Well that was an interesting window for The Arsenal.
Off the field there were some positives, even if on the field it was a bit ropey. Hopefully the dealings we saw were less controlled by Arsene Wenger and indicate that his time at Arsenal is coming to an end.
So how did the transfer window turn out for Arsenal?
We went into January with 2 key players able to negotiate a free transfer abroad. We ended the month with one committed to stay until 2021 and the other out the day.
Mesut Ozil staying is great news. It has been interesting to watch the pendulum swing over the first half of the season. Many in August would have preferred to keep Alexis Sanchez and let Ozil leave. By mid-January, it had swung to the majority wanting Ozil to stay.
Losing Sanchez was disappointing. He is a great player. Up there amongst the best in the world. Arsenal swapped him for Henrik Mkhitaryan. It was a good deal all round.
Another positive was the players out. I bet a number of fans used the Pinnacle vip code 2018 to predict that the likes of Theo Walcott were not going to be hanging around.
Arsenal raised £50m in selling Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott. Three players who had started 2 Premier League game between them this season.
All go with their head held high, knowing that they gave 100% to the cause. Walcott for me will always go down as one of the most underrated players of the last 10 years.
Over 100 goals at around 3.6 games a goal is not to be sniffed at. He might never have been the prettiest player in the world but he was effective.
Regardless of my opinion, both were surplus to requirements. No longer required.
Then we have Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang. A truly world class striker – even if some of the northern media had gone out of their way to deride his talents.
To get him for £56m is great value. A club record. To effectively sell Walcott and giroud, and buy the Gabonian (is that correct?) is fantastic.
Over two transfer windows, we have seen Sanogo, Szczęsny, Gabriel, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Debuchy, Walcott and Giroud leave. Players who were not really part of our present, let along the future.
Hopefully this is the beginning of clearing the decks for the new manager.
With Santi Cazorla, Mertesacker, Jenkinson, Perez, Akpom and Campbell also set to leave in the summer, it will be 14 players who many would have classed “dead wood” out the door in a little over 12 months.
This frees up squad places and wages for players who are better than those who have gone.
What we now need to do is ensure we invest in the right mixture of proven talent like Aubemeyang, and young talent like Konstantinos Mavropanos, the young Greek centre back who joined early January.
So we saw players who were not needed leave, and players who are ready for the first team join. Good news.
I have always been of the Sir Alex Ferguson school of thought. That you improve the first team every window. By improving the first team, the previous first team player then becomes a squad player, and the weakest squad player is then allowed to leave.
By buying Aubemeyang, all strikers have had to shuffle down one, and Giroud has fallen out of the bottom. We are infinitely stronger.
Now we just need to do something about the manager.