deserved, the two players you named improved greatly.

      I can’t recall Holding making the kind of first half errors ( 5 was it in total?) and one can only assume he listened and learned from that half time talk…plus, of course, the midfield doing more of the work than previously seen, thereby protecting him more.

      As for xhaka, again an improvement in the second half, as he could only have been sent off once compared to two or three times in the first half!!!
      This man is the complete enigma it seems…professional coaches/managers see him as a very important player, while a “vast majority” ( I feel we can use this phrase re. xhaka Jon!!!) of fans see nothing of any value in him whatsoever.
      MA has even persuaded him to stay at the club, so he must see him as an important part of our future…we must ALL as fans, be missing something very fundamental – wish someone could tell us what it is exactly!!!

      Snowflakes – none out there last night Jon, especially after the h/drying treatment.
      We played a very good game in the second half and they all stepped up to the plate. Plus, they didn’t melt under the pressure Leeds inflicted on them in the first half.

      1. Ken, Yes , broadly I would accept your comments about second half, though I still think those I mentioned were our worst players in both halves too. Ozil massively improved in second half, as did most others and despite Laca being made MotM , (oddly I thought) Guendouzi, over the whole game, was easily our best player and only midfielder who took Leeds on the first half. I was careful not to write off Holding and deliberately used “rusty” rather than hopeless or sub standard, as I remain hopeful that he is a talented player, as he showed prior to his injury. On “vast majority” you only have to be a regular on here to see how virtually no one says anything good about Xhaka, so we are in total agreement.

        Though I of course accept pro coaches know far more about football than you, I, or any of us, we who have watched the game all our long lives are hardly ignorant of whether a player is Arsenal standard or NOT. I believe Artetas statement has a distinct element of pragmatism in it, as he knows Kroenke will not allow proper replacements any time soon. And only a fool, which Arteta is certainly not, would publicly diss any current player. But I, for just one, do not take as Gospel all public statements issued and I suggest you would be wise not to do so either. That doesn’t mean they are lies; merely that other factors and thinking come into play. I see the reason for them butI don’t have to like this sort of thing and I DON’T. I always seek the whole truth or as near it as we can ever get from our positions as “mere” fans.

        As to snowflakes versus proper men, a la Adams , Bould, Winterburn and Co., real men wouLd naturally give their utmost all the time, for reasons of personal pride and honour. Snowflakes need to be constantly cajoled and that is a key difference. I AM OLD SCHOOL AND FEEL WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO EXPECT ALL OUR PLAYERS TO GIVE THEIR UTMOST IN WORKING HARD EACH GAME AND ALL GAME. We are entitled to take that as a given but these days we have come to realise that that is not how it works.

        I see this lack of fight more as a generation thing than merely an Arsenal thing. Sigh! I wonder how often Wenger ever needed to use the hairdryer treatment with the GG defence he inherited or with the INVINCIBLES. The word NEVER comes to mind!

        1. Jon, re your snowflake comments, we have to move on with the times (I can’t bring to mind the phrase you used years ago to describe the fans who didn’t) and the likes of Adams etc would probably be sent off for being “too physical”.

          The point with xhaka though, is that MA has gone public and stated that he has persuaded him to stay, when it would seemed to have been easier to let him go to Hertha Berlin as, reportedly, Terms and conditions had been agreed.
          Why is the mystery and last night’s performance did nothing to explain it further.

          I choose to believe those who I see as honest, sensible, respected people and MA comes into those catagories for sure…so being gullible regarding his statements is something I am happy to take on and see if the criticism is correct.

          1. Ken, then seemingly, you are convinced that Arteta means do keep him in the long term and make him a key player in the team then. If you DO think that, then we disagree. I don’t doubt that Arteta is “honest, sensible and respected” but I again mention the word “pragmatic” and “other factors in thinking” which I mentioned above. Still feel free to disagree. IT IS A FREE COUNTRY, THANK GOODNESS.

  10. This is non sense. Unless you on another planet; we miss a top CB for long minute now, Emery asked for Maguire but as Arteta wants Koulibaly; we have a owner keeping all profit and we can’t build team to compete, do better than past decade.

    It is obvious that we do not have sufficient squad anyhow ; obliged to play Niles as RB when it should be an option; we sold only one in Jerkinson. Same on LB, Saka became only option if Kolas injured. Tierny came injured still is til March at least.

    Cancelo & Kurzawa would solve this major issue. Both available on loan.

    Clubdo buy less on Winter transfer window; use it if injury, and difficult to find top players, all signed in summer…

    But we totally messed up in defense, need to correct both back wings at least… Then we do have CB, when we start playing 4-1 with Luis sitting infront of CBs, this central zone will be way saffer…

  11. To have a team to compete for title will take to first sign a top CB as Reds did. Spend the money where & when needed.

    Koulibaly is the one. Rare fact in January window for such an opportunity to be available and for sale. Nor to be handed to us when every yopclubs wants him badly.

    I wrote it before; Napoli’s priority is Torreira and they like Kolas!

    Get Kurzawa on loan and give them both + 50M, close deal.

    Kroenke is cheap but considered if we bet 40M for upfamenco after being linked to Koulibaly But Napoli do not do payement plans,but cash upfront, and Arteta wants to keep Torreira!

    After Luiz Suarez and Kante, this is the biggest mistake for the club; from the ones we are aware of; many more I’m sure…

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