A Transfer Window Round-Up

So, another transfer window has passed and we’re now going to have to stick with what we’ve got for the rest of the season.

Personally, I didn’t see January turning out the way it has. We’ve made 3 signings and let 3 players leave (who I’ll look at in a moment), Man Utd have only signed one player, and Chelsea have stayed as they are. So in effect, nothing’s really changed at the top!

I have to say, I was expecting Wenger to bring in a few players this January, he did it last year with Arshavin and he’s done it before with Walcott,  Adebayor and Diaby. That’s not to say of course that the players who have arrived are the ones I expected! Let’s take a look:

Sol Campbell (35) Free Transfer

Signed after training with the first team for a number of months and obviously impressing Wenger enough to prove that he is still good enough to cut it at the top level. Looks like he will be our 3rd/4th choice CB for the rest of the season, providing back up for Gallas and Vermaelen. Surprised by the signing as Wenger has often made a point about not bringing back old players, but if Wenger thinks he’s up to it then I trust the boss’s judgement.

Wellington Silva (17) £3.5 million

Definitely one for the future. Signed from Brazilian side Fluminense after an impressive trial in 2009, which included scoring 4 in 45 minutes against a Norwich side. Also featured in a behind closed doors game against Dagenham & Redbridge this week, in which he scored 2 and set up 1 in a 3-1 victory. Really does look like Wenger’s done his research on the young striker, and bagged us a real ‘wonder-kid’. Unfortunately he won’t be able to join up with us until January 2011 due to the fact British clubs cannot sign under-18 players from South America.

Samuel Galindo (17) £ Unknown

Reportedly signed from Real America, this youngster can operate on the left side of midfield, or through the middle. Again we will have to wait until January 2011 for him to arrive, when I’d expect him to be shipped out on loan to a Spanish side, a-la Carlos Vela style.

Outgoing was Philippe Senderos to Everton, Jack Wilshere to Bolton and Sanchez Watt to Southend for a month, all on loan. I’m a little surprised to see that Senderos wasn’t sold, he’s been told that he won’t be getting a new contract in the summer so he’s really playing for a transfer at Everton. On the plus side, I suppose it means we WILL be signing a CB in the summer, as I very much doubt that Campbell and Silvestre will be up to the ‘standard’ needed to play second fiddle to Gallas and Vermaelen.

The only other major stories of the transfer window was United stealing Chris Smalling off us, Vieira choosing to go to the Arsenal retirement home at City, and Adam Johnson also moving there, from ‘Boro. I don’t know how much Wenger really wanted Smalling, but it has got me a little annoyed that he’ll be playing at OT next year as supposed to the Emirates. I personally liked the look of him and would’ve been happy to have him as a back up to Gallas and Vermaelen, however at United he may get more playing time if Real Madrid get their way and buy Vidic in the summer.

Now comes the big question. What would you have done differently if you were in Wenger’s shoes?

Well he ‘reportedly’ made a £30 million enquiry about David Villa, something which I don’t believe. We also know that he was interested in Dzeko but he was to expensive, and that Chamakh wouldn’t move until the summer. United obviously beat us to Smalling but was there not anyone else on his radar that could’ve been brought in before 5pm on deadline day? Here’s who I’d have liked:

Asmir Begovic – A quality, young keeper, who if brought in, I think would’ve put Almunia on red alert and made him realise he has to fight for his place, not only with Fabianski, but with another good ‘keeper. At Arsenal there’s only really two ‘keepers who could have the number 1 spot at the moment, and I think they’ve both become a little complacent. Bringing in Begovic would mean there would be increased competition  and that all 3 of them would be fighting for their place. He would also have been a bargain at only £3 from Pompey, instead he’s now at Stoke.

Younes Kaboul - Another player from Pompey, and aged only 24, he’s on the young side. Obviously he played for Spurs previously and has now gone back but is someone I’ve always admired. At 6ft 4, he’s a tall lad and can play in both the defensive midfield position and centre back. Personally I think he’d be a better back up to Song than Denilson is and a good CB if anything was to happen to Gallas or Vermaelen.

Victor Moses – We know Wenger likes to sign young players, so why not Moses? Proven at Championship level so wouldn’t need loaning back out to gain experience, British, and a powerful player. Could potentially have developed fantastically under Arsene Wenger, instead he’s gone to Wigan. I’d expect him to do well here and in a few years can see him moving on once he’s a proven Premier League goalscorer. Wouldn’t have started every game at Arsenal but would again provide good competition, particularly with RvP out for s long.

Come the summer, we probably will sign a couple of players, and everyone will be happy! The only problem this summer being the World Cup. If a player who we’ve been tracking sets the tournament alight, his price is going to sky rocket, and we know that has the potential to put Arsenal off. Anyway, that’s not for another 6 months so lets prove everyone wrong and show that we can win things without spending copious amounts of cash!

Over to the comments now, what did you think of January?

  • Tom Barneby

    Does anyone else find it amusing when Arsenal fans say ‘As far as I can see he doesn’t spend because he’s chronically stubborn and also, I believe, because he’s totally incapable of handling the big egos which often come with the big price tag’? This is from a man who spent £16 million on a player in the last January transfer window and who dealt with Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira and Pires in their primes and kept them all happy? If he were chronically stubborn, he wouldn’t have bought Arshavin and if he couldn’t deal with egos he’d never have been able to control his players at any stage. Could it not be that he genuinely thinks there aren’t any strikers out there who are better than what he has for the money he’d have to spend? Benzema cost £30m, Drogba would cost more than that. Kenwyne Jones is being quoted at £15m! The transfer market is completely mental at the moment and there’s no one available who wouldn’t be fiercely over-priced or cup-tied.

    Arsenal fans (and Liverpool fans) have to realise that were their team to win the title it would be a phenomenal achievement. Man U and Chelsea are streets ahead in terms of quality and wages and most times the team with the highest wage bill wins the league because over 38 games quality will out. Wenger clearly spends the cash when he has it and when he feels it’s useful. You don’t have to spend your entire transfer budget every window. Just because you’ve got it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Investment in facilities, academies, stadium, tours. Arsenal fans seem to want to risk their club (see Portsmouth if you want) for players who might not make the difference.

    On another note entirely, Motson actually lost his mind when Beckham scored against Greece. You could hear it pop. Ever since, he’s been a tried old pastiche of himself, coming out with increasingly useless random facts and making simple errors between players and even teams. Time to take him out back and put him down. With Lawrenson.

  • Richard Buxcey

    What makes the great clubs so great is the fact that they stand for something larger than just winning trophies. I believe Wenger has created a team that not only manages to hold its own in the European elite but also does it not forsaking their values. In a time when the world almost melted down due to financial irresponsibility and greed it’s refreshing and important that any buisness let alone a football team can have a responsible and viable financial philosophy.

    Also looking at Wenger’s sides they have also always showed great work ethic and a admirable dedication to beautiful football. These qualities and values resonate far beyond winning trophies in my mind. I would far rather support a team that stands by its values and never wins a trophy (although thats’ hardly the case in Wenger’s case) than support a team like Chelsea or Real Madrid with plenty of trophies and money but with no underlying philosophy or values. Think about it!

    And what if Arsenal would win a major trophy, what a fantastic message to send the world of football and also the world in general. Values and responsibility count for something!

  • dampatti

    I’m forced into writing again because of the persistence of the ‘Championship Manager’ brigade that continue to bemoan a lack of spending at Arsenal. Let’s go back to a salient fact about last Sunday’s game. It was a collective failure by most of the team, with Almunia, Denilson and Clichy particularly poor. Spending £40 million on any two players you care to mention would not have changed the result on Sunday.

    As for Wenger being too stubborn to spend I think it’s a case of looking for a player that can improve the team at a reasonable price. Why spend money on players that aren’t additive to squad quality? Leave that to Liverpool (cue Scouse outrage).

    The other thing that’s being missed is ‘sustainable business model’ concept. Very few Premier league clubs are self sufficient in the way that Arsenal are. The £700 million debt at Old Trafford has been masked by success – if Utd don’t win anything watch everyone turn on the Glazers (some have already). Even Abramovich has stopped pouring money into Chelsea and so the only club unaffected is Citeh. There’s a very real chance that Portsmouth could cease to exist in the next 12 months, which would be a tragedy. At the very least they are staring at several years in the wilderness.

    I’ll ask a Question today. Which available players would you buy that would ensure winning the league? Any ideas? Thought not…

  • sandip

    I know eulogies to Arsenal’s title credentials are and will be written but before December Arsenal had lost to Chelsea and Man U but were still in contention for the title. This is the first defeat that I feel Arsenal were thoroughly beaten in but then the League is not a mini League.

    Everyone will panic and will ask the top scorers in the league to buy a striker but after Chelsea next weekend Arsenal can start playing the teams they can beat 4-1 until the end of the season, and this means that if the other teams drop points – as they will -Arsenal may still sneak in and win the league.

    Man U last season were not top of the Big 4 league table but they dismantled all the small sides, and all Arsenal need to do is become good Flat track bullies and we can still the league. It’s not satisfactory to lose to the big teams but all I am saying is the League won’t be determined by our perfomance with the 12 points that can be gained or lost in the games with Man U and Chelsea but by beating the rest of the league which Arsenal seem to be currently adept at.

    Gallas and Vermaelen should also shoulder some of the goals we are conceding because they both love attacking so much, that’s how Pienear ran in to score and that how we conceded two goals because our two centre halves love to go forward. If they kept their position the team would not concede some of the counter attack goals we are conceding.

  • francis

    Last season when Man U won only one game against big four opposition (and got tonked 4-0 to Liverpool at home) we were told that games against the big four did not matter and that it was how you performed against the lesser lights. Flash forward a season and Arsenal have won only one game against the big four, and now we are told that it is winning the big games that matter in winning the title. I wish all of you would make up your minds.

    So I urge you to wait until the Chelsea game before saying whether or not Arsenal is out of the title race. It will save you from having to possibly change your minds again.

  • Tm17

    That’s funny devday I asked you about kaboul a
    week ago and you thaught he wasn’t good enough
    and today you have a completely different opinion.

  • Tm17

    tm17 says on January 28th, 2010 at 2:21 pm : 
    Also what about Kaboul Tall french central defender and poverful wouldn t he be a good buy
    devday says on January 28th, 2010 at 4:15 pm : 
    PS, Kaboul is quite a lazy and awkward player – I’d prefer Campbell.

  • AmriGooner

    @ Tm17. The writer of the article today is not devday.
    Will Scott wrote it.
    just to clarify that.

  • Sam

    There’s no money in football. No big signings this window, most deals were loans. We did well not to spend, although we really need a decent GK.

  • Tm17

    Oh sorry my bad
    I thought it was weird

  • vj

    theres a skysports rumour that weve signed stefan Savic

  • Josiah

    guys, i know people have already said this, but i went and had a look for myself, all is not lost if we beat chelsea, due to the fact chelsea and united have hard games coming up.

  • Jeffo

    The point is we all sit in judgement from the comfort of our living rooms around the world on Arsenal’s transfer policy, some people have made very salient points over the past few days especially dampatti, we have an opinion of who we think we should buy and why but really these are just wish lists.

    Does any of us think that with Arsene’s knowledge of football, footballers and the vast wealth of knowledge within our scouting network that we really know better???

    We none of us like to lose especially to manu but as i said a few days ago forget, what is done is done, as todays post states we’ve got 6 months till the next window so lets get behind the players we’ve got stop bloody moaning on and go batter chelski so bad that Terry will be more of an embarrased lump than he currently is. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.

  • http://arsenalandtherandomthoughtsofmylife.blogspot.com/ Debs

    Brilliant article I think you guys ought to read…
    aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/stone-cold-friday-time-for-arsenal-supporters-to-move-on/

  • gooner1

    We are at best now a team capable of challenging for a top 4 place.

    We sacrifice FA (and to a lesser extent Carling) Cups in pursuit of this.

    When we play those who buy freely we can’t keep pace.

    Wenger either needs to join the party and part with some dosh occasionally in order that we might compete with the wasters mentioned above or we should play strong teams in the cup competitions so that at least we can acquire some silverware whilst trying to secure 4th Place.

    With our current system we will never win the league or champions league and it is folly to feel we have a realistic chance of doing so.

    We are trying to do things the right way (and to a certain extent we have succeeded ) and I would be relatively happy if we were landing the FA Cup once in a while.

    Get real Mr Wenger. We admire your principles but we are more than just an also ran team.

    WISE UP!!!!

  • ian tanner

    A highly pertinent question has been asked by all footie fans with North London-affiliations this week: just how many clubs did Oirish midget Robbie Keane support as a lad? First it was Liverpool, now Celtic. Make up yer mind, Robbie dear; not that leaving N17 requires a valid excuse. Still, he arrived in Glasgow in time to get turned over at glamorous Kilmarnock, known affectionately as “Killie” by the Scottish footballing cognoscenti, if that isn’t an oxymoron. He has, in essence, swapped a team 13 points adrift in a meaningful league for one that’s now 10 points adrift in a meaningless one. “Dodgy business,” his ex-boss may conclude.

    But are things really as bad as the majority believe in their ManU post mortems? No-one has stated that we, The Arsenal, have scored the most Premier League goals this season (double Champions League-chasing Villa’s total), and this despite having had only one penalty (Stoke at home at 0-0 in the 2-0 win), which Cesc missed. If we really are so bad, if our team are too small, only play pretty passes with no “end product”, are too one-dimensional, have no Plan B, are full of uncommitted and overpaid journeymen, then how come we’ve hit the onion bag so regularly? And, lest we forget, we’ve had numerous injuries, especially to strikers (and left backs), including the huge loss of Van Persie, who last scored for us in October.

    Our 60 non-penalty goals span just that one measly penalty awarded, a ratio of 60-to-1, obviously. Chelski have scored from five and, from memory, Frankie missed one at Citeh. ManU have scored from four, including Rooney’s theatrical fall-to-ground-before-contact against us at OT, one of five penalties we’ve conceded, four of them scored. So the 24 non-penalty goals conceded imply a 4.8 ratio (24 / 5) at the other end. Think about it: 60 v 4.8 ! These statistics, completely overlooked, represent a chasm; yet in professional sport even wafer-thin margins determine outcomes.

    Win at The Bridge and the despondency will lift, though not dissipate.

    Keep the faith.

  • asad

    people who say we have done brilliant this season r tossers and r examples of people that have been brainwashed by wengers comments. it is retards like these people who r goin to see our club drop off. THE TOP FOUR IS NOT GUD ENOUGH AND WE R GRADUALLY LOWERING OUR STANDARDS. SOON EUROPE WILL BE A GUD ACHIEVMENT.THIS IS AFC WE SHUD BE FIGHTING FOR THE TREBLE AND WE CANT EVEN WIN THE CARLING CUP.WE NEED TO SET OUR HOPES HIGHER.THIS IS THE MENTALITY OF TRU WINNERS NOT “WE R DOING GREAT WE MADE THE TOP FOUR”

  • asad

    CONTINUED…People who are saying show faith in this team and Wenger are talking shit, that’s all we have done for the last 5 years and it’s showing no chance of changing. He still wont spend money on proven quality that we need even though he sold Ade and Kolo last year for £41m, he continues to sell atleast one of our best players every year(Henry,Hleb etc)We need a top striker to cover RVP, RVP has never been fit for a whole season and Ade needed replacing, we got no-one, we need cover at centre back and he brings in 35 year old Sol Campbell on a free. He needs to drill Gallas about defending as a priority, not just when he feels like it because half the time he fucks off up front to try and get a goal and we concede on the counter attack, tell him to do what he’s paid for, defending not fucking off upfront and if he doesn’t improve fuck him off in summer and sign Gary Cahill. We need a keeper to replace to dick head in goal who continues to fuck us up in every big game, Shay Given was available for £7m in the summer and Wenger is that tight he wont pay it for a world class keeper who could be the difference in those big games. We’ve waited long enough for his young team to come to fruition and it hasn’t worked, we aren’t far away but until he spends money on a few top quality players we will continue to to be 3rd/4th and get beat in CL at either QF or SF. A good season is winning something so the last 5 years are a failure in my book. Cesc will get sick for this shit just like the fans, playing with average shit like Denilson and crocks who play one miss ten and he’ll be off to Barca and then RVP and AA will follow. We’ll take the money when it’s offered cos we are a money club and that’s what we do, loads in the bank and an empty trophy cabinet.

  • graham

    I have just read a few articles on Theo Walcott and his woes and issues and the thing I notice in every one of them is that they all say Arsenal STRIKER Theo Walcott. Arsenal.com have him down as a striker so why is he still being played out on the wing? He has been with is for 3 and a half years now made 65 starts and 54 sub appearances pretty much all on the wing barring the Eduardo Birmingham match where he played as a striker and scored twice, maybe the odd match or two at other times. Walcott gets a load of grief these days for under performing, not having a football brain, being a sprinter not a footballer etc etc but surely its time he was utilised properly. I know many people talk about the way Henry was “bought up” by Wenger and his wing play which also seemed to be killing his game but are Walcott and Henry the same person? I see the ambition Wenger has for him and see where it looks like he is going with him but how long does Walcott the player need to here the sighs, look at his own performances with a cloud over them and start to think, I know I am a better player than this.. Walcott for me is a commodity that worse than being under used is being incorrectly used and I feel that this use is having a major impact on his game and his confidence. Sadly it takes an injury to Eduardo for us to see what he can do up front but only gets to play there once despite scoring twice.

  • dampatti

    Arsenal cannot afford to blame individual players or positional factions within the team for any on field problems. The team attacks as a unit and defends as a unit. Top scorers yet not top defence shows a complete lack of defensive teamwork. I believe that if we can either promote, improve or bring in the correct box to box midfielder and goal keeper we will have a squads that is capable of the consistency that is required but we will never achieve this with players who do not play their part. When I see players like Denilson tracking back then giving up I shudder, Rosicky and Fabregas do tend to get stuck in and sometimes that’s all you need. They may not even win the tackle but simply to break up play is the idea. Look at Owen Hargreaves, remember him anyone. His greatest attribute to his game when he was fit was his ability to block or stop an attack. I remember watching him in Germany and seeing how he made attacking teams look really stupid as they would be breaking and he would simply kick the ball away from them, get in their way and on occasion make the necessary professional foul. He would not doubt collect bookings but he was great at this. I think we are still missing that type of player, obviously not Hargreaves as I think he is on holiday with Woodgate but a player of that ilk. Song for me is going a good job but he is more box to box whereas Hargreaves type players tend to sit in wait for the counter attack. Personally I still think we could do much worse than push Vermaelen into that position as he he can also pass and hold the ball but we would need a full time centre back replacement as I am not sure Campbell would be up for that I am pretty sure that Silvestre is not up to it. If we defend as a team and keep getting those little blocks and digs in and then have this type of player in waiting I think we could be fine.

  • goonerman

    arshavin has made some silly comments int he press today! saying the team is having big sucess being in 3rd place becuase of the class of the team and he said he couldnt belive how easily clichy was skinned! i think he should be quiet whatever his views may be to be honest it wont please the rest of the team to much!!!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Arshavin needs to pipe down and start thinking about his own performances…especially when the ball is not at his feet. He strolls around the pitch not even making any attempt to track back, but as soon as the ball is nearby he switches on and starts trying.

  • goonerman

    i hoe bendtner comes back and looks good in the Stiker position becuase it like no1 believes he can make a difference but if he plays liek he was before his injury he can be really effective

  • Sam

    Keep the faith. We will finish the season in a better position than everyone thought at the start.
    Win, Lose or Draw, Gooner till I die.

  • Pete

    Chamakh says he wants to join us in the summer.

    skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_5921109,00.html

  • Arsenal fan from malaysia

    A great post, agree for all the young players mentioned. But only for the keeper that i think sergio assenjo should be far more better than begovic~~