Back in the summer of 2019, Arsenal made six signings. The Gunners started the summer transfer window off with the signing of Gabriel Martinelli. The 18-year-old Brazillian wonderkid has really impressed since his arrival.
After that, it took Unai Emery and his men a good while to get themselves new players, leaving much of their business late. The loan signing of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid left many fans eager, as did William Saliba signing from Saint-Etienne. However, the latter was sent back on loan for the season to develop.
Arsenal then broke their transfer record, signing Lille superstar Nicolas Pepe for £72 million. However, Lille only paid £20 million upfront and will receive the rest of the money in instalments.
Arsenal capped off their transfer window with two late defensive signings. After an entire summer full of negotiations, the Gunners got their hands on young Celtic star Kieran Tierney. The £20 million man was then followed by the cheap signing of David Luiz from Chelsea.
Many fans had something exciting awaiting them. These new signings could potentially get Arsenal back into the top four.
The State of Arsenal’s Transfer Business
How Have Arsenal Done With These Signings?
Arsenal’s top scorer is Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Most of their results have been influenced by him, as well as goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The German shot-stopper has the most saves in the Premier League.
As for the new boys, David Luiz has shown signs of positives but has been caught switching off on multiple occasions. The other defensive player, Kieran Tierney, has impressed in his five appearances. He had been injured since signing, and after those five appearances, he was injured again, this time until March.
Many fans have a split opinion on record signing Pepe. He has scored two goals and assisted three in 15 Premier League appearances thus far. Considering the Ivorian costs more than star strikers Aubameyang and Lacazette, that is quite disappointing.
Dani Ceballos made a decent start to his Arsenal loan spell but was sidelined with an injury back in October. He has since returned to full training.
The one player who has impressed the most is, of course, Gabriel Martinelli. The teenager has been a sensational performer, always at least bringing flair to the Arsenal side.
For the most part, however, the summer signings are going to want to step up their game as a whole. If Arsenal wants to start getting wins under their belt, it is going to take a lot of work under the new head coach, Mikel Arteta.
Arteta will also be looking for players to further strengthen his side in January, but who could he bring in? Furthermore, how could they do if they do sign? Are they smart signings or are they not needed?
Who Are Arsenal Linked With?
Surprisingly enough, Arsenal is linked with a few attacking players. Arsenal’s attack is already dangerous and flexible. However, the defence needs some work.
The easiest option for Arsenal to bolster their backline would be recalling William Saliba from loan. However, the Gunners are unable to do so. Over the past few windows, they’ve been linked with many defenders. Dayot Upamecano and Samuel Umtiti are the biggest candidates, but finances will dictate who they sign.
Upamecano would be going for around £40-million, according to The Mirror, who says that he is allowed to leave. Umtiti, according to Express’ Daniel Blackham, is not willing to negotiate a move. Back in September, he admitted that he had no intention of leaving Barcelona.
Recently, Arsenal has been linked with a bargain deal for Napoli striker Dries Mertens. He is approaching the end of his contract. The Hard Tackle’s Keshav Awasty says the Italian outfit is willing to let him go for only £8.5-million.
Another forward is on the cards for Mikel Arteta to sign. Kevin Volland has been touted as a player that Arteta wants to buy. He would likely cost around £20-million himself, but according to Sky Sports, Bayer Leverkusen isn’t willing to sell.
With that, however, Arsenal is also looking at reinforcing their midfield. There are rumours from The Daily Mail that the Gunners could splash out £40-million plus Granit Xhaka for Wilfred Ndidi. The Leicester man is apart of a glorious adventure this season under Brendan Rogers. It is unlikely Leicester would let him go for any less than that.
Is Defense the Main Priority?
There certainly seems to be a lot of talk about forward signings. The defence needs reinforcing more than anything else. Arsenal would be better off splashing the cash on the likes of Upamecano. They might have to sell a centre-back first. Volland and Mertens should only come in if an attacking player is sold in any of the next two transfer windows.
Arsenal has been looking at some defensive players, however. Arteta has apparently stated that he wants defensive players in his side by the end of January. Thus, he has been monitoring the likes of 22-year-old Gabriel Magalhaes, according to Dan Critchlow from Daily Cannon. The deal is complicated due to the Lille player’s Olympic commitments. Edu loves a fellow Brazilian, however, so perhaps we could see this one in the summer.
How Could These Players Do if They Signed?
Arsenal would definitely be a much bigger threat if they were to sign a majority of these players. Upamecano, although expensive, would easily sure up the defence. Ndidi is a better player than Xhaka.
Furthermore, cut-price Dries Mertens would add good depth to the attack. Kevin Volland would as well. These forward signings are not likely, though. For more defence, Gabriel Magalhaes would add talent to the side as well.
In a hypothetical world where Arsenal signed most of these players, where would they take Arsenal in the league?
Arsenal would have a more compact defence, which would lead to fewer goals conceded. If Aubameyang and co. continue their run, Arsenal could string up a good few wins. Ndidi would provide defensive cover with Torreira.
Dries Mertens and Kevin Volland would improve Arsenal’s goal scoring. Arsenal could see themselves in Europe for next season. It would take a massive undefeated run to see the Gunners get into the Champions League, that is if they don’t win the Europa League.
Arsenal has to be in the top three when it comes to potential Europa League winners. Depending on their draws and progression, they can definitely win it.
Where could they finish? Easily in the top half, but not in the top four. A sixth-place finish is likely for the Gunners.