It’s been suggested that Arsenal are readying themselves to make a bid in the January transfer window to tighten up their defense, which is freely leaking goals.
Over the last few seasons supporters have been reminded that Arsenal don’t participate in the less productive transfer period but their current plight has almost made urgent action inevitable.
Director of Football Raul Sanllehi said,
“I don’t believe much in the winter window. There are exceptions. But if you have the right planification (?) in the summer and the team are performing at the level you expect, you should not go to that window or try to avoid it. It’s there for emergencies, a big injury or if something is really not working and you need to recover there. I give much more importance to the summer windows.”
Well that’s at least two boxes ticked from Raul’s list of reasons why Arsenal will indeed be active in January. Firstly, they aren’t performing to the expected level and secondly, it is an emergency defensively.
As I said in a recent blog, Arsenal tended to completely ignore their defensive deficits after securing the injured Kieran Tierney and the absent William Saliba. They needed to get a strong central defender that could lead the backline and failed miserably.
David Luiz, a last minute purchase in the summer, was not the answer and now with every premiership team feasting on a fragile defence, the penny has finally dropped.
Arsenal had so many opportunities in the summer to make good but chose the ostrich approach of hiding away from reality and making do for another season in the hope of success.
On the evidence of Emery’s first season, it looked likely. He got Arsenal to the Europa league final and missed champions league qualification by a single point.
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Yet, Arsenal crumbled towards the end of the domestic programme and all the signs were there that action needed to be taken. Not just a temporary fix but a long term solution to an age old problem that has continued to hinder two managers.
So who can Arsenal get to plug the hole ? Juventus’ Merih Demira, Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig, Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, Villarreal center-back Pau Torres or Martin Hinteregger of Eintracht Frankfurt, would certainly up the quality whilst providing poise and class.
Depending on your pick from that group of names, Arsenal could expect to pay anything from £22m up to £50m but that would be nothing compared to losing out on champions league football for another season or so.
Dress it up how you like but the revolution hasn’t started at Arsenal because there are too many areas that need work. Emery needs a combative/creative playmaker, either in one player or two. He needs to find that solid defense and also needs to settle on a holding midfielder, whether that be Torreira or someone else.
There are question marks hanging over a number of players such as Mustafi, Torreira, Xhaka and Aubameyang and Arsenal need to resolve their respective futures quickly,
Expect departures but don’t rule out an arrival or two if a deal can be done, It may be similar to the ‘Argos’ style Pepe deal which is an installment transfer plan. However it’s done, Arsenal can’t afford to ignore the obvious for another season.