by Tony Attwood
It’s taken a while, but now we have the headline
‘Arsenal should get Wenger back, he’d help land top targets’
That comes from Goal, but of course there is no chance of that happening – but nice to know that after all this time at least one of Mr Wenger’s merits has been recognised.
But in the meanwhile 32 transfers have been arranged involving Premier League clubs so far this transfer window – way below the normal level. 21 are loans, of which three are loans coming to an end. The rest are transfers, but even here they are mostly free transfers.
In fact just under £40m has been spent so far in the first third of the window. A year ago the total amount spent in this window involving PL clubs was £261m. In January 2019 it was £251m. Here are the three paid for transfers…
- Sébastian Haller: Forward — West Ham United to Ajax: £20m
- Omar Rekik: Defender — Hertha Berlin to Arsenal: £540k
- Amad Diallo: Winger — Atalanta to Manchester United: £18.7m
There are three transfers that have gone through with “undisclosed” fees, including one that concerns us:
- Matt Macey: Goalkeeper — Arsenal to Hibernian
- William Saliba: Defender — Arsenal to Nice: loan
- Sead Kolasinac: Defender — Arsenal to Schalke 04 loan
Arsenal’s squad, as we know, ended up with too many non-English players, and hence three were left out of the squad. Saliba and Kolasinac going reduces that number to one more non-English player than we can register in the squad. There is talk of Ozil going too. Torreira has gone to Atletico Madrid – who are (or were last time I looked) top of the Spanish League.
My view, which of course is not worth anything in the broader context of things, is that the approach of having two players who have been on the books but not in the 25 list does the club no good at all because it announces to players that if they come to Arsenal they could get stuck. All players know that a transfer might not work out, but in the past that has always ended up with a quick transfer or loan away. To just be left, knowing that for half a season you won’t play, is a new feature.
Arsenal’s home grown squad, leaving aside the academy players is limited to eight. We currently have just four players who fit into this group:
So if we can find any English qualified players – there is plenty of room.
Lurking in the under 21s squad, but playing in the first team (or getting close) we have
- Folarin Balogun
- Matteo Guendouzi
- Tyreece John-Jules
- Zech Medley
- Reiss Nelson
- Eddie Nketiah
- Bukayo Saka
- William Saliba
- Emile Smith Rowe
- Jo Willock
Now I am sure some will slip by the wayside, and of course it can take a couple of years for them all to make their way to age 21, but what we cannot allow is for Arsenal to be seen as a club that does not have room for its home grown talent.
So overall it still does seem to me that endless talk about buying non-English players is going to land the club in more problems if we can’t loan out or sell those who remain at the club.
And remember it is not just a case of getting rid of a player to make room for another foreigner. Someone has got to want to take and pay anyone we get rid of.
And that is part of the problem. With so many people telling us how awful our squad is, which manager in his right mind is going to want to buy any of our players? In the old days the media used to tell us all that the players were ok but it was Wenger who was useless. Now we are being told the manager is ok but the players are no good – so who wants them?
However just in case there is anyone out there who thinks that we could sell one of our heavily criticised players, here is the list of foreign players.
- Mari Villar
So when we read that Arsenal are about to sign Marcel Sabitzer from Leipzig, we still need to know who are we going to sell or leave out the squad.
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