Arsenal’s predictably disappointing start to the Premier League may have a silver lining after all, if reports are true about the club signing Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez.
The BBC are reporting that both are having medicals today and the price is £35m for the former and £17.1m for the latter. Perez has only had one relatively prolific season in La Liga, so represents something of a risk. Although the 27-year-old did it in Spain last season, will he be able to average more than a goal every other game in the Premier League? No doubt, Perez won’t have to wait too long for his chance, as Arsenal squandered their goalscoring opportunities away at Leicester.
Some money has been saved on the wage bill with the departure of Takumi Asano to Stuttgart on loan. I was really looking forward to see the Japanese live wire in an Arsenal shirt, but now we’ll all have to wait at least a year, in all probability.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Mustafi sounds like a much safer investment than Perez in the long-term. However, I’m not sure Arsenal should drop Rob Holding after his performance at Leicester. While the Gunners are keeping clean sheets, the defence should remain the same, in my opinion.
This could mean it’s ‘curtains’ for Calum Chambers, who is likely to be shipped out on loan somewhere. He can’t be best pleased to be behind new signing Rob Holding in the pecking order. I just hope Chambers can regain his confidence playing elsewhere, as there’s no doubting his ability on the ball, despite his lack of pace.
We can only wonder what prompted Arsene Wenger to act decisively on the transfer market for a change. Was it the lack of points from the first two league games? Or was it drawing PSG in the Champions League? Or was it pressure from the boardroom or, dare we say it, was he listening to the fans?
This transfer activity takes me back to 2011, when Arsenal hit the ‘panic button’ after a poor start in the league. In came, Mikel Arteta (£10m), Yossi Benayoun (loan), Andre Santos (£6.2m), Per Mertesacker (£7.6m) and Park Chu-Young (£5.5m).
Of the above, only Arteta and Mertesacker could be deemed as successes, although I had great hopes for Santos, at least. Nevertheless, the influx of players did partially galvanise the lack-lustre team and results did improve. Arsenal fans will be hoping that these new signings of 2016 can have the same effect and that they not be considered ‘write-offs’ shortly afterwards like Park, who was described thus in the financial accounts by the club the following year, according to the Daily Mirror.