In January, I wrote a piece that I was not too unhappy about our lack of transfer activity because when I looked around players to of joined the Premier League, none of them really interested me and would barely of improved our squad, let along our first team. This summer, things can not be more different.
At the time of writing, our only signing has been Yaya Sanogo on a free, who, whilst is a talented young player, he is exactly that, a young talent.
As I look around the Premier League, the green eyes of envy quickly come over me. Over At Chelsea, Andre Schurrle will be one of the signings of the summer. Manchester City have spent over £100million on players, and whilst I feel half will flop, they have improved.
Victor Wanyama joining Southampton was a big surprise. Linked with Arsenal, Manchester United and various top clubs throughout Europe, joining Southampton from Celtic perhaps highlights the low esteem the Scottish Premier League is held.
In 2009, Arsenal were heavily linked with Modibo Diakite. In 2013, he joined Sunderland on a free. Could he of done a job as 4th choice centre back? certainly. Then we have Bony at Swansea and Spurs looking to match Manchester City’s 9 digit spending spree. Teams around us have done business. Good business. But 2 players in particular leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
Stevan Jovetic and Etienne Capoue.
In March, when England played Montenegro in Podgorica, Arsenal fans watch the game for one reason and one reason only, to watch our supposed big summer signing, Stevan Jovetic, the Montenegrian Messi. He had a decent enough game, not exceptional, but showed that in a top team with good players around him, he would shine. Media outlets around the world were calling it a ‘done deal.’
For whatever reasons, he did not join Arsenal, and ended up going to Manchester City for £22m. And the jokes begun. Arsenal scout, other teams sign. At this moment in time, Stevan Jovetic should be in Finland playing for Arsenal against Manchester City, not the other way round.
Then we have Etienne Capoue. He became the hipsters favourite back last summer when we were sniffing around Yann M’Vila. Many bloggers and statisticians stood up and said that M’Vila was the wrong Ligue 1 destructive midfielder to be targeting. The statistics showed that Etiene Capoue was the man to go for. In the end, we signed neither.
In January, there were reports of a £10m last day of the window bid, with Arsenal going as far as booking a hotel room for him in London. Nothing materialised. So it tastes bitter when this summer, he joins Tottenham for £8.6m. Again, we scouted him, and we could have got him.
Both of these leave a bitter taste in my mouth for many reasons. We could have had both of these players on July 1st. They would not have been that hard to complete. They could have already had a full pre-season with Arsenal. Both would have improved not only our squad, but our first team, and at not too much of a cost.
With their combined transfer fee being just over £30m, we would still have plenty left in the kitty to sign Luis Suarez and a centre back. And the squad would be looking strong a deep. On top of that, it would have meant that if we miss out on Luis Suarez, we would still of signed 2 top class players.
What makes it so bitter is both will be playing in the Premier League next season, for our rivals. When looking at our transfer dealings, the thought is always ‘who moved to a Premier League club.’ I think this because if a player moves from Italy to Spain, he may well of not wanted to play in wet, cold England. However if he joins a Premier League club, he is happy with the grey and drizzle. Both Jovetic and Capoue joined a Premier League club.
Why we did not sign these two players, I do not know. Arsenal’s failure to make these ‘little’ transfer is costing us big. (More on this another day).