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Arsenal Transfers Overview
Arsenal have finally done some major business in the transfer window just past. But have these signings (quite a few of them last minute) improved or worsened the Arsenal squad for this season.
Arsenal Major Transfers
Major Transfers In:
- Mikel Arterta
- Yossi Benayoun
- Per Mertesacker
- Park Chu-Young
- Andre SAntos
Major Transfers Out:
- Nickals Bendtner (Loan)
- Gael Clichy
- Denilson (Loan)
- Emannuel Eboue
- Cesc Fabregas
- Samir Nasri
- Carlos Vela (Loan)
Summary of Major Transfers
Arsenal were uncharecteristically very busy in this transfer window with a total of 9 players making their way to the emirates and 18 players leaving either permanently or on loan.
Nasrigas was the big transfer story of the window at the Emirates. Arsenal moved (eventually) to beef up the midfield by signing Mikel Arteta permanently and the Israeli captain Yossi Benayoun. Truth be told, that pair is not going to replace Cesc Fabregas like-for-like but it certainly brings valuable experience to the Arsenal midfield. What it also does is it means that Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey will not only have old heads to learn from but their long term progress will not be hampered by the introduction of these two into the squad.
Arsenal achilles heel for the past five seasons has really been at the back. Arsene Wenger has at last moved to correct this by signing Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and young Carl Jenkinson. Metersacker is a seasoned campaigner who is also a regular international in the German national team.
Arsenals back four for most of last season looked like this:
Clichy - Koscielny- Djourou/Squillaci - Sagna
This season it will most likely look like this:
Santos - Vermalean - Mertesacker - Sagna
Verdict: Arsenal will definitely be stronger defensively than they were last term. Metersacker's lack of pace will be a concern but he more than makes up for it in physicality. Also, with TV5 partnering him the lack of pace will not concern Arsenal that much
In the midfield it is apparent that Cesc Fabregas has not been replaced. The only hope there is is that a working combination can be found among Arteta/Benayoun - Wilshere - Ramsey - Song. Could these signings prompt a slight change in formation/tactics for Wenger? Work rate wise though I think the additions are hungrier than Cesc and Samir were last season and this positive attitude could somehow make up for the difference in ability between Cesc and his predecessors.
Verdict:Arsenal are slightly weakened by Cesc departure and will particularly miss his range of passing.
Arsenal's main wide men last season were Theo Walcott, Arshavin and Samir Nasri. Arshavin despite chipping in with numerous assists was way below par for most of the season. Nasri started in sensational form but this dipped as the season progressed. Some can argue that he was more effective in the central areas but as fate would have it, we never saw much of him coming down the middle.Theo, well Theo was Theo with injuries coming at the wrong times from the English flier.
Gervinho, a more natural wide man, should be more effective than Nasri was coupled with the fact that he actually wants to be at the Emirates unlike Samir. Gervinho has goals in him as well something that Arsenal have lacked from the left-side wide areas since the departure of Robert Pires all those years ago.
Verdict: Arsenal will be slightly better on the wings this term. Theo will continue to improve while Gervinho brings goals and creativity out on the left.
Newly installed captain Robin Van Persie will look to continue showing his undoubted class upfront. The big news though will be the cover for him, South Korean Captain Park Chu-Young. He is a player who established himself in Ligue 1 scoring 25 goals in 91 appearances for Monaco and will look to quickly adapt to the English game. Chamakh enjoyed an indifferent first season at Arsenal and will have improved from the player he was last season.
Verdict: Arsenal have quality in Van Persie and the form of his 'back ups' will be key this season. Bendtner out for Park Chu-Young represents an improvement.
In Wenger We Trust?
Arsene Wenger has done one thing right this summer albeit fortuitously in some cases: that is get rid of players who should not be at Arsenal.
If a player wants to leave the club, he should not be at the club. If a player is not good enough to be an Arsenal player, then that player should not be at the club.
Arsenal managed to release Fabregas and Nasri and by that let go of all negativity that was affecting the dressing which was emanating from these two. More importantly though was that Wenger finally admitted that Denilson could do nothing more than passing sideways or backwards; and that Eboue besides the heart for the team and the game, was just not good enough for the Arsenal. Bendtner was given numerous chances to prove his worth and never quite came to the party.
Arsenal have improved from last season. But are they equiped to deal with the two Manchester giants.
If there's one manager who can do it its Arsene Wenger and again for the Arsenal faithful, in Wenger they will have to trust.