Arsenal Transfer: Arsenal’s lack of summer reinforcements making fans worry about Champions League qualification. A Disastrous transfer window means Arsenal have not learnt anything from their past experience and the fans are not at all impressed.
Disastrous Arsenal Transfer Window Signalling Top 4 Exit?
Vital reminder for everyone, the Summer Transfer Window will be closed in 7 days. Which means after 7 days, no team will be able to add/sell/loan any players to their club. Especially Arsenal, who are yet to sign a centre-back after long-term injuries to primary choices Mertesacker and Gabriel during the pre season. Probably they need another world class striker. But looking at the time and conditions, even landing a good centre back will mean the world to their fans.
1. The infamous world class striker issue
You might be thinking that they really would have done no transfers whatsoever. That is wrong, because they did sign a very good holding midfielder in Granit Xhaka, that too 2 months ago. This definitely can be the answer to their lack of physicality in the midfield. But, this wasn’t the one and only requirement for reinforcing their squad. Arsenal are still searching a world class striker since Robin Van Persie’s departure. They did try to sign Jamie Vardy this summer, but nothing materialised. Vardy declined Arsenal Transfer and signed a new contract at Leicester.
Whereas on the other side, Lyon striker Alexander Lacazette declared in public that he would be willing to leave his current club for significant transfer price, Arsenal board has been reluctant to “break the bank” for him. Verdict : Lyon decides to keep him for another season. So for now, they are only left with Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez (as Olivier Giroud returned late from holidays). Conditions got much worse when Arsenal were forced to play Sanchez as the lone striker, which really hasn’t worked out so far.
2. Defensive crisis means centre back needs desperate
About centre backs, at the beginning of summer transfer window, fans believed that a good centre back who can partner Laurent Koscielny will just be enough for improving their defence significantly. Reason: Koscielny’s older partner Per Mertesacker is getting more older (and slower). And other option Gabriel Paulista’s inconsistent performances weren’t helping the defence either. Even if Wenger thought that they will suffice with the two anyhow, he received a big blow when Per Mertesacker got sidelined for 5 months and Gabriel for 2 months just a week before their season opener.
That, coupled with Laurent Koscielny enjoying a month long holiday, leaves only 19-year old Calum Chambers as the only ‘senior’ defender. In between, they did sign the 20-year old ‘promising’ Rob Holding. But you wouldn’t want to go into season opening with two youngsters, right? Well, Arsenal tried that experiment and got a severe bruise by conceding 4 goals at their home stadium against Liverpool. And they needed Koscielny who had just a week training to save a point against champions Leicester.
3. Great Mustafi transfer saga having a similar “Vardy” outcome
There was a hot topic which was constantly making the headlines – Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal. The 24 years old, technical ball playing player, just had a good individual season and also featured in German’s national team. Stats mention that he made more clearances than any defender (barring some top notches from top 3 teams). Sounds like that’s what Arsenal really need. The player reportedly agreed on personal terms with Arsenal, the only stumbling block was agreeing a significant ‘fee’.
This was only because, in a world where everyone is going for huge chunks of transfer fees. Earlier, Valencia were willing to let go of him for 30 million pounds despite having a 42 million pounds release clause for FFP reasons. Arsene Wenger did not get a deal agreed on with the club. And now, the situation got much worse with Valencia manager declaring him ‘not for sale’ (of course unless they get just 43 million, not more). But Wenger still hopes that he will get him before the deadline day, or at least what he responded to media. You better be sure this time Wenger.
4. Heading to a Top 4 Drop?
Summing up, it seems clear Arsenal already had a disastrous transfer window after facing rejections and failed negotiations. And there is a genuine fear among experts and fans that they might lose out on top 4. Not because only they haven’t solved their problems, but their rivals Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, even Spurs and Everton have reinforced their teams by spending huge huge loads of money. Because they simply had to. The reluctance for doing so could simply turn out against Arsenal. Fortunately, they have been enjoying top 4 for past 20 seasons qualifying for Champions League every time. But the influx of world-class managers in rival teams reinforcing their squads does give a scary look to Arsenal fans dropping out of top 4. And probably giving a signal regarding the end of Arsene Wenger era. Will they hold it out this time again?