India's Premier Lifestyle Destination For Men.


Transfer Window Verdict – Grading Arsenal’s Summer Business

Arsenal players in a huddle
A A A tT

For the second consecutive Premier League season, Arsenal spent upwards of £100 million in the summer transfer market. Unlike last summer, though, Arsenal moved early in the window, getting in all their five summer transfers before the start of the Premier League season. This proactive business has held the club in good stead to start the campaign, with Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and William Saliba bedding in early and familiarising themselves with Mikel Arteta’s system.

However, the one blemish on their record this summer is the inability to find a suitable right-wing to back up Bukayo Saka. The Gunners were active in the window in weeks leading up to deadline day, pursuing Pedro Neto from Wolves and Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa. Unfortunately, both deals proved out of the North London club’s budget, and the Gunners will have to deal with the slightly reduced depth in the remaining 13 Premier League games until the window reopens in January.

Did they upgrade their playing XI?

Arsenal may not have added incredible depth to their squad in the summer, but the Gunners significantly improved the quality of their starting XI. Gabriel Jesus represents a massive upgrade over his predecessors Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, with the Brazilian raising the technical level of the Arsenal frontline and adding some movement and flair in the box.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Arsenal (@arsenal)

At left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko also raises the floor and ceiling of the squad following his move from Manchester City. The Ukrainian is a different profile to Kieran Tierney at left-back, but his quality on the ball and ability to play as an inverted full-back fits Arteta’s system to a tee. The return of William Saliba following his three-year loan journey in France also significantly improves the backline. Saliba adds another imperious, physical monster at the heart of the defence, but the Frenchman is also silky smooth on the ball and upgrades the quality of Arsenal’s build-up.

Each of the three signings has already slotted in seamlessly, helping Arsenal get off to a winning start in the Premier League with five victories in their first five matches.

Did they get value for their money?

In terms of the money spent, Arsenal can be content with the value they recouped for £115 million worth of expenditure. Considering the 2022 market in the Premier League with the likes of Antony and Marc Cucurella going for £85 and £60 million, respectively, Arsenal did well to add Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko for a combined price of £75 million.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Alex Zinchenko (@zinchenko_96)

Both players only had one year remaining on their contracts, and the Gunners capitalised on a market opportunity to drastically improve their squad. Even the signing of Fabio Vieira was negotiated at a price well below his release clause at £30 million, a fee which could look like a mockery in years to come if the Portuguese youngster lives up to his high potential.

Did they sell well?

A big resounding no. Arsenal had to shift plenty of their remaining deadwood this summer, but the North London club continued to recoup pennies on the dollar, with most of their transfers involving loan deals or contract terminations.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona)

Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, and Konstantinos Mavropanos were all sold for well below their market value, with the Gunners recouping just £20 million in total for those four players. Additionally, the club could find no buyers for Nicholas Pepe, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, or Pablo Mari, who were all forced to go on loan, while Hector Bellerin’s contract was eventually terminated, allowing the Spaniard to sign with Barcelona on a free transfer instead of recovering any transfer fee for their academy product.

This lack of revenue from the transfer market forced Arsenal to limit their spending in the back half of the transfer window. The Gunners will have to start getting value for their outgoing players in the years to come if they want to be sustainable and compete with other Premier League clubs funded by nation-states.

Overall Marks: 8/10


[Featured Image Credit: Arsenal]