So I decided to let the dust settle for a bit before writing a bit of a summary on the transfer window, in the hope that the anger within subsides and I can perhaps look at it another way. See if there is any silver lining. Try and write it less biased. And it did work a little bit.
2 players signed, 5 senior players sold, 16 players left the club in total. £46.5m spent. At least £63m bought in. A profit of £16.5m.
Pretty ropey figures when you consider we apparently had £100m to spend, and just 2 incoming players to a squad that finished 5th, 18 points behind the leaders. With 5 senior players gone and just two in, the squad is seemingly lighter than last season?
So what actually happened?
Wojciech Szczęsny left for Juventus. He was pretty much surplus to requirements and having spent 2 years on loan to Roma, did not really need replacing. However, I am disappointed we did not also let David Ospina go, and then sign a young goal keeper – such as Jordan Pickford – to compete with Petr Cech this season and replace him next Season. Emiliano Martinez went on loan to Getafe. I doubt it will be a chance to prove himself as Cech’s heir apparent.
Gabriel also went, which will not upset many. Whilst no replacement was signed, his departure has been offset by Calum Chambers returning from his loan deal. Whilst at one point this summer Arsenal were willing to accept bids for him, good performances for England in the U21 Euro’s – as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leaving has given him a lifeline. Hopefully in the Europa League he proves he can build a solid partnership with Rob Holding
Kieran Gibbs went. Good luck to him. He needs to resurrect his career. He is 27 now and needs to have a good few years. He plays week in week out for WBA, he might even make the England squad. He has certainly been upgraded on with Sead Kolašinac coming in on a free transfer. Once he finally starts playing regularly at left back, you will realise the improvement both going forward and in defence on our left hand side.
Out on loan went Lucas Pérez. Some will say he never got his chance, but he was clearly surplus to requirements. Especially as the incoming Alexandre Lacazette for £46.m from Lyon dramatically improves our forward line. Lacazette coming in as number one striker pushed Perez down to 5th choice striker (Lacazette, Giroud, Welbeck, Sanchez), so he was always going to fall out the other end.
The last senior player to leave us was on transfer deadline day as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool. He was not replaced, but not many were upset to see him go. Ox had always flattered to deceive and the reality is, if we return to 4 at the back, he is 5th choice right back (behind Bellerin, Debuchy, Chambers & Mustafi) and 5th choice winger (Sanchez, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi). He only starts if we stick to 3 at the back.
Joel Campbell and Carl Jenkinson also went on loan. They will not be missed, nor will they need to be replaced.
The fact that the players who left have been replaced with better options (bar Oxlade-Chamberlain) is a positive. The starting XI and squad is undoubtedly better than last years with just the 2 signings and returning Chambers.
The problem is we did not improve in areas where players did not leave.
Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny are still with the club. It would have been preferable if one dropped out, and we captured a first choice central midfielder such Jean-Michael Seri, who would have competed with Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka.
Likewise in defence, we could have improved on Koscielny, Mustafi, Holding, Mertesacker and Chambers. Had we got a senior, first choice centre back, one of the lower ones (or even Mustafi) could have been moved one.
And we failed with an extra attacking option. Thomas Lemar or Julian Draxler coming in would have been ideal, which in turn would have perhaps seen Theo Walcott move on.
I think the most disappointing thing of the window was we got some good business done early, but then everything else has fizzled out.
The club have tried to spin it that at least Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are still here when the reality is that they should be staying and we should have added more to them. Why did it have to be Lemar if Sanchez leaves, why not Lemar with Sanchez and Ozil.
All in all, it is like it is your birthday party. You get some nice presents from your mum and dad, but they never get you the pony.