So we come to the end of Transfer Deadline Day and now I’ve had time to calm down, I can go through what has gone on and give my thoughts on the whole day.
Before TDD, Arsenal had signed Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac, two players of real quality. Lacazette made the perfect start to his Arsenal career by scoring 2 minutes into his professional debut, and was unlucky to have a goal disallowed in his second game against Stoke after he lashed a shot into the top corner with his left foot. He started the Liverpool game on the bench and we all know what happened that day, but no fault could be attributed to the French striker.
Kolasinac looks like one hell of a player. He bossed it in the Leicester game and assisted Danny Welbeck for his goal. I missed the Stoke game but by all account he is a solid, determined player who gives it his all and will be a real asset to the club. He, like Lacazette, was strangely left on the bench for the Liverpool game.
So onto today. Transfer Deadline Day was always going to important to Arsenal (and the supporters) after the debacle at Anfield on Sunday. All the goodwill Arsene Wenger managed to retrieve after the FA Cup win, and the whole “catalyst for change” rhetoric over the summer gave Arsenal fans some hope. The atmosphere was toxic at times last season, with a lot of fans calling for Wenger Out. But winning a trophy helps and the signs over the close season looked promising – we signed players early, there were new people brought into the coaching team (although I haven’t actually seen Lehmann on the bench yet?) and we were told that we had around £150 million to spend.
£52.8 of that went on Lacazette, and Kolasinac was free. Added to that, we’ve sold several players such as Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel, Gibbs and Szczesny meant we were actually in a £30 million profit.
We also left Lucas Perez go out on loan, as well as Joel Campbell and Carl Jenkinson. We rejected a £20 million bid for Calum Chambers and then we have the saga with Thomas Lemar and Alexis Sanchez.
What is going on at Arsenal?
Our defensive issues have been highlighted in recent times and we have conceded 8 goals in 3 games, the second worst defensive record in the entire league. Yet, we let Gabriel leave (who is a very good central defender), and Mustafi almost left and is apparently out of favour with Arsene Wenger. With defensive issues surely getting rid of centerbacks is counter productive?
With Gabriel’s departure and Mustafi and Mertesacker out of favour, our only real options in central defence are Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal – which is not a central defensive partnership that will be anywhere near competing for the Premier League title. Rob Holding is young, Koscielny is injury prone and Monreal is not a central defender but a full back. Calum Chambers is another player out in the cold so what the hell is going on?
So our defensive issues weren’t addressed on Transfer Deadline Day, and if anything Arsene Wenger wanted to sabotage himself and move on defenders!
Arsene Wenger has no idea as our midfield clearly needs strengthening but we sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who was played as a wing back anyway) and don’t bring in another midfielder.
Then the whole Alexis Sanchez affair.
Look, I like him as a player but it’s clearly not working out. For months and months now he’s been unhappy, chastising his team mates almost on a weekly basis and showing his disappointment and distain for the club on the pitch. He’s a winner surrounded by losers and Arsene Wenger is delusional if he thinks Alexis is going to perform anywhere near his peak this season. Manchester City offered £60 million and anyone with an ounce of common sense would have bitten their arm off. Why turn that down just to let him leave for free in the summer?
I ask you this – has any other “big” club (or even small one for that matter) let a star player leave for nothing before?! Imagine Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani, Lukaku, Pogba or Suarez leaving for free? Are you insane?! The mind boggles it really does!
£60 million for a player who wants to leave and only has 12 months left on his contract? It sums up Arsenal that they couldn’t even get that right and completely cock it up.
And the Thomas Lemar situation is just as sad as it is pathetic. We could have got him weeks ago for about £70 million but our crack team of shit negotiators decide to wait until the last day and offer £92 million. Unfortunately Lemar turned us down and preferred Liverpool, but you wonder if we were really in for him after leaving it so so late.
The more likely explanation is that we went in late knowing fully well that it wouldn’t happen, and the £92 million was a complete red herring. I mean come on, think about it – Arsenal signing a winger for £92 million? Do you know how absurd that actually sounds!
Overall, a terrible Transfer Deadline Day and no encouragement whatsoever that this season is going to get better. No doubt that we’ll get a couple of wins on the bounce and pretend everything is okay, and then lose another game because of our midfield and defensive weaknesses and we will go through all this shit again.