Short-sighted Arsenal will come to regret not signing anyone on Deadline Day

Failing to address the midfield situation will come back to haunt us. by Konstantin

Well lovely Arsenal people, we opted not to sign another player. It’s honestly disappointing, because we’ve started the season so well, but just like January and many other transfer windows, we’ve opted to leave our squad short, and that’s the reality.

For me the pain isn’t about not signing someone on deadline day, it’s the short-sightedness. Thomas Partey has been available less than half of the games we’ve had since he came here. Our win percentage with him in the side was 66% compared to the 42% without him.
It was apparent that we needed cover in that position even before Elneny’s injury. Now we’re playing Sambi in the lone 6, or we’re back to Xhaka in the middle. Remember how that worked for 6 years? The reason Granit has done so well now’s because he’s been moved out of the zone where his mistakes has cost us so much over the years.
People say we can move Ben White to midfield or play Zinchenko in midfield. Is that an experiment you want to make 6 games into the season? Midweek games have started already and our squad has 23 senior players, compared to the 24 of last season. You can make a case that the quality has improved, but we didn’t have Europe last term and still finished 5th, playing practically one game a week most of the time.
Remember that 3rd round FA cup exit? I don’t want to see it again, so we’re either back to Wenger ways of playing the youth team in the cups or we’re risking overburning players, because there aren’t any bodies to cover.
And we’re again letting AMN on loan, this time to Southampton. It’s poor on multiple levels. Last year we had 30 million pounds on the table for him and we opted to keep him, not to play him at all, and now when we’re desperately short of bodies and we could actually play him, we’re letting him go on a loan that would save his wages? Is he the player I want in that position – No – but can he help with EL games and against some weaker teams in the prem? Yes, he can.
But again, we’ve let a ton of players go for nothing. We were in need of goals, yet we let Auba leave for nothing, now Barca managed to get Alonso and 6.5 mil for him. We wanted cover for Saka, yet Pepe went to Nice and we signed nobody. The boy has played over 100 games for Arsenal at age 20. That’s 3 years we haven’t addressed the need for cover on his side.
No wonder the boy looks tired and sometimes out of ideas, he’s been carrying this football club for a long time, which shouldn’t even be the case, but now Sambi is in a very similar position in our midfield. Keeping the squad fresh and managing players is just as important in football as is their ability on the ball.
Pep left De Bruyne on the bench. A player that would walk into any Arsenal midfield of the past 18 years, and they still won 6:0. Our team is one Partey injury away from a disaster and it’s already here. And I’m prepared for people labelling me negative, it’s just that we should be better than letting a run of 5 games blind our entire season, but it has already happened two times in Arteta’s tenure.
That win against Chelsea in December, where we played ESR, Saka and Martinelli started a run of 5 consecutive wins, that practically saved Arteta’s job. Last year we won 5 on the bounce before going to Liverpool and eventually we ended up 5th.
The reason we started so well this season is because Zinchenko, Jesus and Saliba elevated the level of our starting 11, but the bench is worrying. And now if Jesus gets an injury we’re back to last season’s team.
I’m not buying excuses anymore. It’s year 3 of project Arteta. The whole Arteta or Nothing documentary was to make him look good, but remember when he was lauding the talents of Willian age 32? I think the wheels will start to come off this Sunday at Old Trafford. Our record there is atrocious. I remember a full strength Arsenal side going there and starting the career of Marcus Rashford with 2 easily gifted goals.
Last season we were again the better team and somehow lost. If we don’t get a result there, the medias’ knives will be out saying “same old Arsenal” and it’d be hard to argue. Man Utd is the biggest game for me as a foreign fan. You never see people wearing Tottenham shirts outside of the UK. On the other hand I have a ton of Man Utd supporting mates who’ll be in full voice if we bottle it there, like last year.
Football is a results based business. In the end I’ll judge by the results. I feel we didn’t do enough in the window and I’ll give it a 6/10 and that’s generous honestly. Ramsdale touched his hamstring against Villa and I just see how we go to OT with Turner, who gave me Runarsson vibes in pre season, letting the ball fly in the middle of his goal.
Honestly the 3.5 millions for Leno weren’t worth it. We could’ve easily kept him till his contract ran out instead of spending those 3 million signing Matt, so we can sell shirts on our USA tour. I hardly think that can save as much as CL tv deals will bring, if we get it.
It’s just deflating that we’ve started so well, and instead of using that momentum to make it even better by signing players in areas of desperate need, we’ve opted to be cheap. If one thing you should take away from the Amazon documentary, it’s that players also feel what’s going on. Just because they are professionals doesn’t mean they don’t miss Partey in midfield for example.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If our mentality has changed, it will show on Sunday. Zinny, Partey and Elneny are out, Odegaard and Ramsdale could be out too. If we go and get a result without them, then we can speak about character. I just think that the lack of activity in the window will show up and come back to hurt us again, and it’s the again part that hurts the most.
Tags Arsenal signings


  1. I dunno. I am a little bit agree with your opinion
    But hopefully, Arteta can manage the team. Let’s win in old trafford

    1. We totally messed up I’m the window yet again.
      We just don’t learn.
      This has killed any top 4 hopes I did have.

  2. I don’t understand why MA & Edu didn’t go back for Arthur Melo on loan?it seemed that they liked the player.

    1. Pundits are saying Arthur is injury prone not sure we can take a risk on a unproven player….I think we are going way over board the team are playing loads better this season and you will only get a relatively small drop off in team performance without Thomas and I expect ESR to be playing in the next few games….imo..

    2. I guess because Melo is more of a CM than a CDM

      Arsenal had anticipated Partey’s injury by having Elneny and Sambi-Lokonga, unfortunately Elneny got injured a few days before the transfer window closed

      We can’t blame them, because they had given Aston Villa three very good offers for Douglas Luiz

      We shouldn’t assign Xhaka in the CDM position, but I’m sure White can be a good replacement for Partey if needed. Besides, Partey and Zinchenko would likely return after a few weeks

      1. The negative band were just waiting for their chieftains such as the individual who wrote this article.
        A completely unreasonable hatchet job praised to the heavens by those who would seize upon anything to attempt to discredit Arteta and Edu.
        Like some others I too would have preferred that we had done more to get that extra MF, possibly a winger and a striker. That we didn’t is disappointing but it is not the end of the world and I will continue to support the team and the manager.
        According to some of the usual moaners this article is not even negative. If this isn’t, in a season when we have yet to lose a game, some fans have lost the plot.
        There are a number of fans who are put off by the constant ranting and raving by a few individuals on this site. This article and some of the comments clearly highlight the lack of perspective of some fans.
        Questioning should be done with some decorum. Criticism should at least have some balance and be constructive.

  3. True talk but nothing positive to say?
    I agree with you but you sound like we are on a 5 game losing streak.

    1. I think his negativity has gone too far. We are five games into the league and already someone is blaming the coach for not signing players yet a few weeks back you have been heaping all the praises to Mikel. Even if we had signed the so called players and got injured you could be saying the same. Let’s just give credit where it is due. Winning the league is not only about having loads of players but you also need lucky with injuries. Injuries do come and that’s part of football you can’t blame the coach all the time

  4. Definitely needed cover for midfield. Still the exactly same midfield as last season and last seasons midfield wasn’t anything to cheer about. Sicknote-Partey will miss the usual minimum of 15 matches this season so I think we’ll be in trouble. End of the window reminds me of that one January when Ramsey got injured but Wenger deemed the squad good enough and brought no one in (failed).

    Luckily there aren’t that many matches before January although I’m not optimistic about January either.

  5. The squad is thin tbh
    But not having suitable under 21 players available is the major problem for me
    Loaning the likes patino,azeez,olayinka at the same time is making me smh

  6. The loans of Pepe and AMN, without having replacements, are valid examples of poor administration of players. Having Partey, Zinny and Elneny injured at the same time so early in the season is bad fortune.
    Lets hope Saturday is not the beginning of a U turn in performance.

  7. Nice article Konstantin and I appreciate your viewpoint. Long-time reader, first-time comment!
    I would argue that it is precisely because we are NOT short-sighted that we haven’t signed anyone on deadline day. We are not going to win the league this year…I think we all know that is not the target. Next year and the year after is when we start competing for the big prizes. Why panic buy a stop gap midfielder (Douglas Luiz is a good player but does not turn us into a title winning team) who takes a roster spot for 3-4 seasons, when we can save our money and wait for the opportunity to buy that special difference maker? I’m optimistic that we’ll finish 3rd with this squad and then really have a go for the next 5 seasons. Yes, we are light in MF, but strong enough to achieve our goals even with injury issues. The long-term project remains in tact and being disciplined on deadline day is proof of that vision.

  8. Well that’s one way to look at it….
    Honestly why bother if you can only see it in a negative light. We have strengthened and really we are light at dm. That’s it. Vieira can play rw and nobody foresaw the elneny injury. Clearly we are looking at not wasting money anymore of the player doesn’t love the needle. We look good and are playing well. Yes it’s largely the same team. It’s also a young team with a years more experience under their belt. You can see that with martinelli and Eddie. Have some faith.

  9. Plan now to get shut of partey come january, also tierney if injuries recur, and continue the build with reliable players. Is there an issue with how players are trained at arsenal, elneny will be out months with hamstring injury, seems excessive?

  10. Everyone is currently worried about the cm position, i know the management is also sweating on this too, no excuses this time around January was supposed to have thought them a lesson if they decide not to bring in someone then they must have felt confident in the solution available internally. If this turns out costly then they must have earned the critisms when they come

  11. Well that was a depressing read.

    I think I’ll keep firmly planted in the glass half full camp and enjoy the moment.

    Lokonga looked good and Partey should be back soon. Zinchenko can cover. Agree Xhaka needs to stay in new role.

    Vieira, ESR, Jesus, Nketiah and Nelson when he returns can give Saka a rest. Expect we will see this after Sunday’s game and will be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. Right now he is playing one game a week – he is not being overused.

    Win, lose or draw against ManU, I’m not questioning this team’s character after what they have achieved this far.

  12. Zinchenko is a natural DM…he can also play LB….our target was Lisandro Martinez…KT as LB and Zinchenko and Martinez in midfield…..I feel exiting the cup games at the time was intentional and focus was given to acquiring 4th place in the league…almost did it……I agree with you on AMN and his versatility could help us through the season……why did we go so late for Douglas Louis..?….this was a long transfer window and I remember mentioning Douglas Louis early in the window…..our target should have been De Jong or maybe £ 60 – 70 million is out of our price range…….!

  13. Yes, you are negative, far too negative. It takes time to construct a perfect squad. We are getting there. In fact without the double injury you could say we are quite close. What we don’t want is the club throwing money at a problem and then regretting it as they end up paying big wages without being able to move the player on. Say we had paid out 40 million on a DM and then Partey returns in Oct and remains largely injury free? Every team has deficiencies, even City. Just look at Liverpool at the moment struggling up front even though they let Origi go. Come on less negativity, we have won 5 out of 5. It might end Sunday, it might not. We are good enough to beat them without Partey.


  15. I just hope we will not use injury as an excuse again. I can’t just explain why they always put our club in a disadvantaged position. We needed a cover at DM position but we refused to do so. Just hope the U turn will not start at old Trafford. When it happens, some of us will be labeled arteta hater.

  16. What a bunch of negative ninnies!

    I can scarcely believe that despite being clear at the top of thr Prem with maximum points, these dreary Jeremiahs on this thread and the article writer too, spout such arrant, pessimistic nonsense.
    Thankfully, some of the posts above are sensible, realistic and not Jeremiahs(a “Jeremiah” is a prophet of doom, for those who dont know ).

    1. Well if wheels come off they are right, if they don’t you will be proven right.

      I believe you are a betting man, where would you out your money?

    2. Go back to January ….if you dared questioned what was we were doing you were called negative and other names
      Yet we were proven correct

      1. No you weren’t. What I saw reported back in January was that the club took the view that the squad could achieve EL without additions. They were right.

        The fact that other teams faltered is what made top 4 become (surprisingly) possible, which would have over-achieved the actual target for that particular season – there was a period of weeks where you could be forgiven for thinking that none of the teams in positions 4 – 7 wanted to actually win a match.

          1. No way, in January the target was EL

            See, we can all play the assertion game. It gets us nowhere, waste of time.

            Where is your *evidence* for your assertion? No I don’t mean a soundbite from Thierry Henry in some interview, we’ve been here before – Henry does not set the targets for the club.

            Nothing official was released into the public domain as to targets – of course, there wouldn’t be – as I say, I read the reports back then and the consensus view was that the target was achievable with 17 games left so we didn’t make a poor signing in January.

            I was there, reading it – I have an excellent memory, so please don’t waste my time playing your little “rewrite history” game, it won’t work.

  17. Like the bad January window we had, that gave 4th place to Conte, Edu/Arteta needed to sign a couple of players, a midfield player and a winger before deadline day. Almost everybody on JA agreed with that. After such a good early window how did Edu manage such a poor late window? Doesn’t make sense. I hope we come through this but it’s very poor and hard to understand. Complacency?

  18. OK , say we lose to united, does that mean the end of the world ?
    L/pool lost there did it derail their season ?
    All these doom and gloom posts is really becoming annoying. And who says Sambi Lokongo isn’t going to step up , the manager and board have faith in him and he was decent against Villa.
    So we are playing united , then Everton and Brentford, 2 Europa games in between . With the right tactics I think we will be alright. Partey should be back for the Spurs game.

    1. Another way to describe complacency. So because liverpool lost to Utd, we should be Ok with losing to them. Standards have really dropped

  19. Careful Konstantin, you’ll be grouped as a “Arteta Hater” for this article.
    Questioning the unquestionable?
    You’ll be hung, drawn and quarted, with your head atop one of our flagpoles for such unpatriotic thinking.

    Now, as a so called Hater myself, I have to say I’m disappointed that we didn’t sign any more players, but let’s not forget the fact that we have signed some excellent ones.

    Of course, if we lose against manure, there will be a massive hysteria, mainly from the media and that’s how it’s always been.

    I’ll be looking to see how we play, the set up and the commitment as much as the scoreline to be honest

    1. Ken I told you, your article could have been better done After the transfer window. Yes we have made good signings , but I am disappointed we didn’t do more . The squad is threadbare thin and top it up we let Niles and pepe go without lining up replacement. It seems we never learn no matter who is in charge. Short term we are good for now , am really worried when games will be coming thick and fast.

  20. I completely agree. Fan since +30 years and I have seen enough of seasons to know what to expect now.

    I just don’t understand Artetas stubbornness.

    Yes, we should have kept Ainsley and Pepe. It wasn’t their decision. It was Artetas.

    This is the thing. Arteta is extremely bad at showing trust in players, and he has NO patience

    Remember last season when Lacazette did not score? Took millions of games until he deared to even try N’ketiah. And the probem with this is that he keeps playing the same eleven game in and game out (unless there are injuries), rotating all to little. Against Villa you could see the guys where exhausted. I count on us loosing on Sunday.

    Arteta is as nonchalant as Wenger was and this gives me stomach issues…..

  21. “Well well well… if it isn’t the consequences of our own actions”

    I distinctly remember all of us “negative” fans saying we should use the 50mil to sign a quality DM instead of Ben White when we had Mavro and Saliba on the books already.

    Let’s not forget that we conceded more goals with Ben White than the season before we bought him.

    Regardless of Elnenys injury, we all knew that Partey would get injured and that Elneny, although decent, is not a good enough long term substitute. Why prioritise the signing of Vieira over a DM?

  22. I thought the “glass almost completely empty” contingent would at least wait until we lost a match before they started.

    It seems to me that sensible decisions have been made in the window. We didn’t overpay clubs like Villa late-on, we didn’t let Betis and Fiorentina get away with their little games and we bought some very good players, getting our key targets early and integrated them pre-season.

    The process of getting rid of the unwanted seems to have been completed – at worst some of them are on loan, so not a problem for another year. That means we now have a squad of players that we might actually want to use instead of 24 with about 7 we don’t trust, which is really 17.

    I personally don’t believe that the intention was to challenge for the title this year or to have a complete squad capable of doing that, but because the early transfer window, the pre-season and first five matches were so successful, people upped their own hopes and dreams and are now demanding that the club’s ambitions for the season match their own personal dreams – and my view is those hopes and dreams go way beyond what the club is looking for this season and are unreasonable.

    Managing your expectations is the way to avoid disappointment.

    1. How is saying that we have insufficient cover at DM and it could’ve been addressed years ago being “glass almost completely empty”? This problem at DM goes back to Wenger days so it’s not an attack on your beloved.

      Facts can’t be negative.

      1. Typical of you lot to try to sieze on one tiny point – but that’s not the only thing you (as a group) are criticising is it?

        You also ignore that there are 4 or 5 people in the squad who are capable playing that role (plenty of cover, just not as good as the guy who would be best in that slot, which is why it’s called “cover”)… and you’re also missing that many people are noticing that we don’t really play with a DM role.

        Not to mention other formations are possible, which we’ve practiced in pre-season and often switch formations fluidly in a game.

        This is the problem – you’re all trying to be experts on football tactics but you’re not – they guys they pay to do this are the ones who decide how we play, who we need for it and what price we should pay.

        Attack on my “beloved” what? In your hurry to throw insults around you’re guessing at my motives and you’re way wide of the mark – as always. I’d be supporting the Arsenal manager if they appointed Mickey Mouse, just as I’ve done all the previous managers from Wenger onwards – because that what being a “supporter” actually means.

          1. As others have suggested, he’s probably one for the future, not one to start now.

            No-one in their right mind would buy any of the Villa team to play now – they’re terrible.

    2. But we have the opportunity to challenge and we should be challenging for the premier league or what are you reasons for not going for it this year and pushing it to the next?

  23. I think his negativity has gone too far. We are five games into the league and already someone is blaming the coach for not signing players yet a few weeks back you have been heaping all the praises to Mikel. Even if we had signed the so called players and got injured you could be saying the same. Let’s just give credit where it is due. Winning the league is not only about having loads of players but you also need lucky with injuries. Injuries do come and that’s part of football you can’t blame the coach all the time

    1. It’s not negativity zimba everyone and their dog knew we needed a DM and a winger Even Arteta said it! Call him negative s well. Every arsenal fan is happy where we are currently but questions must be asked,

  24. They buy a player to get a quick fix, some fans go “he doesn’t allow young players develop”. They choose to put faith in the same young players, same fans go nut. What exactly can be done to please you guys?

    If Lokonga isn’t given the chance, y’all will still rain insults on Arteta for not giving him a chance, just like y’all have started throwing tantrums about Viera and ESR. It’s just crazy how some fans think, behave and react.

    1. Well said Alan.What an utterly depressing article penned by someone who is apparently under the impression that we would turn down an offer of 30m for an ordinary player who is about to commence his third loan deal in 3 seasons.I think he is referring to an article by a Midlands based journalist who suggested that Wolves had submitted a 20m bid for AMN.This was subsequently denied by the Wolves hierarchy and can be regarded as another piece of speculative nonsense.

  25. I was going to make a comment, but I am so sick of this chestnut.

    I have banged this drum for almost the entire off-season and it has fallen on deaf ears.

    I just wish, whatever team we put out, can get us a win!

  26. As I recall almost everyone didn’t want Arthur Melo. I’ve never seen him play but struggling at Barca and Juve and then going to Liverpool seems a big ask for him.

    We actually tried to sign luiz and must’ve had a few in mind that we didn’t want to go over or simply maybe couldn’t afford.

    So we will have to stick to what we have. We are in a far better place than last season and playing far better as well. We’ve fought for Victories that would’ve ended up either as draws or defeats last season.

    Big game on Sunday

  27. I’m now convinced that the primary goal over the last two windows was to cut payroll; the secondary goal was to sign young players now, hoping for hefty sell-on profits in the future.

    If we are not careful “starbwoy” Saka and “rolls royce” Saliba could end up on the chopping block by the end of the season.

    Building a team that is deep and competitive all season long was clearly not a priority.

    More alarming, our main competitors have surely splashed the cash and want to win now.

    A thin, young squad for a packed schedule -including the world cup – sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    We’re still top of the league for now, but the rest of the season could be long and painful.

    1. Time will only tell my friend

      City are city

      Liverpool hot and cold

      Tottenham again hit and miss

      Chelsea absolutely dreadful but scraping results and have been since last season

        1. Dan smith I know we won’t get near city nor did I say we will.

          My comment is based on how others are playing at the minute. City are class

      1. To restock the farm with young prospects – with high growth potential. Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, two examples. Nuno Tavares too.

  28. I have read a lot here and I am surprise by some comments about not signing a DM as if that’s the end of the world.
    Even sign 3-5 quality dmf, that doesn’t mean that the team will not lose, and doesn’t mean that you will play fine football.
    Take a look at Tottenham, they have a lot of dmf( quality to be precised) such as Bentacur, Holdjer and Bissouma but people didn’t like their way of game.
    What I mean is that what matter most is the coach tactics and pattern of play, our tactics has really improved and is of high quality.
    In general, we have increase our squad a lot in good way, Saliba, Jesus, Zinchenkowe are still waiting for (viera, Marquinos) to show us what they are capable of….
    So guys be optimistic and try to support the team and the coach….

  29. Given how successful Arsenal have been during the close season window – getting targeted transfers in early and getting them into the side – I’m prepared to give TheArse a break here.

    It’s not that they didn’t see the need, but it was NOT possible to get the right player in the timeframe.

    Given that we’ll have a 6-week break for the World Cup, it’s not the end of the world as the January window will open in 3 months and hopefully we can do good business early.

  30. A very good article, and as anticipated, we lost today to Man United without Partey in the team!
    I am very surprised that what we could see as fans, the Manager and his technical bench couldn’t see it!,……..we saw the need of a defensive midfielder and a winger to support Saka, but Arteta being a manager that he’s, he couldn’t see it coming to haunt him at a particular stage, what a SHAME!!!!

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