At the end of last season it was clear that Arsenal needed to improve on many aspects, one of them being squad depth. Not having enough squad players whilst also failing to sign anyone in the January window left Arsenal short at the business end of last season which saw them miss out on Champions League qualification. Now that the Summer Transfer Window has shut, we can finally make an assessment of whether Arsenal have filled in those gaps that they failed to do in January.
It is fairly clear that the project at Arsenal is currently focused on bringing in talented young players in the hopes of moulding them into top elite performers who have the potential of getting into the first team. This summer Arsenal recruited 19 year old Marquinhos who plays as a right sided winger. Marquinhos joined Arsenal from Sao Paulo on July 1st 2022, where he stood out from the rest, forcing Edu to sign the teenager. Currently Marquinhos is playing at PL2 level with Arsenal’s U21 team and in the 3 starts he has made for the u21’s has scored 3 goals and assisted one. With injuries mounting for Arsenal’s first team, Marquinhos may be called up to the first team a little earlier than expected.
However, one of the key issues which needed addressing this transfer window was depth and quality within the midfield area. The club’s solution was Porto’s Fábio Vieira who signed without anyone hearing about the deal. Fábio Vieira is a 22-year-old attacking midfielder, and during his time at Porto, Vieira made 54 appearances in Liga Portugal, scoring 8 goals and assisting 16 throughout his time at Porto. Vieira’s versatility in terms of positioning made him a good target for the club, as he can play anywhere in midfield, out wide and has even had experience as a striker. This was a very encouraging signing because Arsenal had been crying out for a creative midfielder for most of last season despite having Odegaard. With the stats that Fábio Vieira possesses, the money that Arsenal spent on him (£31M) is justifiable.
Moving on to departures, during this summer transfer window we lost our number 9, Alexandre Lacazette who signed for Arsenal in 2017 and spent almost 6 years at the club, during his time, Lacazette made 206 appearances for the club, scoring 71 goals and grabbing 36 assists. He left Arsenal for his former club Olympique Lyon where previously he had made 279 appearances scoring 131 goals and getting 44 assists. Inevitably, Lacazettes departure meant Arsenal had to find another striker.
In comes Gabriel Jesus, the 25 year old from Brazil who was playing for Premier League Champions, Manchester City. Gabriel clearly felt like he wasn’t being utilised enough at Manchester City, especially with the arrival of Erling Haaland. Even prior to his arrival Jesus wasn’t playing in his favoured position as a striker, he was instead being played out wide which he didn’t fancy. Arsenal signed Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City on July 4th 2022, for a fee of £45m and signed a 5 year contract until 2027. During his time at Manchester City, Jesus made 236 appearances for the club and scored 95 goals, getting 46 assists as well.
The next issue that needed to be resolved was the left back position. As Arsenal fans are well aware, Kieran Tierney has suffered his fair share of injuries, so during this transfer window the club needed to sign someone who could challenge Tierney at left back. In comes another Manchester City player, Oleksandr Zinchenko. Oleksandr seemed an attractive proposition – purely down to the fact that he is so versatile and can cover a variety of different positions as well as Left Back. During his time at Manchester City he made 128 appearances scoring 2 goals and getting 12 assists. Zinchenko was also another one who fell out of favour at Manchester City so the move to Arsenal seemed a be an attractive one. Arsenal paid a mild £30m – which is a very good price for somebody as talented and as versatile as he is.
Of course during this window the signings of goalkeeper Matt Turner and centre back Auston Trusty were also announced after agreeing deals back in the January window, however Trusty was sent straight on loan to Birmingham City for a year long loan. Matt Turner on the other hand deputises on our number 1, Aaron Ramsdale.
Transfer Deadline Day then came around, and it was obvious to many that Arsenal were short in a few positions, however the priority for Arsenal seemed to be in the defensive midfield area. Following successive injuries to Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny, a few rumours started to circulate that Arsenal would make a deadline day signing. Starting with reports of Arsenal showing interest in Danilo Dos Santon de Oliveira – Danilo, who is a 21 year old midfielder for Brazilian club Palmeiras. However, reports suggested that Palmeiras were reluctant to let him go before January so eventually reports of Arsenals interest in him slowly faded.
Throughout the entirety of the transfer window, it was also reported that Youri Tielemans was a long term target, but Arsenal never followed up their interest. Finally on transfer deadline day Arsenal went for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz who was another player who has been linked to the club for at least 6-9 months. 3 bids went in for the midfielder, however salty Villa were reluctant to sell, and having spent the entire transfer window dealing mainly with outgoings it left Arsenal with little time to bring in a defensive midfielder that they so desperately needed. With the fixture list being as congested as it is in the lead up to the world cup and next transfer window, it remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal can cope with a smaller squad.
Gabriel Jesus – Gabriel Jesus joined Arsenal from Manchester City for £45m.
Oleksandr Zinchenko –Joined Arsenal from Manchester City for £30m.
Fábio Vieira – Joined Arsenal from FC Porto for £30m + add ons.
Matt Turner – Originally Joined Arsenal in the January transfer window from New England however it was made official during the summer transfer window, Arsenal paid £6m + add ons for the goalkeeper.
Marquinhos – Joined Arsenal from Sao Paulo for £3m.
Matteo Guendouzi – Left to go to Marseille after previously spending a years loan with them left for a fee of £8m+ add ons
Lucas Torreria – Left for Turkish Club Galatasaray in the Super Lig for a total of £5m
Bernd Leno – Left to go to Premier League Club Fulham for a fee of £8m
Konstantinos Mavropanos – left to go to Bundesliga team VfB Stuttgart for a fee of £2.7m as the clause of obligation to buy was met.
Hector Bellerin – after 11 years of service Bellerin left Arsenal on a free transfer to LaLiga side Barcelona
Alexandre Lacazette – Left the club to go to Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon on a free transfer.
Nicolas Pepe – Arsenal’s record signing left Arsenal on loan to go to Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.
Nuno Tavares – Left the club on loan to go to Ligue 1 team Marseille.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Left the club on deadline day to go to Premier League side Southampton on a loan with option to buy.
Pablo Mari – Left the Cluib on Loan to go to Serie A side Monza on loan with obligation to buy if Monza stay ins Serie A
Auston Trusty – Left Arsenal on loan to join Championship side Birmingham City on loan.
Runar Alex Runarsson – Left Arsenal on loan to join Super Lig Turkish side Alanyaspor.
Written by: Chelsey @ChelseyAFC