The January 2018 transfer window is wide open, and teams are free to add to their squads as they please. Most Arsenal fans, however, are more worried about who is leaving, rather than who could join.
So, it’s as good of a time as any to look at transfer windows past, and countdown Arsenal’s five biggest January transfers.
Arsenal’s Five Biggest January Transfers
5. Nacho Monreal – £10 million
Monreal joined Arsenal from Malaga in January 2013. At the time, Kieran Gibbs was the Gunners’ first choice at left-back, with Brazilian Andre Santos serving as backup.
Things have changed quite a lot from January deadline day that season. Neither Gibbs nor Santos are still at the club, while Nacho Monreal doesn’t really play full-back anymore.
The Spaniard has racked up 186 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions. Despite being a defender first and foremost, he has also contributed with 5 goals.
Since Monreal’s arrival in North London, the Gunners have won three FA Cups, helping to end the infamous trophy drought. He only made the bench for the 2014 win over Hull, but started in both the 2015 and 2017 finals.
£10 million was a lot of money for a defender in 2013, but Arsenal will feel as though they got a bargain.
4. Gabriel Paulista – £11.2 million
The Brazilian defender first joined Arsenal in January 2015 from Villarreal. The deal also sent Joel Campbell the other way on loan for the remainder of the season.
Gabriel had a relatively short tenure at Arsenal, leaving for Valencia in August 2017. He was largely unable to break into the first team, making just 64 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.
During his spell at the club, Gabriel did help them to silverware. He was an unused substitute in the 2015 FA Cup win over Aston Villa, however, was omitted from the 2017 final after aiding the team to an extra-time win over Manchester City in the semi-final.
Paulista may feel as though he wasn’t given a real chance at the club, but either way, he will live on as one of Arsenal’s biggest January transfers.
3. Theo Walcott – £12.5 million
Perhaps the most divisive name on this list, Theo Walcott joined Arsenal in January 2006. The Southampton Academy graduate initially commanded a fee of £5 million, but that rose due to add-ons.
At the time of his move, Walcott was considered the future of English football, even making the 2006 World Cup squad. He never played on the world’s biggest stage, however, and some would argue his club career hasn’t fared much better.
Theo Walcott has made 395 appearances for Arsenal over 12 years, netting 108 times in all competitions. He’s also helped raise the FA Cup in 2015, as he played the first 77 minutes.
The winger was injured for the 2014 final, but was a victim of Wenger’s back three in 2017, being left on the bench.
Theo’s time at the Emirates may be coming to a close, as he has been heavily linked with a move away in January 2018.
2. Andrey Arshavin – £15 million
The deal that almost got away. Andrey Arshavin signed for Arsenal on February 3, 2009, a full 24 hours after the official end of the window. However, some savvy work behind the scenes made sure the transfer went through.
The Russian international made an immediate impact on the Gunners, using his speed, cunning and agility to light up the Premiership. Perhaps the most iconic match Arshavin enjoyed at Arsenal was his four-goal performance at Anfield in April 2009, which famously ended in a 4-4 draw.
Sadly, the winger’s performances began to dip after the successful start. By early 2012 Arshavin had become a peripheral figure at the club and returned to former club Zenit on loan.
Just over a year later, the player re-signed at Zenit permanently on a free transfer. Arshavin had made 144 appearances as a Gunner, scoring 31 goals and creating 38 more.
Andrey Arshavin was not able to break Arsenal’s trophy drought, however, remains the second biggest January transfers in history.
1. Jose Antonio Reyes – £17.5 million
Five years before Arshavin graced the field at the Emirates, the Invincibles were running rampant at Highbury.
Jose Antonio Reyes swapped Sevilla for Arsenal in January 2004. The deal started at £10.5 million but rose due to add-ons all the way to £17.5 million.
The player mainly deployed at left-wing, although could be used as a striker. During the Invincibles campaign, he made seven starts, six appearances from the bench and scored five goals.
Reyes didn’t stay for long, however, and forced a move away in the summer of 2006. He first joined Real Madrid on loan, but couldn’t make the deal permanent. The winger later played for Atletico Madrid and Benfica before retiring at Sevilla.
For Arsenal, Jose Antonio Reyes made 110 appearances in all competitions, finding the net 23 times.
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