By Walter Broeckx
Ah that lovely sound of the window that slams shut. I love it. Because then finally we can be sure that we will get rid of all those silly rumours that are being spouted 25 hours a day. Well… for a week or so because as I will go on a holiday with my wife for fourteen days I am sure that when I return there will be the same old rumours once again filling the internet. But at least we then can ignore them completely.
So how has this transfer window been for Arsenal so far? (I write this on deadline day so anything can still happen). Let me give my take on the ins and (possible) outs this summer.
Let us start with the ins: Holding, Xhaka, Asano, Pérez, Mustafi.
The first thing we notice is that we will no longer have to hear the (false) “bought no outfield player” sentence. Maybe the moaners will moan we bought no keeper this summer? Anyway that can be put to bed now.
Holding: a young central defender who can also play right back bought for a reported fee of £2M. Having seen him play 3 PL matches I am very amazed by this player. It’s early days and anything can happen but he sure seems to be cut from the right wood as the idiom in my mother language goes. Is it tree in English? [Nearest we have Walter is “cut from the same cloth as…” and then you put your comparative at the end.]
Anyway, he looks a complete defender that under the guidance of our more experienced central defenders like Kos, and can grow and become one of the central defenders for the next 10 years or so. Or even more. I hope he does anyway.
To stay in that department I will talk about Mustafi now. Some people questioned the fact that Mustafi as the big buy might hinder the development of Holding. I think it might just help him. Having Kos and Mustafi as his teachers he might learn a few things. And as both Kos and Per are ageing and the latter probably might be doing his last season at Arsenal the future might be Mustafi and Holding. Mustafi who is 24 and has already been crowned as world champion and so has seen a few things in football might also be around for the next 8 years.
So buying both Holding and Mustafi might have been the answer to our central defender partnership for the next decade. IF and that is always a big IF, they perform as we hope they do.
Xhaka is the other high profile signing we made. And after the ridicule he got from the “last 5 minute memory” people after the Liverpool game he has since then stepped up. Yes his first appearance against Liverpool wasn’t the best performance. And that is the reason why Wenger didn’t play him from the start I think. Wenger knew that Xhaka had come later than the rest and wasn’t in top form yet. So he started with Coquelin who had been in training from the first day.
And as Xhaka had to adapt to a new league it was very wise for Wenger to give him a few minutes to give the feel before throwing him before the lions. His display at Watford showed what Xhaka can bring. His long passing from behind is great and he can start attacks quicker than Coquelin usually does. Coquelin is great at taking the ball away but then usually gives it to Santi or Özil. Now if Xhaka sees an opening up front he can surpass that and play it high in the first place.
Xhaka is a strong player when it comes to defending but he also brings much more to the offensive than Coquelin does. But on the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them on the pitch in some matches.
With Pérez we bought another striker/winger. He has played in both positions in the past but only since the last season has he been played as a real striker at Deportive La Coruna. His home team, his favourite team. He is a Depor man. At 27 he is one of the oldest strikers Wenger has bought.
He had a good season in La Liga where he scored lots of goals for a team that just managed to stay in the top division mostly thanks to his goals and assists. Hard working and fast is what people say about him. And he also has a good eye for the teammate in a good position. I think he might be a slightly different version of Podolski.
One of the things that drove me nuts with Podolski was that at times he didn’t go forward enough but held up the play. Okay not losing the ball if important but he overdid it at times (imo). He was deadly and I always said: when Lukas is on fire, then Arsenal is on fire. Now we have a new Lucas and I hope he will bring more directness to our attacks than Podolski (who I still love by the way) did.
On the outs so far we have Arteta, Rosicky, and Flamini who have been gone for a while now.
Arteta played in 9 PL matches, Rosicky didn’t start in the PL, Flamini played in 16 PL matches. So the 3 of them played (not started!) in 27 matches. I think with Xhaka and Elneny we have sufficient players to cover that and who have much younger legs.
The rumour is that Jack Wilshere might go on loan for the season. I hope he goes to Italy or Spain where refs might be more strict and where he will not get kicked to pieces by the cloggers in the PL. That might help his career a lot. Wilshere only played a part in 3 matches last season so again he was not a main player at Arsenal for now.
Campbell is also out on loan and he played 19 in matches last season. So he was more a part time player. I think Pérez will cover that number of matches easily.
For those who say that I missed Asano. Yes but so have we. As he didn’t got a work permit he is loaned to VFB Stutgart and will play there for the season. I wish him well and hope he set the 2nd Bundesliga on fire with his pace and finishing.
So all in all I think the team has become stronger and more balanced with the players we bought.
Arsenal has been spending the f*cking money despite the moaners saying we wouldn’t do it. But now the new moan has already started that we should have bought other players… unbelievable those moaners…. They must have their moan of the day or else they might feel happy and that is something they will not allow themselves or us.
Let the real season begin after the international break. And the answer to my question is : yes.
- Arsenal transfer shock; somewhere within there is reality but fat lady is missing
- Waste Makers: how Planned Obsolescence entered the world of football.
- More indicators that Arsenal are going to buy another player before tomorrow’s deadline
- Wenger hints at one more big transfer before the end of the Window.
- Great Arsenal Transfer Index (28 Aug) reaches 111 players we are signing, with no apologies for errors to be seen
- Arsenal 25 Man Senior Squad – Update. A hint of more to come but with one in, two out.
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