The winter transfer window is finally over and in many respects it’s just a continuation of historic failure for Arsenal.
Yes, both are useful players and they could do a decent job for Arsenal’s perpetually misshapen and hapless defence, but two loan deals says a lot about Arsenal and how those in charge aren’t totally convinced by Arteta or the prospect and expense of the inevitable rebuilding process that lay ahead.
Rather than seek the definitive partner for the incoming William Saliba, they have looked at ways of delaying a sizeable bid for a quality centre back.
For anyone expecting my usual wafty analogy, let me just say that once all the breakfast bowls are broken, there doesn’t seem much point in putting the breakfast cereal on a plate.
Arsenal should have stretched themselves to find the player they wanted, rather than two players who could simply fill the void.
Yet for anyone tuning in to Sky Sports news or looking on the internet for the latest transfer gossip, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that Arsenal were slow to react to the defensive crisis and coincidence or not, they only appeared to act once Shkodran Mustafi was injured.
It says a lot about the appeal of teams like Arsenal and Manchester, that both now fail to attract the big names on the football stage.
Arsenal failed to land Bruno Guimaraes and although United finally got Bruno Fernandes, they struggled to convince him that it was his first port of call.
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One suspects he was collected by four masked men and thrown in the back of a van, rushed to the airport and jettisoned onto the tarmac of a wet Manchester airport.
The only bonus of this injury plagued season at the back is the emergence of Bukayo Saka as the go to left back in an emergency.
It’s too early to say that he is a genuine option in the position or that he’s the next Ashley Cole but I think his Arsenal career is all but guaranteed.
Sometimes these situations create what is termed a “ Happy Accident “ and if I’m honest, I’d rather not have found out how adaptable and professional the young player was but I suspect Arteta has big plans for the young man.
As for the summer, don’t anticipate anything on the scale of 2019’s spendathon. I suspect one or two additions but I’ve no idea if Arsenal will still be borrowing from the bench warmers enclosure or queuing for the star player tent.