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Arsenal just concluded their busiest ever January transfer window on Wednesday night as the 2017-2018 winter transfer window came to a close. The transfer window had many highlights which includes Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud exits, Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang arrival.
We now take a look at the Gunners activities in the transfer market and how they will shape the squad and club entirely.
INS: Konstantis Mavropanos, Henrikh Mhkitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
OUTS: Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus McGuane, Oliver Giroud, Matheiu Debuchy, Krystian Beilik, Jeff-Reine Adelaide, Chuba Akpom.
MISSED TARGETS: Malcom, Evans
THE ARRIVALS: Greek youngster Konstantis Mavropanos was the first to arrive early in the window as part of Sven Mislintat’s first transfer forays since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund.
He was supposed to be loaned out to Werder Bremen immediately after his arrival but impressed Arsene Wenger enough in training to make the French manager decide to keep him at the club for the rest of the season.
Then followed Henrikh Mhkitaryan who came in a most awkward manner, but one the Gunners faithful will have enjoyed all the same.
The Gunners looked set to lose their star man Alexis Sanchez for relatively nothing to Manchester City, but at the last minute United came into the picture. Whichever side of the Wenger bandwagon you are on; we have to admit that Wenger pulled a great deal in the end by getting Henrikh Mhkitaryan in the deal that eventually saw Alexis move to Manchester United. We can all agree that this will not be another Robin Van Persie heart break.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the marquee signing of the window for the Gunners, the one the Gunners fans wanted and eventually got, albeit through a series of transfers that started with them losing one of their own strikers. The Gunners needed a replacement for Alexis and while they initially targeted Malcom from Bordeaux, they decided to turn their attention to the big fish Aubameyang (We can be forgiven if we’re wrong to think Mislintat had a hand in that), and the Gunners eventually landed him after protracted negotiations with Dortmund and the sale of Olivier Giroud to Chelsea which allowed Dortmund to sign their replacement from the Blues before allowing Aubameyang leave.
THE DEPARTURES: The departure of Alexis Sanchez was the highlight of the transfer window, some section of the fans will be happy he left, some others might not be.
But while everyone was focused on if and where the Chilean would move to, Francis Coquelin moved to Valencia and Theo Walcott moved to Everton unnoticed, by the time Alexis move to Manchester United was complete and Henrikh Mhkitaryan had joined the Gunners in a swap deal, there was already more than one spot to fill.
To replace Alexis, Arsene Wenger had to lose another striker again, one he loves so much, Olivier Giroud was destined to leave from the moment we signed Alexander Lacazette, he had shown over time that he was too good for the bench, and with the World Cup in sights he wasn’t going to lose his place in the French National team, however his wife wouldn’t allow him leave London, so he could not be part of a deal to sign Aubameyang from Dortmund, even though the German side wanted him, now that’s where Chelsea got lucky.
Antonio Conte had been in search of a backup striker and he saw the chance to get arguably the best backup striker in the league, and unlike his striker Alvaro Morata, he didn’t waste the chance. Arsene Wenger was forced to sell Giroud to Chelsea, which would allow Chelsea sanction Michy Batshuayi’s move on loan to Dortmund, so that Dortmund would allow Aubameyang sign for Arsenal, and that was it, the most intriguing transfer triangle in modern history.
Matheiu Debuchy was finally allowed to leave on a free transfer to Saint Etienne on deadline day after a tough spell at Arsenal, Chuba Akpom also left, along with Marcus McGuane who joined Barcelona. Jeff-Reine Adelaide moved on loan to Angers, Kyrstian Beilik moved on loan to Walsall.
THE MISSED ONES: Arsenal pulled out of the race to sign Malcom after earlier showing serious interest, there are still rumours that they’ll go back for him in the summer. While Arsene Wenger made a late bid for Jonny Evans believed to be worth around £12 million but was rejected by West Brom.
CONCLUSION: In my opinion, Arsenal had a very successful transfer window, their most successful in a long while, and considering they started the month in fear and looking like a club in crisis, they have a more complete team now than they did at the start of the month, the Gunners for the first time made the most of the departure of a key player to improve the squad.
And am still inclined to appreciate the presence of Sven Mislintat in his first transfer window as Arsenal’s head of recruitment, without undermining Arsene Wenger’s contribution too because convincing Mesut Ozil to sign a new deal was all down to the manager and that new deal is the reason why the Gunners can look to the future with hope.
However, the Gunners still need to improve the defence and get a new goalkeeper before we can truly say they have a complete team.
What’s your take on the Gunners transfers in January? Drop your comments below.