With the January transfer window now closed, it provides us with the opportunity to reflect on what has happened over the last few weeks.
Six first-team Arsenal players departed including former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is on the verge of being unveiled at Barcelona. Ainsley Maitland-Niles joined AS Roma on loan until the end of the season whilst Calum Chambers was sold to Premier League rival Aston Villa.
Despite plenty of space being created for some incomings, the club was unsuccessful in its attempts to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s side.
This has understandably left the majority of the Arsenal fans incredibly unhappy, including us at The Arsenal Way.
Here’s what we made of the month that won’t be remembered in a hurry…
Tom Canton – Arsenal Fan Brands Writer/Presenter
There was an inevitability about this window that means whilst I find myself sitting here disappointed, it isn’t attached to any emotion resembling shock. It is more expectation that another transfer window concludes with the necessities not being addressed.
When a team enters the transfer period looking to try and further their ambitions and end the same window with the squad looking in worse shape, something must have gone seriously wrong.
Furthermore, questions rightly should be asked as to what has been happening behind the scenes and why players who would have improved the squad moved elsewhere.
Arthur Cabral, Denis Zakaria, Wout Weghorst and the list goes on. Players who would upgrade on existing options and moved for accessible transfer fees – £29.8 million combined according to various reports.
It staggers me after what was such an encouraging summer window. As a fan, because that is what I am, I should not be in any position where I believe I would have made better decisions than those who were able to make them. Yet that is exactly how I feel and that is very scary indeed.
Bailey Keogh – Arsenal Fan Brands Writer/Presenter
Arsenal came into the January transfer window knowing what business had to be conducted in order to make a final push for a Champions League spot as the season draws to the end.
However, they failed to sign a striker or a midfielder which were desperately needed, and that was clear from the minute the transfer window opened.
What makes matters worse, is that the club has arguably come out of the transfer window in a worse state due to the inability to replace certain players.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ departure, in particular, was very disappointing as it happened earlier in the window, which left Arsenal desperate for a midfielder and a right-back.
With the failure to sign Arthur Melo, Denis Zakaria was available on a cheap on deadline day, but he instead signed for Juventus.
The striker situation was desperate for Arsenal, and it seems the club had no alternative for Dusan Vlahovic. This becomes even more astonishing when considering Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s proposed move to Barcelona.
With the failure to sign a striker in January as well as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s contracts both set to expire at the end of the season, it now means that Arsenal will have to sign at least two strikers in the summer transfer window.
Stan Kroenke will need to prepare to spend more than he did in the previous summer window if he wants to continue the rebuilding process.
Chris Davison – Arsenal Fan Brands Content Editor
I don’t feel that it’s an exaggeration to say the fans have been let down, not at all.
The fact that we somehow feel worse off now compared to when the January window opened is a huge concern and, quite frankly, it should lead to serious questions being asked.
We are meant to be a club fighting for a top-four place for crying out loud, it was and still is clear as day what the squad needs and options were out there. Newcastle proved that with a certain Brazilian midfielder. Where was the same ambition?
Arteta said the club was going to “move”, met with Stan Kroenke and Aubameyang appears to have gone for good. I mean, come on!
At Christmas, we were in such a positive place. Results were healthy, performances were strong, the supporters were happy. Now, the picture looks completely different.
On the plus side, we’ve set ourselves up to have another busy yet hopefully exciting summer. The downside? Our chances of qualifying for Champions League football have just taken a huge dent, in my opinion.
Time will tell though, if they can pull it off then they deserve a medal.
Such a wasted opportunity. Shame.