Unai’s Brave New World!
This is the first summer since 1996 that Arsene Wenger has not been involved in Arsenal’s transfer business and that takes a bit of getting your head around, because many fans only know Arsenal under Arsene.
No Arsene Wenger this time and as it stands it’s early July and the club has got all or most of it’s business done, not another deadline day shambles, post David Dein, for us to endure this summer!
On the surface Leno, Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Torrieira and Guendouzi look very good value for money, but we’ll only know for sure as the season progresses.
With Mertesaker, Cazorla and Wilshere no longer on the clubs books, that finance can be diverted elsewhere, Emery hasn’t sat on his ‘war-chest’; he’s spent as much as he can for as much as he can get, and that’s all we’ve wanted to see for such a long time.
Under Arsene it was so predictable, maybe one deal done early in the summer window and then came the long wait, days became weeks, weeks became months as July slipped away, with nothing on the transfer front despite obvious gaps in the squad.
A contract drama or two to distract us, as players were allowed to run down contracts because important decisions had not been made earlier.
Constant links to players, most of them fiction, but not all of them, as the summer dragged by endlessly until the said players linked to Arsenal joined other clubs.
Then Arsene would compound his inertia by admitting that he had in fact been interested in said players, increasing the fans’ frustrations. It was a saga played out almost every season after Dein was removed.
Finally, with the season started and those obvious gaps exposed, we had either another fretful deadline day, as Arsene desperately tried to make up for another wasted summer, or he’d splash out for a panic buy, usually on the back of a poor start to the season.
For me, this season has been a breeze, the clubs transfer business being concluded with a sense of urgency, direction and with those obvious gaps attended to.
I’ve found it noticeable that all the signings this summer have been of a more defensive nature: a goalkeeper, two defenders and two defensive midfielders – big personalities with an edge, no more nicey-nicey tiki-taka midfielders.
Everything is currently low profile despite the press scrum. A few training videos to wet the appetite; but mainly it’s serious business at the Arsenal Training Centre.
The summer transfer window closes on August 9th this year and it’ll be the first time in over 10 years that it will pass me by. I won’t give it more than a passing thought save maybe for the odd Arsenal player going out on loan or being sold. Happy days.