While Arsenal didn’t see any major permanent signings in the January window, the club did do some good work that allows them to build going forward.
They got some creativity in the midfield with Odegaard and a better stand in goalkeeper with Mat Ryan, but the biggest achievement was moving some players on.
Sead Kolasinac only went out on loan but that could pave the way for a permanent deal, while Sokratis, Mustafi and Mesut Ozil left so that’s three senior wages and one very big wage off the books ahead of next season.
While it might be tough to find the money to sign players for big fees, that room on the wage bill will give Arsenal some room to add players on free transfers in the summer if they become available.
There were reports in January that Arsenal were keeping tabs on Ryan Bertrand as they look to find a backup for Kieran Tierney, and his contract is up in the summer so no fee would be required.
Caught offside spoke to Arsenal legend Michael Thomas to get his views on their transfer plans for the summer, and it’s clear that he’s a big fan of the Southampton full back:
“We are 100% short at LB. I like Ryan Bertrand a lot and think that would have been an ideal back up for Tierney. If we can get him on a free in the summer then that should be a priority.”
It’s understandable that the stock of some Southampton players might be low after the pummelling they took the other night, but Bertrand would be a low-risk signing if they could get it done.
He’s a good Premier League player who’s experienced and will be dependable when he’s called upon, while the lack of a fee does allow Arteta more financial power to strengthen other parts of the squad.