So we have seen a lot of players leaving AFC during this transfer window: Chambers, Mari, Kolasinac, AMN, Auba, Balogun amongst others…
We have seen one player join us in A. Tracy, a 23 years old American centre-back who has been loaned to the Colorado Rapids where he currently plays until June 2022. Rumour has is that he will be then loaned out to a European Club before linking up with us. He is tall, left-footed and apparently rather promising. Does that mean that he is seen as a Saliba/Mavro replacement?
Anyways, this window (barring any incoming loans) leaves us with the following squad 22-players squad:
GK: Ramsdale, Leno, Okonkwo
RB: Tomy, Cedric
CB: White, Gabriel, Holding
LB: Tierney, Tavares
DM/CM: Partey, Xhaka, Lokonga, El Neny, Patino
AM: ESR, Ode
FW: Saka, Pepe, Martinelli
CF: Laca, Nketiah
Laca is considering going back to Lyon at the end of the season and Nketiah is looking to move away from the club too, meaning we could lose both our remaining CFs this summer…As for our gaps in midfield and up front, we did not bridge them during this transfer window so it does not seem that we are stronger now than we were on December 31st.
As for our direct competition for the 4th spot, Tottenham, Villa and others did some business and retained key players so…based on the above, where do you think we will finish this season? Man Utd seems to slowly get the Rangnick way…
5th or 6th?
7th or 8th?
Below the 8th place?
Some websites foresees a 5th place finish but I think we will be 7th or 8th…I hope I am wrong..
We threw away Champions League, Europa League and fecking Conference League with this window.
Our squad is too thin and our first team too knackered. Arteta wouldn’t rotate before January, and now he cannot rotate because he let too many players go.
It’s a small squad but we play once a week for the most part and it appears COVID rules are relaxing, so it’s big enough. There are only 17 games left to play let’s not forget. Arteta and Edu see the bigger picture. The January window isn’t the time to be throwing stupid money around just to appease fans and try and buy that top 4 spot (which there is no guarantee regardless how much we spend). The only player that we were linked with that would’ve made an immediate impact and been a good signing for the future was Vlahovic, and he didn’t want to come. Signing someone like Morata just to sit on the bench in case Laca gets injured is a waste of time. It also sends a terrible message to Nketiah, who by the sounds of it, Arteta still wants to try and convince to stay. We all know how well players perform when they are looking for a bumper contract. Would it be a big shock if Eddie banged in 10 goals to the end of the season in order to get a good move/bigger new contract???
Personally, I think getting Auba off the books and out of the dressing room is fantastic business by Arteta. Nobody in their right mind would’ve paid a fee for him, so getting all the wages off the wage bill was the best we could’ve hoped for.
The small squad gives a few opportunities for some younger players to step up and gives Arteta a real look at what he needs to do in the summer. This isn’t about getting top 4 this season (although that would be a bonus), it’s about building a squad with the right characters who can keep us in the top 4 for years to come and potentially fighting for trophies again.
hi fatgg…I see your point but we also have to take into account (i) our club attractiveness to top players, which is difficult to keep at high level if we do not regularly qualify for European jouts and genuinely challenge for domestic trophies and (ii) the ability of our rivals to build up their squad too.
Now, if Holding gets injured, we only have White and Gabriel as CBs and if Nketiah gets injured, we only have Laca as CF. Even if we have few matches, our team should be able to effectively compete to reach a top 6 finish, which is the absolute minimum for our club knowing that we are not playing Europe and are out of Cups…
If we go into the market this summer without a trophy (this is confirmed) and without a Europa League qualification (this is the minimum), make no mistake, top players wouldn’t want to join us and our squad level would not improve to the required level to finish in the top 4 next year or get a domestic trophy…
We are the AFC, we should challenge for all major trophies. We cannot be happy with a Top 8 finish and no domestic cups or with no qualifications to Europe.
Teams are building up like Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle, West Ham and others have established themselves as regular contenders for a top 4 finish like Leicester and Tottenham. Knowing that Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea are usually strong, the competition is very high and we need the right players to join us rather than our competitors. We need to be attractive. Players want trophies and Europe – if you can’t genuinely provide these two guarantees, you have to hope that Edu keeps on finding gems like Tomy and Martinelli…which is hard to do
We have no European football or trophies now though, so why would quality players come to us in January? Arteta has an opportunity to get at the least Europa League football, which will then help us attract players in the summer. If you were an Isak, you would be looking at Arsenal and saying “get into Europe and I’ll come in the summer”. It works both ways. I don’t see any logic in us looking at a lesser player and filling a squad place and wasting money when in a few months we will probably have a better proposition that might help us attract the better player we wanted in the first place.
As for cover, Tomy can play CB as has Tierney in a 3, so I’m not overly concerned about that. Also, we only play 1 striker and we have 2, plus the likes of Martinelli and Pepe who could fill in.
We will be a lucky team if we get into Europe with 5th or 6th position.
fatgg – the thing is that right now, we could have genuinely said we are in the mix for European football and convince a striker/midfielder to join us and tell them to help us secure that spot…Now this value proposition may not be available to us in July…so it is hard to say…
Now some decent players moved in the winter…but we focused our attention on players that were (i) not attracted to our club (Vlahovic), (ii) were not available (Artur, D. Luiz) nor (iii) ready to leave their club in the middle of the season (Izaak, Raul Tomas)…
Let us see what July brings and I cross fingers that we finish top 5…
We must fight play hard and end in fourth it is achievable go Gunners shoe your strength 💪
We must fight play hard and end in fourth it is achievable go Gunners shoe your strength 💪
I think 10th
The fact is both arguments hold water. Arteta has taken a huge gamble but I think he’s confident in a smaller more together squad. It definitely seems like it’s much more about personalities and team building – buying into what Arteta is trying to build – than quality right now. He’s trying to impose himself and is only keeping those who are fully committed. Personally, as already mentioned, it’s a worry that other teams are adding, Spuds have games in hand and we still have some tricky games coming up. But…… win those games and things set up really well for the summer.
Arsenal confirms Auba leaving by mutual consent. Thanks for everything Auba and enjoy Barcelona! Shame you did not put the same shift after signing your big money contract…
What’s happening at Manchester? First B. Mendy from Man City and now M. Greenwood from Man Utd being accused of rape and all…Crazyness
Don’t think it’s just a Manchester thing I’m afraid. David Goodwillie has just joined Raith in Scotland which has caused a huge backlash due to him being accused of rape. The NFL has had serious problems with this sort of thing too. I imagine paying thousands of pounds to kids and telling them that they are the next big thing has a lot to do with it. They think they are untouchable, but thankfully the world is waking up to this sort of behaviour. I suspect Greenwood’s career is over before it really started.
See it differently:
Typical AFC, at this juncture, count on a bunch of under 23’s to maintain that top 4 push.
No chance creation and goals scored will be the death of this years ambitions.
Relying on a gassed out Saka and ESR scoring more than they have, expecting Eddie to lead the line, when he could not get any game time to save his life.
Reed thin squad, poor planning, ridiculous contract negotions.
Unfortunately Aaron, you may be right comes the end of the season…
Arsenal dished out 8 Mln EUR to break the contract with Aubameyang so in total, you save 17 Mln…not 25 Mln EUR…
So for me, the actual loss is actually 10 Mln potential transfer fee + 8 Mln we had to pay for contract termination…18 Mln…so savings of 7 Mln…
Not great, knowing that he scored 100 goals for us and is not that old. I understand the need to move him on but at this cost, it is tough to swallow…Anyways, the deal is done and we hope that we can score goals and finish in the top 4 and that he does well in a Barcelna jersey
“Arsenal dished out 8 Mln EUR to break the contract with Aubameyang so in total, you save 17 Mln…not 25 Mln EUR…”
Oh, FFS. I have nothing else to say apart from the what Paul Giamatti’s character asked in the movie Shoot ’em up:
“My god! Do we really suck, or is this guy really that good?”
Well we all wanted us to promote the youth so now we get a chance to see what dey cN do
The players who were sold weren’t even in the squad so technically dey didn’t weaken the team
I see a 4th place finish but I know younger players tend to burn out quicker than more experienced ones so that would be the only issue
@FGG – Shouldn’t that be “Badwillie” ??
Fair point Fred…although we have less ammunition…
Let us hope for the best (4th) and brace for the worse (below 6th)