The downside of Arsenal’s successful transfer window!


A successful transfer window is like a double edged sword. If the incoming players are good, the overall quality of the Arsenal team improves. Title chances are suddenly possible, the manager’s approval ratings go up and the fans are over the moon. These are all the things that have happened since Arsenal captured the services of three big players in the shape of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez. Finally, our much maligned spine has been dealt a major surgery with these trio as the major implants. Suddenly, the chances of us retaining our best players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are looking likely again, and all is good in the world. Right? Well, not really.

You see buying new players is the good part. The not so good part are the implications for the rest of the squad. It is easy to say that incoming players will increase competition for places. That is true and it sounds good to the average fan. Of course we love competition. We are elated about the fact that finally, we have a sharp shooter upfront to challenge Olivier Giroud for the striker position for instance. However, our squad unity is under serious threat. We lost Serge Gnabry inspite of his Olympic heroics. That was sad but in hindsight, it had to happen. I mean, how many Arsenal fans were really looking forward to young Serge walking back into our starting XI? It is safe to say none. That was the first casualty. The young man had to leave because he knew fully well that he didn’t stand a chance with all these incomings. And then Joel Campbell got loaned out, which didn’t stop there. He is now making his discontent felt. He believes he deserves a place in the squad and he is a decent player. Unfortunately for him, this is the season where we will witness the fight of our lives and I am not talking about our quest to win the league. Just making top four this season will be a trophy in itself. Calum Chambers got loaned out as well. Calum is still young, error prone and humble. All it will take for him to start grumbling as well is a good loan spell at his new club. And then for the big one is Jack Wilshere’s loan move to Bournemouth…and it doesn’t help that now Ozil wants his shirt number! Perfect.

Just in case folks don’t realize it, we have major problems to contend with in the future especially in midfield. Aaron Ramsey will recover from his hamstring injury to add to our headache. Where exactly do we fit him in after spending 34million pounds on Granit Xhaka and welcoming back our little magician Santiago Carzola? Ramsey is a big player for the Welsh national team and big teams have been after him before. He will not be satisfied with a place on the bench and it is only a matter of time before he starts actively seeking an exit from the club. I don’t want to lose him and Wilshere, mainly because they are thoroughbred Gunners, and signing their replacements in today’s transfer market will cost a ton of cash. Danny Welbeck is in no man’s land as well. With the signing of Lucas Perez, where exactly does Welbeck rank in the pecking order? Third choice striker? Second choice winger? Danny when fit usually gets called up to the England national team and frankly, he does well there. And not to forget a certain Per Mertesacker, our team captain and Gabriel Paulista our other defender.

My point folks is that no good deed goes unpunished as the saying goes. Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board finally succumbed to the will of the Arsenal fans and spent big (100 million pounds) on new players. That is the good part. We should now brace ourselves for the dire consequences of such a historic endeavor. We will lose players for sure and it will be messy. My only hope is that squad unity remains after this inevitable fallout and that we all remember that we asked for this when the time comes. You see, it is not always Wenger’s fault. Not all of it. When the Ramseys, Wilsheres, Campbells and Welbecks begin to engineer their different moves out of Arsenal, we have to own it. We have to stand up like men and take it on the chin. We the fans asked for this and I am okay with it. Are you?


Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria


  1. Trudeau says:

    I see your point but the other option is to wait 25 years for another Leicster fairy tale and hope it’s Arsenal’s turn. All the top clubs face the same challenges and squad rotation plus long runs in the cups is the key to keeping everyone happy. There are no Messis or Ronaldos at Arsenal, everyone can be rested or dropped.

    1. RedLondon says:

      Well, if you’ve been following Arsenal you would know it’s not a downside when we’ve had the highest injury rate for the past 6 years. By December expect half our squad to be injured

  2. PRINCE AFZ says:

    Competition among players is healthy. I don’t see anything wrong with the exit of players who failed to survive. And believe the chances are there for both the old players and the in-coming players to take. The old players can step up their games and fight for their spots. The new players can as well prove the worth of their transfer. No sleeping on bike. Anyone who sleeps while on bike shouldn’t be surprise to have a wonderful somersault. The games are there for the squad. We can be competitive in all of them at the same time. Gbamm

  3. Arsenal_Girl says:

    The major downside is that we didn’t get a prolific striker like other PL teams have (ie. Ibrahimovic, Aguero, Kane)

    We need to wait and see how Perez plays but I doubt he will be anywhere near Lewandowski or Greizmann or Aubemeyang

    1. synthiagoCazorla..HUMVN,Machine says:

      Perez is an interesting one.

      His pedigree suggests we’ve gotten ourselves a 3rd rate striker.

      On the other hand, his abilities and his stats last season suggests that we have a real brand new goal-scoring threat in our team.

      He’s very confident of his abilities. I think he’s got a strong mentality because his career path has toughened him up a bit.

      If Perez fails at AFC, I have a feeling it will more likely be because we may have under-utilized his strengths.

      The plan is simple:

      Whatever you do, always make sure to put Lucas through on goal, because -atleast 50% of the time- he will finish off his 1-on-1s.This is more than you can say of Welbeck, Walcott or even Giroud.

      1. Twig says:

        The story of Perez career is like that of Vardy. Both late starters. No caps for their countries before their breakthrough seasons (Perez is still yet to get one). Both pacy and aggressive. Where Perez wins is his number of assists which will suit us perfectly. Vardy wins in the speed department. Perhaps he’s even more two-footed.

        1. synthiagoCazorla..HUMVN,Machine says:

          True talk.

          “Vardy wins in the speed department…”

          Good point there Twig. People often misunderstand this. Perez is not that “fast”, but he is f##kin quick on his feet!

          On the counter, he is a beast. But he is not completely reliant on speed -as some may think. He could operate just as well even when he is playing without much space in a packed defense. So long as our passes are a bit more direct and purposeful, we will find him more often in good positions to score in the box.

      2. jonm says:

        I think that in previous seasons he has played as a winger, last season he played the more central striker roll.

        His goals plus assists compare well with griezman last season in la liga
        Format is griezman/perez
        Minutes played 3044 / 3138
        Goals scored. 22 / 17
        Penalties. 1 / 1
        Assists. 5 / 8.
        Goals + assists 27 / 25

        So goals plus assists are very comparable and perez was playing for a much weaker team.

  4. TH14atl says:

    Are you framing this downside like it’s a bad thing? If we want to be the bride and stop being the bridesmaid then this is what we need to do. I hate Mourinho, but he would’ve demoted or gotten rid of the dead-weight a long time ago. Arsene’s long time ambition of playing Ramsey until he held the Balon D’or is why we were 4th place champions for so long. Jack included. These guys could never stay healthy, and aren’t truly class enough to vault us to the top of the table.
    Jack needed to go. Chambers, despite a good first 3 or 4 games when we first bought him, needed to go — he got found out all too often. Ramsey needs to make peace with the fact that he can’t do for us what the other 3/4 (putting LeCoq in there with Xhaka, Mesut, and Santi) so be content to rotate wide, or adjust your game to give us what we need to earn a rotation in the middle……or be gone.
    Mert still serves a limited rotation purpose, but really just more of a locker room experience purpose. Gabriel has good footballing ability and can still serve a role as well. I think a lot of the anxiety he displays on the field positionally stems from his limited knowledge of the English language and thus limited communication.
    Welbz will get a run in — on the right ahead of Theo/Ramsey; some at CF; rest/rotate Alexis on the left. I think he’ll be fine.
    Finally some fear in the squad and the need to have one’s play justify one’s selection. I can’t see where this is a bad thing. The opposite hasn’t gotten us anywhere up to now.

    1. synthiagoCazorla..HUMVN,Machine says:

      Uche, you asked:
      “….I am okay with it. Are you?”

      Of course I am!!!

      The reason? As TH14atl so perfectly puts it:

      “The opposite hasn’t gotten us anywhere (near EPL/UCL titles) up to now.”

      Simple as that.

  5. mark says:

    Now the article writer is falling for the Wenger line of squad unity being disrupted by too many signings..

    Well hard luck, the manager has to cater for that, instead of labouring on with the same squad every year.

    And players are used to being rotated, as long as rotation doesn’t mean rotting on the bench for months on end a la Campbell, Gibbs, Gnabry etc..

    I think on balance, the team likes new players, it shows ambition and it gives new ideas and faces which can be great for team unity as they compete for places….IF and it’s a big IF it is managed properly..oh dear.. 😉

  6. Arsenal_Girl says:

    If Theo, Jack, Sanogo, don’t perform well this season we need to consider selling them next summer

    We should only keep players who perform well. We can’t just wait year after year for them to improve to a certain level. Deadwood is deadwood. Get some money from them and free up wages

    I will give Oxlade a few more years as he is only 23

    1. Twig says:

      I don’t see the OX’s game changing much in the next few years to be honest. He has stagnated. He’s more or less the same player we had two years ago.

  7. Midkemma says:

    Arsenal board spent a load the year we bought Alexis, why do fans ignore that year and how much we spent?

    We only spent about 10-15mil more this year but the difference was that Gazidis was kept on his leash and wasn’t allowed to buy players like Welbroke for £16mil.
    I got to question the Chambers transfer as well, a lot of money and Wenger hasn’t appeared to be satisfied with him, heck he got loaned out for a £2mil buy! We have seen the vid interview where Wenger himself says he wouldn’t have bought Welbroke, I do wonder what Wengers real original thoughts on Chambers was.

    Instead of buying multiple players for around 16mil we spent more per player and got 3 1st team players, this actually felt more like Wenger signings than Welbroke.

    I am sad to see Gnabry go and I was supporting the lad and saying he should be given a chance, I was frustrated at reading how Pulis treated him and if I ever see that guy in the street I will kick his balls so freaking hard he will be wearing them as a bow tie, if Gnabry had been given time with him then his fitness wouldn’t have been an issue and he would have stood a better chance of breaking into the team. I like the bragging rights that come from a youth stepping up and I am always eager to see the next one step up. Many Arsenal fans I know in Real Life are sad to see him go because they wanted to see him play for us this season, okay… I will admit some of them didn’t think we would sign an attacker and found Gnabry a very good silver lining.

    The BIG ONE of Jack going on loan isn’t big, if he proves he can stay fit then he will fit back into the Arsenal team and if not then we may save ourselves a Diaby situation. Jack has Arsenal DNA so I want him to do well but we have other youths who would fight for the chance Jack had so if not then it isn’t the end of the world is it? His talent is clear for us all to see but so has his injuries, a loan move for him is nothing to Arsenal as we couldn’t rely on him being fit.

    I see the future of our CM being great, why are you worried OP?
    Cazorla isn’t a spring chicken is he? We are talking future when he is older or now which isn;t the future?
    If Xhaka continues the way he is then I would put money on him being 1st choice for the DCM/DeepLyingPlaymaker. Coquelin is his comp and rotation.
    ElNeny and Ramsey fight it out for the role next to him.
    Wilshere has to prove himself on loan, see the loan is not a big thing now is it 🙂

    Welbroke is younger than Giroud, if we are talking about the future then Giroud time with us is ticking… If nothing else then it will be his age. Perez is 27, in the near future he will be getting closer to that magical 30 age. Being 3rd choice CF for a CL team is good for a player who has been injured as much as he has and with the goalscoring record he has at club level. The future can be bright, he is young and our 1st choice and new signing are not kids, he has time to prove himself in fitness and goalscoring.

    Per is edging closer to retirement, think about Arteta, do I need to say anymore?
    Gabriel is 25, soon to be 26 while Mustafi is 24, this could be Wenger trying to build the next pairing after Kos? Sounds awesome to me and it shows players like Ozil that we will not wait till too late like we have so often? Kos knows we are thinking about after him but he is our number 1 CB so I should guess he would be happy knowing he will stay number 1 as long as he keeps performing?

    With Holding, Chambers and Bielik it appears that we have the next 2 generations of CB at Arsenal. We do promote from within so they have a real chance at stepping up at a CL club! If they see Per and Kos replaced with Gab and Mustafi then they will have witnessed a change of guard at the back and know they are in line next… patience is a virtue at times.

    Wenger is slow in the market but he has gotten the right players, right age groups was one of the things he done right.

    If some players do leave then was they really good enough for Arsenal and should we have supported their career for another half decade for sentimental reasons alone?

    Even what you say is bad, I think is good.

    1. Trudeau says:

      You make some good points but for consistently calling Welbeck ‘Welbroke’ you get a thumbs down from me. Not clever, not funny, just a bit tiresome.

    2. Twig says:

      Well I guess everyone knows who’s “broke” between WelBECK and Midkemma 🙂

    3. jonm says:

      When we purchase players we often pay in installments with add ons depending on performance. So What we spend in any transfer window cannot be determined from the players we buy.

      For example, according to the accounts “payments for purchase of players”
      Summer 2014 (6 months to nov 30, 2014), £48.6m and we bought sanchez
      Summer 2015 (6 months to nov 30, 2015), £47.3m and we bought cech

      No doubt in summer 2015 we were still making payments for sanchez and ozil. This explains why we did not buy any outfield players last summer.

      So what we have spent this year compared to previous years is difficult to tell until the accounts are published in about eight months time. I expect it to be substantially more than usual because of the number and price of the players.

  8. Wilshegz says:

    the success or failure of a transfer window can only be determined at least 2months after the window closes.. in our case, Lucas Perez’ performance (if Wenger gives him the chance) ll determine how our transfer window went.

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