The transfer window closed last night and the exit door at Arsenal featured some big name departures. The question is how do we view these events: fortunate or unfortunate? And how about the new arrivals?
Jack Wilshere to Bournemouth on loan: Arsenal have brought in around £2m for a player set to play a bit part from the bench this season, so I see it as the right thing to do for the midfielder, club and country. Of course, I did say in my previous blog that Bournemouth would be a good destination for the 24-year-old England international, who needs plenty of game time to win a place in Sam Allardyce’s next squad. Little did I expect to be proved right. Although the move made sense to me, I didn’t expect it to happen. Strangely, Eddie Howe is being touted as a future Arsenal manager. To be honest, I think the Gunners could do a lot worse. Maybe Wilshere knows something we don’t know! Verdict: fortunate event.
Serge Gnabry to Werder Bremen permanent (undisclosed fee – estimate £4.3m): After scoring six goals for Germany at the Olympics, many Arsenal fans hoped Gnabry would get his chance at the Emirates. However, he only had one year left on his contract, so perhaps it made good business sense to let him go. I’m not so sure I agree, although we have to ask why he featured so infrequently for WBA on loan last season. If you ask me, I think Tony Pulis didn’t like Gnabry’s attitude and left him out for that reason. There is no questioning Gnabry’s talent, so Arsenal fans should just be grateful that he wasn’t sold to another Premier League club. Verdict: unfortunate event.
Calum Chambers to Middlesbrough on loan: Chambers is a class act, who is suffering from a lack of confidence. Some much-needed game time should put his career back on track. Boro manager Aidor Karanka was an excellent central defender back in the day, so he ought to be able to give Chambers some useful tips to improve his game. Verdict: fortunate event.
Joel Campbell left for Sporting Lisbon ten days earlier, so I’ve not included him on the exit list. However, I’d have down as an ‘unfortunate event’, as I don’t think he’s had a fair crack of the whip at Arsenal.
Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna on permanent deal (£17.1m): The 27-year-old ‘Spanish Vardy’ represents something of a risk, but it’s worth taking, in my opinion. Verdict: fortunate event.
Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia (£35m): The Germany international has previous experience in the Premier League, so should settle quickly. From a business point of view, he has good-to-excellent resale value. Verdict: fortunate event.
Obviously, there was the Daniel Sturridge rumour that suggested Arsenal could sign the England international. However, the story was propagated by the agent, allegedly. It’s hard to imagine that the Reds would allow the striker to move to a Premier League rival. It was never going to happen.
All in all, most Arsenal fans seem to agree that the club have done well in this transfer window and it’s a case of better late than never.