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The transfer window is nearly over, so why ain’t we signed no one?

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Four players, as you will well know, have gone – at least for a while.   Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun, Pablo Mari and Sead Kolasinac.

And in return no one has come in.  Which sounds pretty odd when put like that.

But then, when we look at the rest of the league, no one much has come in.  Indeed so poor is the level of activity that at one time (1215 on 25 January) the Guardian’s “Men’s transfer window” page was only showing transfers involving women.  It’s back to its proper page now and to the list above it adds Tyreece John-Jules on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, Karl Hein on loan to Reading, Brooke Norton-Cuffy on loan to Lincoln,  Folarin Balogun on loan to Middlesbrough and Harry Clarke on loan to Hibs.

As you will know we lost Thomas Partey (Ghana), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast), Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), Omar Rekik (Tunisia) to Fifa’s Africa Cup.   And the two players who we could particularly do with given our current shortage are Nicolas Pepe and Mohamed Elneny.

Curiously those two teams play each other today at 4pm UK time, so we will get one of them back which could be helpful – even though Elneny has only started four games this season and Pepe eight.

Mikel Arteta is described in the media as being “desperate” to sign new players, and is quoted as saying, “We are certainly trying.  But I don’t know if we are going to be able to do it.”

The big name being talked about at the moment is Arthur Melo (as in talks with Juventus over Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo, in the Telegraph).  Arthur, who has 21 caps for Brazil, is a midfielder who doesn’t score goals.  He’s been with Juventus since 2020 when he arrived from Barcelona for a fee of £66 million. But he has only started four games this season which is what makes him fancy a move.

Juventus, previously the big name regular title winners, are currently fifth in the Italian League and 11 points off Inter Milan at the top, and they could do with offloading a few players themselves to beef up their financial position.

We are also apparently “hoping to conclude a deal with USA goalkeeper Matt Turner”, who plays for New England Revolution and would be a backup for Aaron Ramsdale leaving Bernd Leno free to leave.

Other players are talked about regularly, such as Dusan Vlahovic, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alexander Isak, and we still have Aubameyang on the books which is a financial problem.

All of which makes the current headline in the Telegraph Mikel Arteta flies to Denver for crucial talks with Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke somewhat striking.   There’s hardly any time left in the window, and according to the media all this work has been done following up on players, and yet Mr Arteta has something to say which a) can’t be said on a video call and b) can’t be said to Josh Kroenke who actually is in London and at the club supposedly running the club.

But no, the Telegraph tells us that the club is “facing crunch decisions ahead of the closure of the transfer window.”

Indeed it seems so little has been done that on the agenda for the meeting “is believed to be how much Arsenal are willing to spend on a new striker in the final days of the window after Juventus jumped ahead of the Gunners in the race for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic.”

And suddenly there are problems with Alexander Isak and Calvert-Lewin.

But why?   The Telegraph speaks of Arsenal having delayed their decision making allowing others to move in for every player linked with us, which is always the theme in the media.  Although when we look closely at the text we note that “Barcelona could move for Alvaro Morata.”   “Could move” it says.  Again with just a few days left they “could move”.

So actually they portray chaos in other clubs but only Arsenal have “delayed”.  And yet we are told, “Arteta watched Colorado Avalanche beat Chicago Blackhawks at a National League hockey game with Kroenke on Monday night”.

Obviously, you can, if you wish, believe it is all a hopeless mess at Arsenal as others get on with the business.  

Or maybe the arrangements have been made and the manager went over to see the owner in order to have a cosy get together having not seen each other in a while.

It does depend on whether you buy into the media’s line of Arsenal as a club permanently a-dither while everyone else gets on with it, or not.  If so, why?  Why is it just Arsenal that are in such a mess?

We shall see, not just by the end of this month, but also by the end of the season.   We are two points off fourth with two games in hand, although Tottenham are still lurking.

Everything, as someone once said, is still to play for although we are not told who won the hockey game.

13 comments to The transfer window is nearly over, so why ain’t we signed no one?

  • Didrik Plehn

    Great perspective, love it 😊

  • Saka

    However you cover it up, it’s been a terrible window.
    Not interested what other clubs have done.
    We clearly needed a couple of signings early January when we were still playing.
    Afcon, Covid and injuries, we new these thing’s would happen and we did nothing.
    These signings should have been sorted before window opened and completed once open.

    We actually might not of slipped up in January against Burnley, and I’m pretty sure we would still have been in the FA Cup.

    Arteta & Edu both to blame.

  • Saka, by declaring you are not interested in what other clubs have done, you take yourself out of any reasoned debate, for it is only by comparison with others can we make a rational judgement. Otherwise, you can say, “I don’t care what other clubs have done, Arsenal are still charging us to go into the ground and that’s a disgrace.”

  • Jimbo

    I hope we sign no one just to annoy the angry brigade.Our best players have been those brought in through the youth system.Give Nketiah a run in the team and stop trying to please the bleaters.

  • Chris

    Jimbo,

    right on ! Unless they can get Giroud to feature in every last 20 minutes… ;=)

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    If we do play Nketiah we need him to be in and around the penalty area – that’s where he scores goals, not out on the wing or dropping deep in a pseudo midfield fole. He’s a goal poacher, the trouble is maybe not good enough at PL level.

  • we’re left with 2 teams:

    ramsdale
    tomiyasu-white-gabriel-tierney
    partey-xhaka
    saka-odegaard-smithrowe
    martinelli

    leno
    soares-chambers-holding-tavares
    lokonga-elneny
    pépé-lacazette-aubameyang
    nketiah

    and patino/hutchinson/oulad m’hand/biereth in the wings, with only one game a week from now on
    should we not make it to 4th or 5th with such a squad, under those circumstances, questions would definitely have to be asked about management
    having said that, questions would have to be asked too about the way the saliba/mavropanos/guendouzi/torreira/maitlandniles/nelson/willock cases were dealt with, THEY are the players we’ve missed lately
    (btw i know joe and reiss are not doing great, i watch them; against nimègue, it was very sad to see reiss erring on the pitch in front of empty stands
    all the fun seems to have been taken out of the 2 lads’ game; to those of us who were used to enjoy watching them play, they look like empty shells now – but it’s arsenal the blame’s on)

  • Chris

    @LeGall,

    I agree with the fact that with one game a week, and a squad with quite some talent, we ought to be able to compete. And the young guns have an opportunity to prove what they are worth.

    I believe Mr Arteta’s way (or the new Arsenal way) of managing the team may be more ‘strict’ then his predecessors, and that this has caused issues with some of the players. On the other hand, what are they supposed to do with players who cannot get game time ? An injury, a player comes in and does a great job (remember Bellerin who no one expected to become a regular so quick) and you’ve got a good player sitting on the bench and not getting time. A loan is one way to get them that. But the risk is that the player does not adapt to the new surroundings, or new coach, etc etc. So if he is kept and warms the bench Arsenal are at fault, if he is loaned out and it does not work out it’s Arsenal’s fault as well.

    Reember Willock ? What happened with him ? Why once his contract was signed, suddendly he’s not as good in terms of goals scored ? Is that Arsenal’s fault ? they let him go on loan, he performs brilliantly, decides to go for it and now it’s over. So it’s Arsenal’s fault as well ?!?

    And remember Willock and Reiss were ‘blossoming’ at the time Aubameyang was a 20+ a year scorer and Lacazette scoring often as well. Could have someone predicted his slump ? Should he have been benched to leave the young guns on the field ?

    Blaming Arsenal is not ok IMHO

  • porter

    Jimbo you really believe that Eddie for all of his efforts is going to take us back to the promised land .
    He is a poacher that feeds off scraps in the area but as we dont put the ball in the box early enough . Our passing possesion linked style is not condusive to his .

  • i had a feeling you wouldn’t agree about joe/reiss, @chris; i respect your opinion, believe me
    i have counterarguments in mind, but … well i’ll leave it here; at some point i think it would be nice discussions to have between genuine arsenal fans, in a pub, after a game
    only at times i really do miss the arsène way, even though i do my best not to

  • Chris

    @LeGall,

    yeah, a pint and a nice discussion. I do have one question however. What do you think happened with Joe Willock ?

  • That’s the “blame it on the Arsenal” part I’m afraid, @Chris
    I think I wrote this somewhere here before, and I’ve not changed my mind since
    Joe is a North London lad, had been a gooner ever since he was 4 and a half (!!!), he did everything just right in the red and white shirt, won the PL2 when he was 17 (the only time Arsenal won it), scoring 1 and assisting 5
    He scored 3 goals for the first team in 2018-2019, 5 in 2019-2020, and 3 at the start of the 2020-2021 season, so much so that eventually he was loaned out to Newcastle
    We all know how successful he was up there, scoring 8, and being instrumental in their survival
    Of course this is conjecture, but I’m pretty sure he was promised playing time once come home to the Arsenal, provided he did well for the Magpies
    He did come home, scored the only goal scored by a midfielder in pre-season (against Chelsea at the Emirates, ruled out incorrectly – should I say PGMOed out – in the absence of VAR), only to be told that he would be sold, while a Belgian midfielder his age, but without his goalscoring ability would be bought
    We let him down, I don’t see how to put it otherwise, and that’s a betrayed man, trying to love again, but unable to, who’s been playing for the Magpies ever since; there must be other reasons I do not know of, of course, but this one I’m sure of: the lad hasn’t left Holloway behind yet
    He has flashes of brilliance though, and I think Howe is trying hard to do right by him; the next goal he’ll score will be a turning point for him, it might make him realize once and for good there’s a life for him far away from London after all