Reality check – Arsenal heading for a disastrous transfer window

William Saliba, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney, Wilfried Zaha and possibly Everton Soares are all decent players but none of them will make this summers transfer window a success.

Arsenal needs a central defender desperately, there is no way around that fact and even though Saliba is a central defender he is only 18-years-old and not available for 12 months.

Arsenal was the third top scorers last season with only Liverpool and Man City scoring more but the defence was so poor that we could only finish fifth.

The idea that we go into the new season with the same defence is madness and bringing in just a left-back is nowhere near enough.

How does that famous quote go “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It really does not matter how much we strengthen the wings, midfield or even the front line if we fail to strengthen the defence, it makes no difference if Mesut Ozil has a brilliant season or Alex Iwobi finally comes good or if Gabriel Martinelli is the best thing since sliced bread if all their good work is wiped out by a catastrophic defence.

The Arsenal backline is not fit for purpose and even the defenders that we do have that we can regard as decent would probably not get into our rivals defences, certainly not Liverpool’s Man City or Tottenham’s.

I simply cannot view this transfer window as anything other than a total disaster if we do not buy a quality centre back no matter who else we buy.


  1. Got agree! The gossip about Arsenal gives me little confidence we will start the new season with added strength to a defence that every team in the EPL knows how to beat. Not that is’t that difficult!

    Why can’t Arsenal fix the problem instead of papering over the cracks?

    Adding strength going forward is great (needed) but if you can’t stop conceding goals then why the hell are the club not already active with defensive signings. Especially when Kos is likely to have played his last game!?

    1. Damn right Sue!

      I’m also hearing that Man Utd have or will make a £62m bid for Aubameyang?

      In a way, I think it may be good business? That kind of money for a striker who is getting on a bit might be worth consideration. We can get some young blood in there! What do you think Sue?

      1. Hope you have not forgotten so soon about REP experience when we gave our rivals our best striker what happened the rest is history. Arsenal can keep Aruba n lacazzette, our problem is the defense that urgently needs attention. All these monies what are they doing with it , please let stop this idea of selling our best players

        1. Absolutely right. Without a good strong CB, such as Lewis Dunk, and a left back like Tierny or A.N.Other everything else will mean little. We need to shore up the big holes in our most charitable of defences. Still I would love Zaha and Fekir. We do need some creativity too.

      2. I think he’s worth more than 62m, GunneRay.. if they’re hanging on for more than that for Lukaku ?..
        Yes, to us it’s a lot of money ?but I don’t want him to go & especially not to the Mancs!!
        That sort of money would be nice, don’t get me wrong and if (very big if) we were to spend it wisely.. we could bring in 1, maybe 2 decent players.. but as I said, I don’t want him to go!
        Jeez this window has been hard work, GunneRay! Every morning I wake up & think this is it, today’s going to be the day, but nothing!! I am glad there are 17 days left though & not just 2!! ?

        1. Never in a month of Sundays would Arsenal let him go for that but it’s a good starting point considering he’s 30 now. I would hope it turned out like Sanchez (he flops)!!! 🙂

          Like you said, there are still over 2 weeks to get some deals done. Like you, every morning I have a quick look and sigh.. LOL, to be an Arsenal fan, eh! 🙁

  2. I kind of agree with what your trying to say but there is a saying Rome wasnt built in a day and we are under transition still. It’s only been 12months after Wengers & Now Gazisas’ reign which on and off the pitch has left us in a shambles but it is slowly being sorted. New set up behind the scenes with Edu, Freddie being promoted as Assistant to Emery to get youth integrated in to the 1st team and both are invomcibkes so lnow the values fo Arsenal FC.

    We are on about defence so we will start there from the keepers in Leno & Martinez (who has impressed again this pre season) is perfectly fine with these 2 between the sticks for the season. Koss is leaving which is sad but worst of all Mustafi looks like he is staying which I am so annoyed about as he is not needed or good enough.

    We have Holding, Chambers, Beilik and Mavraponas who can fill the void left by Koss/Mustafi and then Saliba coming next season so plenty of youth for now and the future but please sign a TOP CB and sell Mustafi as we still have Sokratis for the Experienced head at the back.

    Bellerin isn’t back yet so we do need a RB and a LB as Monreal because he is the same as Koss and best years are behind him. Teirney could be a good buy but only plugs one of the holes needed filling.

    Ramsey needs replaced but Cabellos could his if we get this deal done.
    I worry about Xhaka but Geundouzi and Torreira alog with Niles are great youngsters to have.

    Going forward I think we are set when we buy an out and out winger even with no10s in Miki/Ozil there is plenty of creativity and room to play different formations.

    Plenty of youth but if we are going to rebuild then so be it but need to be smart as we have players who we dont need on huge money not giving us anything. The young guns could surprise you

  3. It doesn’t matter if you bring in another central defender emery’s stats at Valencia PSG and other clubs where his teams have conceded 30+ goals a season suggests even if you got another cb now the defensive issues would not be sorted.

  4. If Arsenal can sell or release Ozil and replace Mustafi, this transfer window would be great for me

    Ozil is very limited to the no 10 position and he sucks on the wings, so his presence forces Emery to use a no 10 formation and this tactic has become highly predictable to the oppositions. If Arsenal can remove his mega salary from their wage bill, they might be able to allocate more money into the transfer budget

    Whereas Mustafi has repeatedly made wrong decisions in the field. Although he is our fittest, fastest and best CB statistically, his erratic behaviour could possibly come out again in this season and it’s better to gamble on a new CB

    1. Agreed. Mustafi is a disaster
      Ozil is not even worth half of his salary.

      These two need to go if possible
      I’m not that keen on Xhaka and Mkhitaryan either

  5. Fully agree with what you say. Experienced CB needed urgently, if not 2. Got a great set of young guns coming through. But need to sort out the defence and give them a platform to play from. Defence has been short for a number of years. Where we most urgently need to invest,!

  6. The fact that Mustafi, Kolasinac, Jenkinson are still here means we are in for a bad season. Koscielny and Monreal are past their best too so our defence would even be worse than last season. What bothers me the most in this transfer window is the lack of ruthlessness, we should be doing everything in our power to get a RB, LB and CB while replacing the bad defenders but instead they are all on tour playing and modelling the new kits, shame. The midfield isn’t looking promising either with Xhaka being the front runner for the captaincy, Mkhi and Ozil deceiving us with good performances in preseason. The good thing is personally, my expectations have become very low due to circumstances beyond my control, so i would try as much to enjoy a 5th or 6th place finish or if we are lucky 4th, thats our level now.

    1. wish i didn’t agree with you Lupe. I’m glad everybody is seeing how poor this squad is and the frauds that some of these players are. Miki and Ozil can run all they want in pre-season. We know when it actually comes down to games that matter they will hide and put in poor performances. Expecting them to improve at 30+ is delusional. They need to be gotten rid of along with the rest of our deadwood. Rest of Europe is laughing at us giving some of these players such high wages tho. Feel bad that Emery cannot make the team he wants because of the horrible decisions by the previous people in charge. He will most likely end up becoming the scapegoat this season.

      1. Let’s see if I can get a reply from you RSH, as it doesn’t seem anyone else can answer it>

        If this squad of players, filled mainly with deadwood, as you say are frauds and past it….once again and for the umpteenth time…how did they manage to get to a european final and finish just one point behind the “best squad in spuds history” and mmeneybags “chelsea”?

        Of course we need strengthening, nobody has denied the fact, but to dismiss the team after the above results as the laughing stock of europe is delusional in itself.

        You feel sorry for UE that he cannot get the players he wants…no different to AW is it?
        Both are tied by kronkies decisions on how much to spend, meaning they have to shop accordingly.
        Wenger made many mistakes and so has UE, just remember Suarez, kos and Lichsteneir and offering new contracts to six of the so called “deadwood”, before feeling so sorry.

        An estimated £11,430,000 being either offered or paid out on the three named players above…good business? Really???

  7. It is now damage control, if we can get one experinced cb and release koscienly, and one good winger…

  8. I THINK WE NEED LB/RB Teirney for Monreal and another backup for Bellerin who cannot play for a season without injury then sell Jerkinson, if we can sell Mustafi that will be good and use the money for another CB,get Cabellos and Saha with this plays in we can make top 4

  9. We all know that our defence is far from ideal. In fact if we could, I’m sure we would move along Mustafi if not one or two others in the defence. As it is though, we’re not able to move people on and as such, it’s difficult to bring anyone in.

    I think something that is overlooked is the importance of having a back 4, using a 4231 formation I think will be much better as whilst our defence is poor anyway, it’s even poorer with a back 3. That’s why there’s such a focus on getting Tierney, because a strong LB will allow us to keep a back 4 regularly once Bellerin is back and that will mean we can have a stronger defence overall compared to last season.

    I do agree though that with Kos leaving, it does allow that squad space to bring someone else in now. The only issue obviously is transfer funds which £45m true or not, we obviously do not have enough to do what we’d like.

    Just gotta hope the signings we do make, with the promotion of youth as well, will allow enough tactical consistency and squad rotation to ensure that we don’t collapse at any point in the season. If we can do that, then we may actually get 4th this season provided that Man Utd don’t massively improve, and provided Chelsea struggle more than they did last year, with Spurs likely to improve and get 3rd.

  10. I think you’re right that without the proper reinforcements to our backline, none of the additions will matter no matter how good they are. Aside from the wide forward position, CB is our most lacking department and a left back doesn’t fix that.

    I do however feel that Emery is aware that he cannot endure another season under the mercy of Mustafi’s fumbling legs. Now I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but it is entirely possible that the club are already working on something to plug the gap. For this season at least until we get Saliba (which I gotta say, the kid looks like a future Virgil Van Dijk).

    Despite the media’s perpetual attempts to make us out as cash strapped headless chickens in each transfer window, I actually think we’re doing a lot of good work this time around. It’s obvious that we ARE a little tight on transfer funds but definitely to the extent that the media portrays us to be in. I think Emery’s doing a good job of finding the balance that Arsenal has lost in recent years. I’m sure we can all see how uninspiring our player sales have been for the past few years. I think it hurt us a lot to lose that edge of having the best academy prospects, coveted players, to not even playing the youngsters at all and our senior players leaving on a free when their contracts are out. I believe that is an aspect that they are considering how to fix this window, and also why Ljungberg is now on the team.

    Sorry for the long winded post, fellow gooners. Hope we do get a central defender, otherwise we’re screwed 😛 But in any case, I think it will be a good year to rebuild without the pressure to compete for anything except a UCL spot.

  11. Agree wholeheartedly with your comments.I only hope Emery also sees where our problems lie and has the nous to at least give Chambers and Beilik opportunities to partner Holding who certainly looked the part prior to his injury.With Mustafi, So ratis and the aging Monreal in defence we are in for another frustrating season of scoring plenty of goals at one end whilst the flood gates open at the other.

    1. I doubt Emery will give those defenders the chance , we saw him play Lichsteiner as a RB instead of jeninson or Osei tutu.
      We need to empty the deadwood else the youth wont play .Elneny, Miki ,Kosc, Xhaka,Ozil ,Jenkinson ,Monreal,MUSTAFI all need to go.

  12. Cabellos tierney and a top CB would be a good window for me …. But the last is the big issue … Mustafi and kos should be sold and a quality CB brought in … If holding is near return then with monreal and the Greek kid and possibly chambers I think we could be alright in that position but the worry is we aren’t talking about anyone on the radar

  13. Having had a long conversation at the weekend with a sports agent I confirm I’ll be signing for Arsenal. While I have no actual footballing skill I can get really defensive at times which makes me qualify for the cb position. While my wage demands of fresh tic tacs and an open just eat account maybe high I will make less mistakes than Mustafi over a season although I’m only good for around 5 minutes a game.

  14. Assuming Tierney signs, our back 4 (Emery’s preferred formation) once Bellerin returns is Bellerin – Socratis – Holding – Tierney. Hardly the same as what we had at the end of last season Mustafi not starting.No ageing Koscielny or Monreal. No out of position AMN. And no Kolasinac.

    Saliba slots in for Socratis next season and, with some luck, we suddenly have one of the best young back four in the PL.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give the new regime a bit more time before deciding that the sky is falling.

    1. Don’t disagree .. Though it could be jenkinson Socrates mustafi and monreal for the opener which would be an entirely different scenario .. And in any case even with holding back would want to see 3 quality CBs in squad for obvious reasons …

  15. I agree that we still need a strong CB. But I’m optimistic about the future of the club. It will take a few years to rebuild , I think we all know that. We have a strong young core of players coming through and as Wenger would say Rob Holding is like a new signing coming back from injury. Lol but seriously things would have turned out much different last season if he’d stayed healthy. Plus you add Chambers who has tons of premier league experience and a couple of youngsters with a chance to break through in Bielik and Mavropanos.

    With the prices for premier league proven CB being absurd right now I don’t think it’s the right move to go and splash 80 mil for a Maguire or even 45 mil for Dunk. We’ve got to take the long term approach and build with our youth. I don’t think we should pay up for Zaha either. If we were a club that would spend 100+ mil every summer than it wouldn’t matter. But we know we’re not that club so we need to be smart and patient. If we continue to over pay for 26 and 27 year old players with a few good years left we’ll end up in the Ozil situation all over again. We should be targeting young players with real potential whose values will increase with more experience. Guys like Saliba and Tierney are a good start. We were 1 point off the top 4 last year. Yeah it sucks not being in Champions league but the season was not a complete failure. Everyone chill it will take time???

    1. @Who cares- I like your thinking. I think we have to understand that a transitional period isn’t going to be straightforward. There has been a lot of changes in the backroom staff in the last 12 months. We are also at the back of an unsuccessful regime which has seen us lose many of our assets on either a free transfer or for a very underwhelming fee. We have continuously grossly overpaid for players both in transfer fees and wages and thats going to make it very hard to remove the players who are surplus to requirements and thus have to except that guys like mustafi ozil mikhi etc are going to be here for a lil while and this will harm us when it comes to trying to recruit players (hence the penny pinching approach to deals)lets not forget we face our 3rd consecutive year in the Europa League, not finishing in the top four. We cannot expect our club to go out there spend the money even though us as fans deserve it. who cares said we have to be smart in our transfers and build a cohesive team, not just go out there and spend big money just because. Theres got to be a plan which is what im see with saliba.

  16. I am baffled as to why a club with Steve Bould as defensive coach among others cannot at least improve a sieve like defense for the last 5 to 6 years. Emery has only had one season but from all the indications nothing has changed defensively which is exactly why its criminal not to buy another CD. I hate jumping on Mustafi but he looks petrified whenever he gets attacked by a forward or sometimes when he gets the ball but in truth Kos and Socratis is just marginally better. While the defenders are no way up to par the defensive midfield position is also a concern especially if we continue to play Xhaka.

  17. You make a lot of sense Ad Mart with this post and hard to disagree.

    But whose fault is it ?……………….it has to be entirely Emery`s fault imo !……………… blaming Wenger, Gazidis, Ozil or Iwobi………………it`s Dicks fault !…………….and Sue !………….for getting obsessed with Zaha ! :lol:L

    1. ?? Well I’ll keep my next obsession to myself then ?
      How are you anyway, Le Coq? All good I hope, you’ve not been on here that much lately

      1. Been rehabing, Sue, on my way to getting back to full fitness hopefully……………….will take up to a year imo to get back to where I was 6 weeeks ago…………touch wood and praying at the altar of Ornstein ! 😀

        1. Bloody hell, a year?! Well keep at it (I mean the rehab ?) be hard work I bet, but it’ll be worth it.. at least your family are there to help you (& your JA friends on here!) Take it steady, Le Coq ?

  18. Totally agree with you. Wenger wouldn’t pay out big bucks on the defence and it looks like Emery is going the same way. All the talk of us buying midfielders and wingers, we need some decent defenders now. Don’t like citing the scousers but they realised it and it’s paid off for them. Looking forward to the new season with trepidation.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Marty. During AW’s first 10 years and our most successful period, we had two of the all time best English CB’s in Tony Adams and Sol Campbell. Our best CB since has been Koscielny who probably would only have made the bench. How did Cygan, Squillaci & Senderos ever play for us? And now we have Mustafi and Sokratis who are no better. The penny has to drop, doesn’t it?

  19. You are absolutely right Admin. Considering the past 5 years (or more) you would have thought the penny would have dropped by now for Emery.

    To further enhance your points I have some stats from the EPL on AW’s 1st 11 years and his last:

    1st 11 years: P418 W251 L65 GF780 GA369

    2nd 11 years: P418 W236 L86 GF798 GA446

    You will notice that MORE goals were scored in the 2nd 11 years but we lost 21 more matches and let in 77 more goals. We obviously don’t have a problem scoring goals so what does that tell us? First priority is to get at least one quality CB as none ours are fit for purpose. If UE wants some advice someone should give him George Graham’s mobile number.

    NB: For the purist I point out that AW’s 1st season was not a full one!!

  20. I keep pointing it; Prioeity & first target should be Koulibaly for ages when we sold ospina to Naples…

    Kos would be very happy to not be alone as for many years now.

    Just bring Koulibaly and call it a day. 2 Back Wings indeed. Rest we have more than enough talent inhouse,

    RB Kouli-Kos, LB

    Niles- Willock – Nelson.


    Auba – Laca

    Rotate middle with Xhaka, Toreira, Gendouzi. Nkhetia showed how great he is to play with Laca, be same with Auba.

    We then have Willock, Xhak


  21. I don’t completely agree with this because the best form of defence is to attack.we conceded a lot of goals last season because we don’t have that fear factor.clubs are not afraid to attack us mostly because of lack of width.if we are able to acquire very good wingers ,opposition full backs and midfielders will be wary to stray too far from there halves.however we have holding back and also chambers who was the best player in Fulham.I can imagine if he wasn’t a returning player,we could have been going for him now and everyone will be bustling with excitement

  22. Yes this is where I worry about Emery’s logic, 90% of the comments regarding signings for this season are pinpointing the centre of defence and defence in general as the problem area where we need to invest in much better players, if all these fans and pundits alike can see this,why is he not listening or even worse why can’t he see this as well.
    I am very worried about the coming season I think Tierney will stay at Celtic because Sanlehi and his muppets are dragging their heels and Kroenke doesn’t want to buy anyone anyway,ask the fans of all his American franchises.

  23. So basically, the entire season depends on whether or not the club gets the Tierney deal over the line, Mavropanos impressing and staying fit, and Bellerin not getting injured for more than four weeks for the entire season because AMN isn’t a proper replacement at RB and I don’t even want to talk about Jenkinson.

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