The major transfer window decision Edu and Arteta could now regret


Despite the team’s midfield struggles last season Mikel Arteta and Edu decided to keep faith with the midfield pairing of Partey and Xhaka but they might already be regretting their decision. Just as they appear to finally be gaining some momentum, the most reliable player in the squad fitness-wise, who is also one of the first choice pairing at the base of the midfield is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and to make matters worse there are no options that appear better than the Swiss. This is where Edu’s comments could haunt him.

“Now let’s put it into context. For example, in the midfield, you have Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. So, for me and for Mikel it doesn’t make sense to sign another player to be on top of them if they are the ones that are going to be playing.” These were Edu’s words on SkySports when quizzed about the quality of Arsenal’s summer signings who in Shreeves’ words were more like reserve signings.

Going into the summer transfer window with the aim of not signing midfield options that stand a chance to displace the current ones isn’t really the way a team that wants to return to Europe’s elite competition should think or act. And now with Granit Xhaka injured, the manager is left with only one of his favourite midfield pair in Thomas Partey who on the other side has looked the exact opposite of the Partey Arsenal signed from Atletico Madrid. The Ghana international has spent more time with the physio in the past one year than he did in his final two seasons with his former club. How then do you expect one who has struggled to stay fit enough for long enough to take up the responsibility of two?

Of course there are other available options in Elneny who is just too much of an unprogressive passer of the ball, Maitland Niles who just a few months ago was only good enough to be a utility defender under Arteta, and Lokonga who despite having the brains, will need some time to adapt to the physical demands of the Premier League. To put all in one sentence – neither can any one of the aforementioned players offer what Xhaka offers the team nor is any one of them better than the injured Swiss.

The decision not to sign better players at the base of the midfield was a joint decision by both the technical director and the manager, but the consequences of that decision will be borne solely by Arteta. How he reacts to the injury of his reliable midfield general remains to be seen but one thing I know for sure is that he has to look inward for a solution to the problem that could shape Arsenal’s season between now and January. Get to work Arteta, you made your midfield choices already.

There’s no more room for excuses.

Ibiniyi Victor

Tags Arteta Edu Xhaka


  1. In a perfect world this last summer Arteta would have signed 12 new players and loaned in an extra 2 on top of tha. 14 in all.
    He would have kept only Gabriel Tierney Partey ESR Saka Martinelli and Balogun.
    He needed to raise 350 million pound by selling
    Leno Runnarsson Mari Holding Saliba Mavropanos Bellerin Chambers Cedric Kolasinac Niles Elneny Xhaka Guendouzie Willian Willock Pepe Nketiah Aubameyang Lacazette Nelson. Unfortubately the horror market and the fact that Arsenal had vastly over paid for players meant that Arsenal received just one fee (Willock) 20 mill. Luiz was released and Willian was paid 15 million to leave.
    So Arsenal went into debt by a further 110m quid to buy 6 new players and was stuck with many under achievers and loaned as many as we could. So the job is only 40% complete. Another couple out and another couple in during the Jan window then the final push next summer.

  2. Nothing wrong with Lakonga in my opinion who could make the position his own and Tavares is pushing Tierney so I think Shreeves is talking out of his proverbial arse-nal.

  3. OT:admin Pat I have finally resolved the issue with JA and being unable to post comments .As I told you in our E-mails,I now publicly put my hands off and apoligize and admit that I was wrong big me for accusing you of banning me(!having said that, I didn’t like your”advice”!I had no problems admitting that I was wrong and as the email certainly proved I do not need anyone else to do so!I was sincerely being
    civil and cordial

    1. Admin Pat:the issue was caused by the fact that JA is not on Google play store,so like the rest of the apps,they are not considered property secured,because you ask for(data) likd5 passwords,e-mail addresses, payments methods..JA as a third-party is flagged up because other sites” could” have access to sensitive data.Pat I’m sure you’ve been asked this question a million times before, but why your app is not on the Google play store? Despite the financial aspect of it?

      1. I don’t have an App, we didn’t have such things when I started the site.
        But I will look into it…

  4. I think most rational fans recognised our lack of quality midfielders before the start of the season, and the injury to Xhaka, who is not my cup of tea, has undoubtedly exacerbated the situation.Most fans on JA were demanding a number 10 as a priority, whereas I would have been delighted with Bissouma rather than Odegaard and indeed White at the premium we paid.However, we are where we are, and while I like what I have seen of Lokonga the absence of Xhaka and more particularly Partey, will undoubtedly leave us weak in central midfield.The failure to sell Xhaka and a number of others such as Guendouzi, Torrerria, Bellerin and Kolasinac is not only a reflection of the Pandemic stricken market, but on the quality of the players concerned and in the case of the French lad, his arrogant and misplaced attitude.As a player, Guendouzi would have been a ready made replacement for Xhaka but for one reason or another I doubt if he will ever pull on the Arsenal shirt again.Would be be given another chance under another Arsenal Manager? Is there a recall clause in his loan agreement?

    1. Bissoum is now having legal issues and Guendozi, I really don’t know what to make of him, I don’t really like his style and his temperament isn’t to my liking likewise.
      I wanted Locatelli but he isn’t interested in coming, Xhaka rarely get injured it’s unfortunate he pick up long term injury, now that we are in this situation, lokonga and AMN should grab the opportunity, besides we can play 433 with ESR and ode playing with Partey there, so to me, without European competition we have nothing to fear

      1. I agree with this comment, the decision was made to go into the season with Partey, xhaka, lokonga, maitland-niles and Elneny as the main men in the holding midfield. Then there is the likes of odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka, chambers, white and tavares who could provide varying degrees of midfield back up. On top of that there is patino akinola Cottrell olayinka, sala-eddine who could all offer support in various midfield positions.

        Please let’s not make out we are short on the ground because of one injury.

        The focus should now be on winning as many matches as possible ahead of the January window. Edu meanwhile should be assessing that window, looking into who of the 5 current last yearers (Laca, kola, chambers, Elneny and Eddie) could be bring in revenue or save wages. Also looking ahead to those out of contract in 2023 (Leno, Bellerin, mavropanos, Torreira, guendozi, maitland-niles, Nelson and Aubameyang) who do we want to keep or Let go?

        There are 13 players there whose contracts expire with in the next 20 months. That may appear critical, but when you consider only 1 of those players is currently in the best starting line up when everyone is fit. It actually becomes less critical and rather positive. We could pretty much sell 12 of those players without having an impact on the first x1 and even a minimal impact on the starting two x1s
        For example 4231
        Tomiyashu white Gabriel Tierney
        Partey lokonga
        Saka odegaard ESR
        Saliba holding Mari
        Cedric Xhaka patino tavares
        Pepe balogun martinelli

        That would not exactly be a terrible squad if we sold those 12, even if we sold Aubameyang and bought just 1 striker with the money raised for all 13 I wouldn’t be too unhappy.

        We would still have
        Clarke Ballard ogunbo
        Swanson akinola Azeez Lopez
        Hutchinson biereth Taylor-Hart

        Alebiousu, olayinka and many more.

  5. the fact that we have continued to rely upon an individual, who has had one season of any consequence since arriving in North London, largely because he’s always been available for selection, until this season, speaks volumes about the lowering of standards that has plagued this club since the January signing of one Kim Kallstrom…karma’s a b****

  6. This is in no way an endorsement of all things Arteta, and please don’t throw individual exceptions back at me as these points are generalisations:
    – We don’t know whether MA or the Board made the decision to only buy younger players. I suspect the Board had a big hand in it due to the previous clagers dropped. Better to buy an appreciating asset than one depreciating to nil.
    – It seems MA had a very well compiled (I assume nobody thinks they were bad buys?) hit list of players in many positions
    – He bought them as they became available. Not all became available, deals fell through or they were overpriced. But he bought all he could in the window as his final budget was handicapped by lack of saleable players.
    – He got Ode, but other midfielders on the list, such as Locatelli, fell through before the budget ran out.
    – He refused to compromise and buy other players that don’t fit just to get short time cover (burned by the Willian deal?)
    – If you buy into this policy you HAVE TO have some patience. These are kids, most with no EPL experience, often from other countries, without great English. But they are all smart, good, dedicated kids. You only need to see the interviews to know their attitudes are spot on. But they need time and games to develop.
    – Try buying in older players to fill the first team spots you so worry about and see the Martinelli problem multiplied throughout the squad. They need to learn through playing in the EPL.
    – In addition, youth recruitment and development seems to have been incredible recently. This is a conveyor belt of huge cheap future talent that will need the same opportunities. This will not happen if the club starts buying in ready made superstars (as if we could afford them! Do we really want to repeat those mistakes?)
    – We cannot expect limitless budgets with this ownership. We MUST develop an alternative system to dine at the top table, because otherwise any success we may have will be partial and fleeting.
    – For this policy to succeed we need 1) a great youth recruitment training and progression program. Once it’s proven to both succeed and lead to first team chances the best kids will be queueing up yo join us 2) a great scouting and recruitment plan for new first teamers. Arguably this season’s intake have been very promising 3) a great coach capable of developing those kids at senior level to play exciting football. The jury is still out on that one, but it’s critical. If MA doesnt work out you can slot another top coach in without disturbing steps 1 and 2 4) Patience from fans and Board. But only for now as we are starting from zero with very few suitable players. A conveyor belt of youth talent and younger buys, supplemented by the occasional major star, then added to an already solid team…
    Without going into tactics, that’s the project, aka the dream.
    Incredibly exciting if it works.

  7. Except That Partey who is the only good one currently will go to African cup, Xhaka is injured and he is not a guranteed starter for me at least and Sambi needs time.
    Niles holds the ball longer than he should sometimes and other imes he drops deep in defense when the ball is still in midfield. Every other player like Chambers and academy is not a plug and play. So far Arteta never played anyone other than these 4 and ElNeny eho will go to African cup or leave in Jan.

  8. Short sighted not buying Bissouma and a striker. The signings we made this summer could be described as quantity over quality. A top right back, a top midfielder and a top striker, all around 50 to 60 mil would have been better than what we did.

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