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Arsenal’s signings in 2018/19. How did they do?

By Tony Attwood

With the media awash with nonsense rumours about who Arsenal are going to sign I thought it might be worth looking back at the players we signed last summer and in January.  Here is the table, with the values taken from Transfer Market, although quite how they calculate the market value of the player I am not sure.

Player Age Market value Left Fee
Defensive Midfield
22 £27.00m
Goalkeeper
26 £18.00m
Centre-Back
30 £18.00m
Central Midfield
19 £2.25m
Central Midfield
25 £10.80m
Right-Back
34 £1.35m

So how did these players do?

Torreira I have nothing but praise for.  He is only 22, he works constantly, and all that we saw of him was based on just two seasons playing in the Italian league.  I can only believe he will get better and better, now he is acclimatised to the league, and the way things work here.

Leno I also rate, although I have seem some people dismiss him as just another shot-stopper.  To me, he is far far more than that – at 26 he looks like a keeper who has learned and learned his way through the season.  I’ve already mentioned his fine performance away to Leicester when everything around him seemed to be falling apart, and he can only get better and better.

Plus of course that as a keeper he has quite a few years ahead of him.  I hope he plays quite a few of them out at Arsenal.

Sokratis is one of those players who came with a worry – or at least I was worried – because he had multiple ownership arrangements about him, which were (I thought) not only illegal but (in this case) quite insane.  For three men each owned half his registration rights (honest, that is what the reference sites say).  Gianmarco Zigoni (half of his registration rights, valued at €3.75 million), Nnamdi Oduamadi (half of his rights, valued at €3.5 million) and Rodney Strasser (half of his rights, valued at €2.25 million).  Make of that what you can.

In a whole series of complicated arrangements he went from Genoa to Milan to Genoa, ultimately meaning that Milan had only borrowed the player.  But having gone back to Genoa he didn’t play for them – oh no -he went to Werder Bremen on loan before going to Borussia Dortmund where finally he settled and clocked up 130 league games before coming to Arsenal.

My hope is that all the mess and muddle in his transfer arrangements before this were nothing to do with him, and that he has in effect been the innocent by-stander.   But if he was part of the deals, or is still tied up with the agent who arranged them, then we might well see him going.

He was named as a member of the Europa League’s team of the week twice in the season, and the goal he scored against Wolverhampton was no mean achievement.  I think he’ll grow further into the part he is being asked to play, and may well respond to being settled at a club.

And then we come to Mattéo Guendouzi – the one player this past season I took a look at and immediately said, “Oh wow!”   He was, you may recall, part of the team that thumped PSG.

Here is a guy who had played 21 games in the French second division the previous season, and joined us at the age of 19, and from the moment he started playing in the pre-season games he looked extraordinarily promising.
He works and works, he wants the ball, and what he does with it rarely disappoints.

The transfer fee was said to be £7m plus some extras.  The transfer had all the hall-marks of Mr Wenger – but of course happened after he had left – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Wenger inspired transfer.  He got 31 league games with us and nine Europa games.  Not bad indeed for a youngster from the second division in France.

I don’t think we have to linger too much over Denis Suárez – a loan that simply didn’t work out as the player was injured and there were doubts as to how fit he was.  Loans – and indeed transfers – sometimes work sometimes not.  The aim is not to make them all work, but rather to make most of them work, and this was one that didn’t.

The same can be said of Lichsteiner.  Having cover at right back was not a bad idea especially as Maitland Niles was not deemed ready at the start of the season.  But when Bellerin was injured Lichsteiner did not take over the position as his own  He didn’t seem to look comfortable when he did play, and quite often didn’t.

But it was only a one year contract, so with that out of the way he is no longer on Arsenal’s books.

So three winners in my book.   In the near future I will have a look at some of the youngsters and loanees.

 

13 comments to Arsenal’s signings in 2018/19. How did they do?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I would have to agree with your assessment , Tony , hope they have all gained valuable experience this season , and improve further next season.

  • Gord

    I think the situation at the beginning of the season was a little more involved than you indicate for Maitland-Niles. First game of the season, and someone from Man$ity breaks his leg and not even a foul is given.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    To me,Sokratis performance for Arsenal at CB last season in the PL cannot be said it was more than an average performance he has had for Arsenal. I rate his performance for Arsenal last season as 50% overall. This is because his performance for Arsenal last season in the all 4 competitions he has played in for the club was averaged. And does he even have the requisite full pace very is necessary to have by a CB playing at a top club side of Arsenal FC status?. I will in the pecking order rate him far behind the following CBs of: van Dyke at Liverpool, the retired Vincent Company from Man City, the aging David Louis at Chelsea and presumably, the centreback at Tottenham Hotspur. The club that has beaten us to a top-four place finish in the PL and conceded less goals than Arsenal had conceded last season. Save if the the club finds a better CB than Sokratis is and signs him this summer, I will not suggest to Arsenal to offload him during this summer window but keep him. After all, he has just had a half season campaign at Arsenal. And he could in next season’s campaign improved on his defending prowess for Arsenal.

    Lichtsteiner performance for Arsenal in the PL last season was nothing to write home about as it was utterly below average. Maybe that was down to his being at an advanced age that made him not able to cope with playing rigour in the highly though competitive Premier League matches where only the very fittest can cope with playing in it successfully. I think I’ll rate him 15% in his performances for Arsenal in the PL last season.

    As for Guendouzi, the young guy is still a raw talent but looking could refine next season to become a very good Gunner in the Arsenal midfield. In the Arsenal opening home match last season against Man City in the PL, he was brilliant in his performance for Arsenal in the match before Emery took him off in the 2nd half. But as time goes on in the campaign, he looked to have burnt out of energy and enthusiasm. But he appeared to have recovered his somehow lost of energy back when he came on in the Arsenal last home match against Brighton towards the end of the match. I will rate him 20% in his overall performance for Arsenal in the PL last season.

    And finally Torreria. The guy has in his performances for Arsenal in the PL last season shown he can be rely upon in matches for Arsenal. For he had some outstanding performances for Arsenal in some matches where he proved that he has what it takes to defend well and offer some attacking moments that are profitable for Arsenal in their matches generally. I think all things being well with him at Arsenal next season, he should settle down properly and be much composed to steady in this defensive midfielder job that he will do for Arsenal next season and he could be prolific in delivering top performance defensively and attacking that will be productive for Arsenal in all competitions next season. But for his performances for Arsenal last season, I think I will rate him 35%. For he has looked to have that promising ability and capability which if he takes it to the next level, it can make him come up as a stellar Spite fire DM at Arsenal. And Guendouzi should be supporting him at the base of Arsenal midfield to forge a formidable DM partnership. And of course Xhaka should still be there in the Arsenal midfield as the generalisimo midfielder roving front, back, right and left on the field of play for Arsenal next. season.

  • Sue

    Can’t wait to see the back of Lichtsteiner (safe to say, it didn’t work out!)
    Torreira has been brilliant – long may it continue!
    Leno has been brilliant, really like him
    Guendouzi – I really like him… but there’s definitely room for improvement, having said that, for his debut season in the PL, age, experience etc, he has done well, be nice to see him score!
    Sokratis – I had my doubts,he proved me.wrong… like him, probably our best defender right now

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    To me, Sokratis performance for Arsenal at CB last season in the PL cannot be said is more than an average performance he has had for Arsenal. I rate his performance for Arsenal last season as 50% overall. This is because his performance for Arsenal last season in all the 4 competitions he has played in for the club was on the average level. And does he even have the requisite full pace that’s very necessary to have by a CB playing at a top club side of Arsenal FC status?. I will in the pecking order rate him far behind the following CBs of: van Dyke at Liverpool, the recently retired Vincent Kompany from Man City, the aging David Louis at Chelsea and presumably, the centreback at Tottenham Hotspur. The club that has beaten us to a top-four place finish in the PL and conceded less goals than Arsenal had conceded last season. Save if Arsenal finds a better CB than Sokratis is, this summer and signs him, I will not suggest to Arsenal to offload him during this summer window but keep him. After all, he has just had a full season’s campaign at Arsenal last season. And he could in next season’s campaign improved on his defending prowess for Arsenal.

    Lichtsteiner performance for Arsenal in the PL last season was nothing to write home about as it was utterly below average. Maybe that could down to his being at an advanced age that has seemingly made him not able to cope with the rigour of playing in the highly though competitive Premier League matches where only the very fittest can successfully cope with playing in it. I think I’ll rate him 15% in his performances in the PL and in other competitions for Arsenal last season.

    As for Guendouzi, the young guy is still a raw talent but looking could refine next season to become a very good Gunner in the Arsenal midfield. In the Arsenal opening home match last season against Man City in the PL, he was brilliant in his performance for Arsenal in the match before Emery took him off in the 2nd half. But as time goes on in the campaign, he looked to have burnt out of energy and enthusiasm. But he appeared to have recovered some of his lost energy back when he came on in the Arsenal last home match against Brighton towards the end of the match. I will rate him 20% in his overall performance for Arsenal in the PL last season.

    And finally Torreria. This guy has in his performances for Arsenal in the PL last season shown he can be rely upon to deliver in matches for Arsenal. For, he had some outstanding performances for Arsenal in some matches last season where he proved that he has what it takes to defend well and offered some attacking moments that became profitable for Arsenal generally. I think all things being well with him at Arsenal next season, he should settle down properly and be much composed in his games for Arsenal to be more steady in his defensive midfielder job that he shouldn do for Arsenal next season. And he could be prolific in delivering top performances defensively and in attacking that will be productive for Arsenal in all competitions next season. But for his performances for Arsenal last season, I think I will rate him 35% for his looking to have that promising ability and capability which if he takes it to the next level, it can make him come up as a stellar Spite Fire DM at Arsenal. And Guendouzi should be supporting him at the base of Arsenal midfield to forge a formidable DM partnership. And of course Xhaka should still be there in the Arsenal midfield as the generalisimo midfielder roving front, back, right and left on the field of play for Arsenal to deliver next. season.

  • Gord

    Another of our young guns has left:

    __Julio Pleguezuelo joins FC Twente

    Best of luck Julio!

  • Andy Mack

    Basically agree with your assessment.
    Torriera is impressive, but I prefer him as a DM rather than a B2B player. He does either or them very well but I feel the team looks better when he doesn’t get forward. Hopefully a long term Gooner.
    Papa worried me in the pre-season as he looked very slow, but either he wasn’t fit or he’s upped his game because I’d say he was easily our best CB. He did make mistakes but he was more likely to be the one clearing up others mistakes. Another one I’d like to see as a long term Gooner alongside Holding.
    MG has a lot of energy and seems to learn quickly. His first few games he looked like he was permanently out of position by a couple of yards which dragged the rest of the team out of place, but equally he was vey quick to re-adjust which then made him look better but made others look worse. However that seems to have been predominantly corrected by his 3rd game. And yet another one I’d like to be a long term Gooner.
    Leno is still a young man in GK terms and although he does need to work on aspects of his game, he’s already a very good player. Yet another on I hope is a long term Gooner.
    Lichtsteiner was a ‘free’ back-up RB with plenty of experience. He had some good moments and I get the impression he’s quite a good for the team spirit, but he did look rather lost on many occasions. I wouldn’t have a problem if they kept him for another year, but don’t see why they should as I doubt he’d get much game time behind HB & AMN.
    Suarez was unimpressive. Lots of players are shocked at the speed and physicality of the PL and arriving injured wouldn’t have helped him acclimatize, but despite that he underachieved.
    If we get 5 players this summer and get a similar result then we should be happy IMO.

  • Menace

    I have no issues with most of our players although stupidity does not have excuses. Our one point League difference is down to any of several decisions that robbed us of victory.

    Putting all that aside, I am surprised to read that one of our players has been in discussions and agreed to a position with our opponents in the Europa Final. This puts him in a position of compromise and makes Arsenal very weak if we lose the match.

  • Andy Mack

    “I am surprised to read that one of our players has been in discussions and agreed to a position with our opponents in the Europa Final”.
    Is that ‘Fact’ or ‘Gossip’?
    And the obvious question is ‘Who?’.

  • MickHazel

    Andy Mack
    Peter Cech is linked as technical director of football at Chelsea apparently.

  • Andy Mack

    OK, so it’s still gossip.

  • Menace

    The reports initially said that Cech had agreed but today’s report says that Cech has not agreed yet and intends to make his mind up after the Final. There is no certainty on the information but when media report, it is not all fake. The reports came from an app Futbol.

  • Menace

    Sorry the app is called FutMob.

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