Daily Archives: September 1, 2011

Analysis of Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer and awards for the month of August

Arsene Wenger endured one of his worst tenures as an Arsenal manager last season. He was knocked out of the Champions League at the first knockout hurdle in the hands of Barcelona. Some fingers were pointed to the official for the day, Massimo Busacca for van Persie’s soft red card but Arsenal played quite poorly and couldn’t even make a single attempt on target.

Arsenal also lost out of the FA Cup in the quarterfinals after disappointing qualifying campaigns to get there. Fabregas spared Arsenal’s blushes when Leeds visited the Emirates in the 3rd round but Arsenal played a lot better in the replay at Elland Road. Arsenal also struggled a bit when Huddersfield Town visited the Emirates but they had enough in the gas to see them.

A disappointing 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient followed but the lower league outfit was outclassed when they came to the Emirates for the replay. Manchester United stood between Arsenal and a semifinal berth but Sir Alex Ferguson’s men defeated Arsenal despite starting with seven recognized defenders.

Arsenal had their best run in the Carling Cup but lost to Birmingham City in the final hurdle after a mix-up between Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal’s road to the final at Wembley saw them defeat Tottenham, Newcastle, Wigan and Ipswich.

Arsenal also had a very disappointing campaign in the Premier League and ended up in 4th place despite locking horns with Manchester United for a considerable chunk of the season.

Arsene Wenger, the Board and the fans had a series of reasons why Arsenal struggled. Injuries to key players at critical times took its toll on Arsenal’s games as well as the low mentality of the squad but one of the key reasons why Arsenal struggled last season was due to lack of quality in some certain positions in the squad.

Arsene Wenger was quick to acknowledgement that his lack of transfer activity played a role and he promised that he was going to address the issue. From the start of June till today being the last day for any transfer activity, so many deals have been made and players have moved in and out of Arsenal.

Here’s my take of the analysis of Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer with an in-depth look on arrivals and departures.

While reading on, please feel free to vote on the polls I’ve created for the Gunners because your votes will be used in the season preview I’ll write at the end of the season. It will be similar to the 2010/11 Gooner Daily awards  I wrote at the end of last season.

Please, voting ends in a week.



Gael Clichy (sold to Manchester City: £7m)

Gael Clichy came into Arsenal as Ashley Cole’s deputy in 2003 but got his big break when Cole left the club three years later. Clichy started his career as Arsenal’s number one left back in grand style and maintained a consistency that won win a place in the PFA Team of the Year in 2008 but his form waned and injuries became quite synonymous with the player.

At the start of the summer, Clichy was handed a contract to extend his stay at Arsenal but he chose not to sign it so it wasn’t surprising when he was sold to Manchester City after his proposed Liverpool move was broken down.

On the financial side, Arsenal bought him for £250,000 from AS Cannes and sold him for £7m after using him for the best part of eight years.

Transfer Rating: 8/10


Denilson Perreira Neves (loaned out to Sao Paulo)

This lad arrived at Arsenal in 2006 as the next best thing but he couldn’t stand up and be counted when he was needed instead he chose to raise the white flag and has been sent across the Atlantic to play for his previous employers.

Denilson was ever-present in the 2008/09 campaign and averaged over 50 games for Arsenal that season but Wilshere’s emergence limited his chances last season. Instead of stepping his game up any time he was on the pitch, he became more disappointing leaving Wenger with no choice.

He probably feels at home in Brazil so I doubt if he’ll ever wear the Red and White again. Besides, his shirt has been taken by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Transfer Rating: 9/10


Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (sold to Ipswich: £1m)

Jay is a tall bloke was used in several positions on the field of play but he was willing to give his all but he featured sparingly for the club.

However, a move to Ipswich will give the chap a chance to play football week in week out to develop his skills as well as to gain match experience.

Transfer Rating: 10/10


Emmanuel Eboue (sold to Galatasaray: £3.5m)

African cult hero and Arsenal’s favorite farmer, Emmanuel Eboue was the player that literally ended Lauren’s career in Arsenal. In the 2006/07 season, he produced consistent displays for the club but Wenger made a mistake by promoting him to become a winger in the 2007/08 instead of purchasing one to support Aliaksandr Hleb.

With the emergence of Theo Walcott, Eboue was deployed back as a right back for games Sagna needed to rest for but he lost his defensive bearings and was exposed countless times.

A move to Galataasaray is like a breath of fresh air for the Ivorian but times will come this season when we need that ‘dive’ for a free kick or that surge of energy down the right.

Farmer Eboue will surely be missed.

Transfer Rating: 5/10


Armand Traore (sold to Queens Park Rangers)

Armand Traore has been at the fringes at Arsenal for a very long while and it was glaring for all to see that he wasn’t ready to make the step up to challenge for a first team place.

He was sent on loan to Portsmouth, Juventus and Benfica to gain match fitness and experience but it was not enough. A move to Queens Park Rangers would mean that there’ll be space for other players to be registered because the Premier League’s 25-man squad list still stands.

Transfer Rating: 8/10


Carlos Vela (loaned out to Real Sociedad)

This Mexican has definitely been on Wenger’s good books and the manager believes that Carlos Vela has the potential to lead the line in the foreseeable future but he’s not ready to challenge for a place in the team.

Vela has been sent on loan to a series of club’s and the move to a club like Real Sociedad would mean that Vela might be guaranteed of a place on the team week in week out.

I hope that he’ll come back a stronger player next season.

Transfer Rating: 8/10


Samir Nasri (sold to Manchester City: £25m)

Samir Nasri played for three seasons at Arsenal but produced his best performances last season. He had a year left on his deal so Arsenal was left with two possible options; awarding him with a new contract or selling him to another team.

The club offered him a contract but he chose not to sign it and after a long summer of speculation, he made a £25m move to Manchester City.

For a player that had a year left on his deal, £25m was an astronomical price.

Transfer Rating: 10/10


Francesc Fabregas (sold to Barcelona: £40m {subject to clauses})

Arsenal had just three months to hold onto its prized asset from the clutches of Barcelona but Wenger didn’t do enough to hold the fort. Fabregas also wanted to leave the club to Barcelona but Wenger should have convinced him by showing his ambition to buy players that Juan Mata amongst others.

It was so bad that it got to the level were Fabregas had to play a major role in his move to Barcelona because Barcelona could not afford to pay for the entire deal.

I regard Fabregas’ transfer to Barcelona as a major disappointment because of the way it was handled. Barcelona disrespected the club times without number and they didn’t even have the funds for a player that had five years left on his deal.

With Fabregas gone, Arsenal has clearly struggled in midfield but some signings might be made today to fill the void.



Carl Jenkinson (bought from Charlton: £1m)

Sagna has been a devoted servant to Arsenal since his arrival in 2007 and he has done extremely well to maintain his consistency and fitness but with every season offering each club an average of over 60 games, Wenger had to get a player to provide adequate back up for the French man but the manager reverted to youth.

Jenkinson is an inexperienced bloke that still has a lot to learn and he hasn’t done too badly in the games he played so far.

Transfer Rating: 4/10


Gervinho (bought from Lille: £11m)

Gervinho arrived in North London on the end of a fresh League and Cup double win with LOSC Lille Metropole and eager to prove himself in the world stage. Gervinho’s debut at Arsenal was marred by the red card he received after a bust up with the volatile Joey Barton but he was in inspirational form in both legs against Udinese.

He’s definitely going to be a massive hit at Arsenal and he has done enough to show everyone that he’ll definitely be selected above Arshavin as the season progresses.

Transfer Rating: 8/10


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (bought from Southampton: £12m)

Arsene Wenger is a manager that has been renowned for his French influx of players as well as his immeasurable faith in youth.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (or the Chambered Ox as I prefer calling) is a young prospect that wowed the Southampton fans with his style of play that involved his injection of high pace. Wenger has been a long time admirer of the player so it was no surprise when he made his move for him.

In my opinion, £12m is too much for a relatively untested winger but Wenger knows best.

Transfer Rating: 5/10


Ryo Miyaichi (bought after successful trial)

Ryodinho was very impressive in his trial last season so he was handed a contract by Arsenal but he couldn’t play because o f work permit issues so he was loaned out to Feyernoord.

This summer Arsenal applied for a work permit for the chap and it was granted through the ‘exceptional talent’ clause. Miyaichi was very impressive in preseason but he hasn’t made his Arsenal debut yet but I’m sure that he’ll be used as Arsenal’s ace from the bench this season.

Transfer Rating: 8/10


Andre Santos (bought from Fenerbahce: £6.2m)

Clichy’s departure to Manchester City sent a clear to Wenger that a new left back was needed but the boss decided to stick with Kieran Gibbs and Armand Traore. Gibbs played in Arsenal’s opening game against Newcastle and got injured.

This forced Wenger to play Sagna out of position for the games against Liverpool and Udinese. After witnessing Arsenal’s horror outing against Manchester United, Wenger delved into the transfer market to get players and Andre Santos was one of those acquisitions.

Signing Andre Santos is a good move for Arsenal because he’s an experienced individual and a very decent left back.

Transfer Rating: 7/10


Per Mertesacker (bought from Werder Bremen: £7m)

Per Mertesacker has been under Arsenal’s radar for ages and Wenger has finally found the partner for Thomas Vermaelen that the fans needed. Gary Cahill was everyone’s favorite to make the move but Bolton’s overhyped price for the player made the move impossible.

Mertesacker’s height will be a major plus for Arsenal, attacking wise and defensively because he’ll be an effective target during set pieces.

Besides, the Arsenal fans have been craving for a defensive signing and it seems as if Per is the man.

Transfer Rating: 9/10


Park Chu Young (bought from Monaco: £3m)

The captain of Korea Republic was already having a medical with LOSC Lille Metropole before flying to London for another medical with Arsenal and he has already been unveiled as an Arsenal player to wear the fabled No. 9 jersey.

A jersey that had been worn by Sukor, Jeffers, Reyes, Baptista and Eduardo; these players turned out to have “issues”. Park didn’t really have an excellent goal scoring record in Monaco (26 goals in 91 matches) but he’ll provide competition for Chamakh.

Transfer Rating: 6/10


Yossi Benayoun (loaned from Chelsea)

Benayoun featured sparingly for Chelsea last season but injury also took its toll on the Isreali international.

It had been reported that Benayoun would be included in an offer from the Blues for Spurs playmaker Luka Modric and Newcastle have also been linked with the Israel captain, but Arsenal emerged as the frontrunners for his signature and completed the deal before the transfer deadline.

Benayoun has announced his arrival to Arsenal on Twitter and will definitely be a good signing for the club. If he does well enough, Wenger might make the deal permanent.

Transfer Rating: 7/10


Mikel Arteta (bought from Everton:  £10m)

Mikel Arteta started out as a trainee with FC Barcelona in 1999 but could not break his way into the first team and was eventually loaned to Paris Saint-Germain in the French league for two seasons.

He was then signed by Scottish Premier League giants Rangers with whom he would win the domestic treble of the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup in the season of 2002–03.

After success in Scotland moved to back to Spain to play for Real Sociedad but failed to establish himself within the first team and was loaned to Everton for the remainder of the 2004–05 season. He would then sign a permanent transfer.

In Everton, Arteta became a household name and amassed 161 appearances and 27 league goals in six years at the club.

He recently joined Arsenal in a late transfer deadline deal

Transfer Rating: 8/10


It has been a grueling three months this summer and I’m glad to write that we can focus solely on football.

With the players that have gone and the players that have replaced them, Arsenal is definitely ready to put up a title challenge but one tends to wonder why Wenger waited this long before making all this moves happen.

Thanks for your votes.


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