Arsenal have started early with their transfer business, signing Granit Xhana from German side Borussia Monchengladbach for around £25 million, which could rise to £35 million depending on various add-ons, etc.
Just like the signing of Mohamed Elneny, it is another uninspired acquisition. Like the Egyptian I have no doubt he is probably a decent player but it smacks of hypocrisy from Arsene Wenger. After years and years of not signing players, using the excuse that he would only add players of “top, top quality”, Arsene has signed two players who, let’s be honest, no-one had really heard of before joining Arsenal.
Of course, just because they’re not a well-known name doesn’t mean they’re not good, but by the same token an established name is just that because they have a reputation of performing at the highest level. Elneny and Xhana don’t strike me as the “top, top quality” Arsene keeps on harping on about.
Unlike most Arsenal fans I’m not afraid to admit (like when Elneny arrived) that I’d never heard of Xhana. And why would I? He comes from a mid-level team from Germany, so unless you’re a German football enthusiast then you wouldn’t have heard of him either.
Both Elneny and Xhana weren’t cheap either, costing a combined £40 million (and that’s a conservative figure). We have money in the bank to strengthen the squad but why not buy established talent?
Midfield is probably the one area we are well-stocked and Elneny and Xhana are probably more likely reserves to players like Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere and Coquelin – replacing the outgoing Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky. Much more important to strengthening the squad would be signing a couple of central defenders and a striker who can actually score on a regular basis.
Unless Arsenal make some real top signings this summer, we are going to struggle badly next season.