Lessons Learned from Arsenal’s Transfer Activity this Summer
The summer transfer window in the English Premier League has seen many teams strengthen their squads with a lot of talent from different parts pf the globe and it’s quite awkward to know that the juggernauts of the League preferred to invest in talent from abroad rather than purchasing from a fellow Premier League team with the exception of Manchester United, that signed Marouane Fellani on transfer deadline day.
Manchester City invested close to £100m bringing in some prolific La Liga players while Chelsea did some business bringing in a host of players from other footballing cultures. Everybody knows about the biggest spenders in the League, Tottenham, that splurged £109m to sign a host of players with the imminent departure of their prized asset, Gareth Bale. When it seemed as if Manchester United were set to go on with the season without any major signing, their gaffer, decided to renew ties with one of his previous employees.
Arsenal on the other hand, did its own fair share of transfer business and the fans that were extremely frustrated after the opening day loss to Aston VIlla are currently over the Moon following the acquisition of one of Europe’s finest talents.
As we brace ourselves for the season ahead, I felt it was high time we looked back at the summer to review some of the lessons learned from Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer.
The Club was very Ruthless in Clearing Out its Deadwood
Last season, there were some players that collected their weekly wages and offered little or no contribution to the team’s cause. Arsene Wenger had a core squad to work with but there were some players that weren’t part of the club’s plans for more reasons than one but this summer, Arsenal surprisingly showed no mercy to some players as some contracts were failed to be renewed while others were rescinded.
At this point in time, Arsenal is without the services of Andrey Arshavin and Sebastien Squillaci after the club decided not to renew their deals as they were old hags that offered little or nothing on the pitch. The club also cut its losses and unanimously decided to terminate the contracts of Denilson, Andre Santos and Marouane Chamakh thereby allowing them to join the new clubs as free agents.
Johan Djourou, Francis Coquelin and Iggy Miquel were flushed out on loan and one can only imagine that their futures probably lie elsewhere outside the Emirates. Some youngsters were also flushed out as well.
With all this in mind, it’s fair to say that Arsenal was very ruthless in clearing out its deadwood this summer.
Some Targets Missed Weren’t Worth their Inflated Prices
Arsenal was linked with a host of players that would have improved the team in all ramifications but some targets were missed because both parties failed to reach a valuation for the player in mention.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for Real Sociedad’s upcoming holding midfielder, Asier Illarramendi. The Spanish outfit evaluated their star player in excess of £30m and as you would expect, the Gunners pulled the plug. Still sticking with the midfield, the Gunners made a bid of £10m for Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, but the offer was rejected as the Newcastle hierarchy set a price tag of £20m for the French midfielder.
In attack, the Gunners made several bids in the region of £22.5m to £25m for Real Madrid’s want-away striker, Gonzalo Higuain, but he ended up going to SSC Napoli for £34m. Then of course, there was the much-publicized £40,000,001 bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez that set tempers flaring at Anfield as the protracted saga ended up being fruitless, as the player remained in Anfield.
Prior to the big-money deadline day capture of You-Know-Who, fingers were pointed at Arsenal for not spending any money.
It’s not as if they didn’t try, but some missed targets weren’t worth their inflated prices.
Some of the Best Things in Life are Free
The fans craved desperately for a marquee signing in attack, but the Gunners swooped for a relatively unknown French forward that was representing his nation in the Under-20 World Cup. The fans were “understandably” unhappy as they expected the club to sign a player that would at least give Olivier Giroud a run for his money.
The fans also expected to see the likes of Lars Bender, Marouane Fellaini or Luiz Gustavo but Arsene Wenger killed a fatted calf for his prodigal son, Mathieu Flamini, and these fans groaned and gnashed their teeth.
Enter the North London Derby and a stomach bug for Jack Wilshere handed Wenger the opportunity to send his beast into the field and boy, did we get a performance from Flamini, He gave his players instructions, dominated the midfield, made some vital interceptions and even got a customary yellow card as the tenacious defensive midfielder showed Arsenal what they were missing since the days of Alex Song.
The same fans that wanted a Fellaini, Bender or Gustavo are now happy that at least, they have them a Flamini that will definitely make his presence felt in every game they play.
Some of the best things in life are free.
Arsenal Spend When They Want
“We spend when we want, we spend when we want! Arsenal football club, we spend when we want.”
For those that didn’t know, Arsenal’s transfer record fee was £15m from the acquisition of the Russian magician, Andrey Arshavin, following a protracted saga with Zenit St. Petersburg. This summer, Arsenal made some bids that shattered the record to bits as the £40,000,001 was close to three times the amount Arsenal paid for Arshavin.
Even though the Gunners ended pup missing out on Suarez, the transfer record was shattered to a thousand pieces when the club signed Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil for a whooping £42.5m, which is now the second record transfer in the Premier League after Fernando Torres’ £50m move to Chelsea.
This move has got the fans buzzing and pictures of Ozil wearing the kit has spread like wildfire in various social networking platforms,
Arsenal fans are now looking forward to seeing their No. 11 strut his stuff against Sunderland next week but his acquisition clearly shows that Arsenal spend when they want.
To vote for Gooner Daily for the 2013 OYAA award of Best Online Media for Sport, please click here.
You can download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button