All the 44 players Arsenal were tipped to sign in January, and the two we finally got.

And for your three minute insight, there’s The Untold Arsenal video


By Sir Hardly Anyone

42 players tipped to be coming to Arsenal who did not.  Two players tipped to be coming, who did actually arrive.

Was that successful journalism?  Presumably yes since no one apologised, no one mentioned the gross failure of the journalists, and seemingly no one lost their job for being so incompetent.

Indeed in a sense that is what makes it so bad: these self-same people who tell us who is coming to Arsenal will all be at it again in the summer, and will probably have an even greater failure rate.

But for now it is over.  After all the screaming and shouting, the promises, the insider tips, we… got two players whom I suspect most of us had never heard of before, on loan.

Yet even up to the last the maniac scribblers were making it up with a frantic dedication that made us think that a team of medics should be on stand by at every publishing house.   The nonsense ranged from the Evening Standard’s

Arsenal ‘confirm’ Pablo Mari’s shirt number after January arrival

which led to a long debate about what the inverted commas around ‘confirm’ actually meant, through to

Fleck, Stones, Rodriguez – The five players Arsenal are tipped to sign on transfer deadline day

which told us that Football.London’s manic reporters were not only unable to tell us what was going to happen, but also could not count.

In the end the only people who got it right were the bookies who suspended betting on the actual signings for Arsenal a few hours before they signed, on loan.  Which left the scribblers telling us that Bellerin and Maitland Niles now had “competition” for the right back spot, although in reality it leaves AMN free to move back into his preferred midfield position and Bellerin can be rested at the first sign of a twinge.

Dayot Upamecano and Emre Can were there right up to the last, but nothing happened.

So we will remember this as the window in which sites started to devote whole articles to telling us we would sign someone, but not who, through to the window of desperation where even Zaha was given a second run out.

The journalists got it wrong.  44 players listed as coming, but only two arrived.  In any other trade, the people writing this guff would get the sack, but sadly not in football.   They are all still here still making up garbage, and soon they’ll be talking about the summer.

No Player Currently At Position Source / Notes
??? ??? ??? Centre back HITC devote whole article to saying we are getting someone but we don’t know who.  Red London now copying this approach.
1 Nathan Ake Bournemouth Centre back FoLo.  Chelsea want him
2 Max Aarons Norwich Full back £30m; Mail
3 Jude Bellingham Birmingham Striker Football London and Express; Liverpool also want him.  Birmingham Live say AFC now making their move. Arsenal will pay £30m.  Star say Arsenal have now joined in race.
4 Jerome Boateng Bayern Munich Centre back Gunnersphere, Football Fancast. Sempremilan says no deal.  TBR says it will be a loan.  Bavarian Football Works.
5 Hakan Calhanoglu Milan Attacking midfield Football fan cast say the “fans” have already turned against him. Express says Arsenal’s budget won’t stretch to it. It’s €20million
Update Emre Can Juventus Midfield Caught offside, citing Bild.  Express says he is going to Man U.  No he has taken a pay cut to go to Dortmund. Arsenal made lucrative offer (Metro)
7 Edinson Cavani PSG Striker Edinson Cavani has handed in a transfer request, TBR Football
8 Philippe Coutinho Bayern Munich Attacking midfield On loan from Barcelona. Arsenal is a possible destination, his agent is an Arsenal fan and is a friend of Edu, according to the Star
9 Yan Couto Coritiba Defender A teenager, no less!
10 Djene Dakonam Getafe Defender Centre back can play right back.  Talk Sport have this as a major possibility now!
11 Merih Demiral Juventus Defender £50m. Fotomc / Sport Witness
12 Sergino Dest Ajax Full back Just Football.  Can play left or right.  He’s 19.
13 Lewis Dunk Brighton Centre back Star
14 Firmino Liverpool Attacking midfield TalkSport. Even they say this is “Speculation”
15 John Fleck Sheffield Utd Midfield Football Insider, Burnley Express, Coventry Life.  Left Coventry on a free 2 years ago.  Shields Gazette say AFC bid £20m. Fleck says no.
16 Omari Forson Man U Attacking midield He’s 15; HITC
17 Bruno Guimarães Athletico Paranaense Midfield Benfica and Borussia Dortmund both want him – The Star.  Deal is 95% done – FoLo
18 Raul Jimenez Wolverhampton Wanderers Striker The dangerous Mexican
19 Christian Kabasele Watford Defender NBC Reports.
20 Thilo Kehrer PSG Defender Part swap for Lacazette; Bleacher.
21 Franck Kessie Milan Central Midfield Mirror, Caughtoffside, Sun, Metro.  Sportsmole have Arsenal as favourites to sign him.
22 Layvin Kurzawa PSG Left back The Sun “according to reports” in France Football, say he’s signed a five year deal from next season.  PSG says no (Caught Offside).  Or yes, contract agreed (Caught Offside).  Free transfer in June (Mail). Or £4.2m now (FoLo). He’s going to Juventus (Metro)
23 Thomas Lemar Atletico Madrid Left Wing Read Arsenal. Team Talk says as part of Lacazette deal.  FoLo says its a loan deal. No Fo Lo says £33m transfer close! Star says Arsenal are at the front of the queue.  HITC says some fans don’t want him at Arsenal. FoLo says “All roads lead to Arsenal”. Sport Witness says “close to signing”  Bayern want him (Mail)
24 James Maddison Leicester Playmaker Football Insider

Noni Madueke

PSV Midfield Arsenal about to make a raid – Star
SIGNED Pablo Mari Flamengo. Central defender Star.  Spotted at airport with Edu.  HITC say fans are denouncing the move as player is “another Mustafi”,  FoLo – he’s gone back to Brazil.  Arsenal changed the terms of the deal at last moment Star.  Deal is on ESPN. Arsenal tried to bully Flamengo – Express
27 Mykola Matviyenko Shakhtar Donestk Central defender or left back depending on source. 4th official, Metro.  He’s a Ukraine international, talks have begun.  Loan then purchase for £22m   (Daily Canon.) No, cash offer made!  (HITC).  Metro, Arseblog.  Sky Sports confirm and say cost is £30m.  Metro say Arteta was recommending player when he was at Man C.  “All roads lead to Arsenal” FoLo.  Arteta sets stance (FoLo – whatever that means).  He is our first signing (Express, Arsenal Station)
28 Dries Mertens Napoli Striker or winger Metro, FoLo.  WHU want him also.
29 Thomas Meunier PSG Right back World Soccer Talk.
30 Noni Madueke PSV Midfield Arsenal considering a swoop for PSV’s 17-year-old England starlet Noni Madueke Express
31 Thomas Partey Atletico Madrid Defensive midfield Express
32 Leandro Paredes PSG Central midfield Part Swap for Lacazette; Bleacher
33 Adrien Rabiot Juventus Midfield Star.  £25m
34 James Rodriguez Real Madrid Midfield Loan deal, Everton also interested.  Daily Mail.  Arseanl have entered the race (Sports Review)
SIGNED Cedric Soares Southampton Right Back The Athletic, 4th Official.  Previously appeared in Telegraph, Arseblog, Express, Metro, Saints Marching,  Footballfancast says he’s injured
36 Boubakary Soumare. Lille Midfield Read Arsenal
37 John Stones Man C Central defence Sun, HITC
38 Dominik Szoboszlai Red Bull Salzburg No 10 FoLo
39 Samuel Umtiti Barcelona Centre back Sport Witness
40 Cengiz Under Roma Winger The Boot Room.  £34m
41 Dayot Upamecano Leipzig Central defence Express.  France u-21
42 Jannik Vestergaard Southampton Defender TBR say Leicester are going for him but Arsenal could be interested.
43 Kevin Volland Bayer Leverkusen. Forward World Soccer Talk
44 Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace Forward Football.London, who seem to be re-running the summer transfers to save them making up anything new.