And that concludes the 20th English summer transfer window.
Sometimes I think back to the 90s when “transfer deadline day” was sometime in March.
The transfer window reveloutionised the game – and is one of the changes in the modern game that I agree with.
Personally I would go further and have the transfer window shut on the eve of the first day of the season (this was trialled a couple of years ago). I would also not have a January transfer window.
You name your squad before the season starts and that is your lot for the season.
This year Mikel Arteta spoke about Arsenal being able to work under a different strategy from previous seasons.
Instead of having to sell to buy (to free up squad place rather than because we needed money), Edu and his team were able to recruit the players they needed without the fear of having too large of a squad.
Edu’s team have worked hard in the last 18 months to cut the squad down and the reward was that this summer we could get our business done early.
And this season more than any, those clubs who got their business done early have been rewarded.
Most people are saying that Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have done the best business this summer. All 3 clubs got the bulk of their business done in June and July.
We secured Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, Matt Turner, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all before the end of July. £115million spent.
At the time, £45m for Jesus and £30m for Zinchenko and Vieira did feel huge. But what has gone on since in the Premier League has been crazy!
When you look at what Manchester United spent on Antony, Casemiro and Lisandro Martínez (over £200m combined) and Chelsea on Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling (£180m+) and others on the likes of Darwin Nunez, Alexander Isak and Richarlison, you can really see how good Arsenal’s (early) business was.
Jesus is clearly the best attacker our of Antony, Sterling, Nunez, Isak and Richarlison. Whilst the likes of Martinez, Fofana and Cucurella would not get in the Arsenal team ahead of the returning William Saliba and new signing Zinchenko.
For the first time in a long time, it has felt like we were being pro-active rather than reactive. We could do this due to not having a squad filled with deadwood.
We had a plan of what players we wanted to sign and went out and got them.
When players (Martinez, Raphinha) prices rose above what we were willing to pay, we stepped away and targeted others.
Whilst some Arsenal fans might have woken this morning with a tinge of disappointment that we did not sign Douglas Luiz, there is no need to go OTT.
Us targetting a defensive midfielder this window was only due to theinjuries of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny. It is not something we planned for.
And it ended up not being too dissimilar with what happened with Dusan Vlahovic in January.
In January the possibility of a deal rose with Vlahovic and we decided to go for it. After the deal fell through we made the decision to not sign a striker.
We did not go out and panic-buy Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Isak. We knew Jesus was coming free for the summer and kept our powder dry.
Yes, it might have cost us top 4, but DCL or Isak did not exactly have good seasons so who knows what impact they would have made.
And that is the stance we have made in midfield.
In the closing days of the window, Douglas Luiz sort of became available. He was a long term target of the club so we tried our luck. But as he was not a key target we did not want to break the bank securing him
On deadline day a couple of bids were rejected so we walked away.
In January we will re-explore our options – I am thinking either Danilo from Palmieras or back in for Douglas Luiz who will probably be even cheaper.
We still need to work on selling players – just over £20million in fees received despite Guendouzi, Torreira, Leno, Mavropanos, Lacazette, Pepe, Tavares, Mari, Maitland-Niles and Bellerin all at new clubs. But this will come as we now have more control over the wage structure.
Hopefully we have learned how important it is to get deals done early, and this summer is replicated moving forward!
All in all, a fantastic transfer window.
Enjoy your Friday.