As the Premier League nears its return, the Hard Tackle takes a closer look at Arsenal’s transfer activity in this summer transfer window.
Following the success Arsenal have had under the leadership of Mikel Arteta, they were always going to have a busy summer transfer window.
The Gunners started slowly, signing Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer before eventually securing the services of Gabriel Magalhaes. However, it was the last week when the Gunners were quite active, notably getting rid of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi on deadline day while simultaneously announcing the arrival of Thomas Partey.
The departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa was rather disappointing for Arsenal fans. But, it was, overall, a bright transfer window the club. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at Arsenal’s performance in the market this summer.
Arsenal have played a masterstroke with the signing of Thomas Partey. The Atletico Madrid midfielder, who joined on deadline day for a fee of €50 million is going to become a major prospect for the Gunners for multiple reasons.
💬 "I was so happy, I was excited. I was not even here yet and they were crazy over me… I received a lot of messages saying 'Join the club or we are not sleeping!' – it was a great feeling."
📺 Watch @ThomasPartey22's first interview on Arsenal Player 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 13, 2020
During his time at Atletico Madrid, Partey impressed with his defensive prowess. His imposing 1.85m frame, coupled with the aggression, work-ethic and discipline should aid Mikel Arteta’s midfield that has looked a bit clumsy during these early stages of the season, especially with Granit Xhaka yet to find a footing.
A key factor behind the acquisition of Partey is that he is a low-risk signing. He is almost certain to add the physical presence in the middle of the park and his combative qualities mean he could easily settle into the Premier League, unlike someone like Nicolas Pepe. Not to mention, Partey is an excellent passer of the ball, potentially making him an upgrade over Xhaka.
After falling out with Mikel Arteta and the rest of the coaching staff in Dubai earlier this year, Matteo Guendouzi was destined to have a difficult time settling in under the Spaniard. Things went from bad to worse when the midfielder was involved in a spat with Neal Maupay in the game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Frenchman didn’t feature for Arsenal thereafter and although it was surprising to see that his move to Hertha Berlin had to be confirmed only on the deadline day, it did eventually go through. Guendouzi’s move to Hertha bodes well for all parties involved, especially for the player who should thrive alongside the likes of Vladimir Darida and Lucas Tousart in Bruno Labbadia’s tactical setup.
As for Arsenal, the reports have suggested that Hertha do have an option to buy, so it is probably the end of the road for Guendouzi at the Emirates.
Value For Money
Gabriel Magalhaes was one of the smartest deals in this transfer window this summer.
— GravityGooner✨ (@Gravitygunner14) October 13, 2020
The Brazilian defender joined Arsenal for a reported fee of €30 million. It put an end to one of the longest transfer sagas, and the ex-LOSC Lille star has fitted in admirably at his few club. Gabriel has indeed looked calm and composed in Arteta’s three-man backline, where he has operated alongside the likes of Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and compatriot David Luiz.
The 22-year-old has an excellent temperament, which is complemented by an equally impressive physique and an ability to distribute possession out from the back. And within the next few years, Gabriel should become the face of the Arsenal defence, thus making him a bargain for the Gunners this summer.
A Player They Should Have Signed
Arsenal have significantly improved in the defensive department, under the leadership of Mikel Arteta. However, the lack of creativity in the final third still remains one of their major issues, with the club notably attempting fewer shots on target than any other team in the league so far.
That is where the acquisition of someone like James Rodriguez could have worked wonders, as far as Arsenal are concerned. The north London giants were even linked with a move for the Real Madrid star for some time, but it seems he was determined to join Everton in order to reunite with his former boss Carlo Ancelotti.
James has since been in fiery form, becoming one of the Premier League’s best performers in these early stages of the campaign.
A Player They Should Have Sold
Arsenal did a great job to offload fringe players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. However, one player who should have been sold by the club this summer is Mesut Ozil.
The German has fallen out of favour at Arsenal and he is yet to feature in a single game for the club since the restart of football back in June. It certainly does not bode well for a player of his calibre, especially considering the fact that he is also one of the fan favourites in north London.
For the club, Ozil’s presence in the side makes a bigger impact as the player’s staggering wages do cripple Arsenal’s economic firepower. His departure this summer, therefore, could have potentially helped the Gunners to make a few more signings.
Transfer Rating: 8/10
Arsenal have done a wonderful job of pulling off low-risk signings like Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, both of who are almost guaranteed to address the team’s weakest points. It becomes much more impressive if we consider the fact that they had to manage their financial structure in order to complete those deals.
On the flip side, however, the Gunners could have done a better job in offload some more fringe players, including Calum Chambers and Sokratis while Mesut Ozil’s continued presence in the side is becoming detrimental for the club.