In this week’s Arsenal news, we take a closer look at what Mikel Arteta has done in the last few days of a transfer window and what that could mean for this week’s deadline.
Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, knows how crazy the last few days of a transfer window and deadline day can be.
The Spaniard has been the head coach of the Gunners since December 2019. During his time in charge, there have been as many as five transfer windows. Soon, he will have been in charge of his sixth. As of September 1, he can’t add anyone to his first-team squad until at least January.
And this isn’t the first time Arteta has been in charge of Arsenal and made big signings near the end of a transfer window. In fact, deals for Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko were all done before the first game of the new season.
Now that the deadline is getting close, the question is whether or not the North London company will do any late business. In a perfect world, the answer would be a resounding “yes.” Arteta has said he is open to more deals, and he has been linked with moves for a new central midfielder and winger.
There has been talk of Pedro Neto, Youri Tielemans, Cody Gakpo, Marco Asensio, or Wilfried Zaha moving to the Emirates Stadium in the next few days. If, in a perfect world, Arsenal could pull off at least two of these deals, fans would have reason to be optimistic about the rest of the season.
But how likely is it that the Gunners will keep playing until 11 p.m. Thursday? If deadline days in 2020 and January 2021 are any indication, it should be a busy one. In the first two windows, deals for Cedric Soares and Thomas Partey were made, and several players left on loan.
Still, it’s important to remember that Arsenal’s transfer policy changed last summer when Arteta and Edu took a new, but ruthless, approach to rebuilding the team. So, what happened in the last two transfer windows may be a better indicator of what could happen on September 1.
August 31, 2021
In: Takehiro Tomiyasu (£18m)
Hector Bellerin went on loan to Real Betis, Reiss Nelson went on loan to Feyenoord, and Runar Alex Runarsson was released (loan to OH Leuven)
All but one of Arsenal’s deals to bring in new players were done before the deadline last summer. Before August 31, Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Benjamin White, Martin Odegaard, and Aaron Ramsdale had all played at least one game for the club.
Then, on the day before the transfer deadline, the Gunners announced that they had bought Takehiro Tomiyasu from Serie A team Bologna for £18 million. They also confirmed that Hector Bellerin, Reiss Nelson, and Runar Alex Runarsson had gone on loan to Real Betis, Feyenoord, and OH Leuven, respectively.
Willian’s contract was officially canceled on August 30. He only spent one season in north London, which turned out to be a disappointment, before going back to Brazil.
December 31, 2022
In: Auston Trusty (Undisclosed)
Out: Auston Trusty (loan to Colorado Rapids)
In reality, Arsenal didn’t do much on the first transfer deadline day of the new year because their biggest deals happened just before and after the window closed. Calum Chambers joined Aston Villa four days before the deadline, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left the club by mutual agreement the next day.
Auston Trusty was signed in a deal that surprised many on the last day of the transfer window, but there were never any plans for the defender to help the Gunners finish in the top four as he was loaned back to Colorado Rapids for the rest of the season.
September 1, 2022?
From what we know about the past, this year’s transfer deadline and the days before and after it will be busy for Arsenal. The fact that the deals for Tomiyasu and Trusty happened out of the blue in the last two windows could be a sign of what’s to come, especially since the move for Fabio Vieira followed the same pattern.
Arteta has made 12 deals for first-team players on the last day of the transfer window. Ten of those deals were for players who needed more playing time, which suggests that there could be a few announcements about loan moves on Thursday.
But since Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Pablo Mari, Nicolas Pepe, Nuno Tavares, Folarin Balogun, Runar Alex Runarsson, and Arthur Okonkwo have already left, Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are the only likely first-team players to leave.
Also, Arteta has signed a player on four of the five days when the transfer window closed, so Arsenal fans might expect at least one more signing this summer. Maybe a decision will be made to speed up the transfer of Tielemans instead of waiting a year, or a winger will come.