One of the most important aspects of Arsenal’s transfer window and whether or not it will be deemed a success is not solely on the players but the timing of the deals. Complete transfers for players too late and the impact could be long-lasting.
Arsenal suffered with this last season when Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Takehiro Tomiyasu were brought in after the season had started. Their impact was limited whereas perhaps if sorted sooner, the Gunners could have benefited, maybe even picked up the three extra points to qualify for the Champions League.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is even better. Edu has given the Arsenal supporters hope with an interview he conducted towards the end of the season.
The Arsenal technical director made the bold statement to say that the planning for the window is already done. This therefore should leave little excuse to see the priority moves for key areas such as striker and central midfield left until close to or after the season’s start.
“The budget we used last summer, we prefer to use it to rebalance the squad, there was no point in hiring one or two players [in January], the squad was not prepared to absorb two players, we needed to rebalance the squad,” Edu told ESPN Brasil. “Maybe next season we can go to one or two players.
“Today we find a much more balanced squad. Our planning has already been done; it has already reached the owners.
“It’s a matter of step by step, how we are going to finish the season and to put in plan the planning that I’m very excited about. The Champions League and the Europa League both require a much larger squad because the amount of games is much bigger.
“If we can afford it financially and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to, what I want is 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. A lot of things have to be put in place and that takes time, so I am expecting a busy summer.”
The theoretical deadline for when the signings need to be sorted by to avoid criticism is subjective of course and also relative to personal opinion. From my own standpoint, ensuring a strong preseason for new players is imperative to maximising their immediate impact.
With that in mind, targeting the first preseason match of the July list of fixtures would be the cut-off to avoid criticism, in my view. Arsenal have announced a new fixture to their summer schedule and will play German second division side FC Nürnberg in Germany whilst there at a training camp.
“The fixture against FC Nürnberg will be a good test for us as we look to make a strong start to pre-season,” said Arteta. “Together with our matches in Baltimore, Orlando and at the Emirates Cup, this adds to a great run of fixtures that will help us prepare for a big season ahead. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to connect our fans around the world, we’re looking forward to seeing them on the road.”
The game will be played on July 8. This therefore must be a target deadline for the majority of the priority moves to be completed. Of course, some transfers take time with the hypothetical dominos needing to fall.
But, with the publicised plan, as Edu describes it, already sorted, there will be little sympathy toward a barren window come early to mid-July. It cannot be understated how key this window is to continue the progression that was accelerated last season. Failing could be incredibly damaging to short and long-term success.