Arsenal have come out of the summer transfer window in a precarious position as major doubts remain over their ability to challenge for major honours.
There had been an air of optimism surrounding the club after last season. Despite their FA Cup triumph, chief executive Ivan Gazidis spoke about their inability to qualify for the Champions League being a catalyst for change while promising ‘top quality signings’, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Even though Arsene Wenger remained, there was still hope that things would actually change and the signings of Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette were a strong statement.
However, it all fell apart for many as deadline day drew closer. Wojciech Szczesny and Gabriel Paulista had already been sold, other defenders were linked with exits even though it’s clearly a department in desperate need of quality and reinforcements while Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain departed on Thursday.
Then came the desperate last-ditch £92m bid for Monaco ace Thomas Lemar, as reported by Sky Sports. With Alexis Sanchez edging closer to a move to Manchester City, Arsenal needed a replacement and to their credit, they were certainly looking in the right place with the 21-year-old French international.
However, that touted transfer fee stank of desperation before eventually the entire merry-go-round collapsed, as per The Guardian. In turn, Arsenal are left with just one real marquee signing, a profit given the players that left and a talismanic forward who thought he was leaving, with just 12 months remaining on his contract and who is now likely to leave on a free transfer next summer.
Arsenal simply haven’t done enough. They’re not good enough in defence and they remain lightweight in midfield. Lacazette will hopefully deliver the goals, and £35m for Oxlade-Chamberlain, as reported by BBC Sport, is a decent fee for a player who hasn’t really convinced and had just one year left on his contract.
Nevertheless, the atmosphere around the club says it all and as much as supporters have to be positive in backing their club, it will continue to be pretty difficult given how the summer transfer window eventually played out.
Players in: Kolasinac (free), Lacazette (undisclosed).
Players out: Gibbs (£7m), Oxlade-Chamberlain (£35m), Szczesny (£14m), Gabriel (£10m) * figures via Sky Sports.
Arsenal transfer window rating: D