To say Arsenal have had a poor start to the season is an understatement. The club seems to be in a state of complete disarray which has been evident in their haphazard summer transfer business. Here is an assessment of the highs and lows Arsenal faced as they conducted their transfer business.
Signing Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal signed Alexandre Lacazette for a club record £52.6m in July which left fans feeling optimistic. The Gunners have been desperate for a world-class striker for several seasons and it seems they have finally got one. Lacazette scored 76 goals in the last three Ligue 1 seasons. He’s the 20 goal a season striker that Arsenal have been crying out for. The French international scored on his home debut against Leicester with just his second touch and became the fastest-scoring debutant in Premier League history. Wenger made the very controversial decision to leave Lacazette on the bench against Anfield. Hopefully this will be a rare occurrence.
Signing Sead Kolasinac
Sead Kolasinac was signed on a free transfer from Schalke. This seems like very good business from Arsenal considering he is just 23 years of age. He also made the Bundesliga team of the season after contributing three goals and seven assists from 36 appearances in all competitions this season.
Kolasinac has become a fan favourite with his early performances. Once he starts in his preferred left-wing back position, he could be simply unstoppable.
Selling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain traded the Emirates for Anfield on transfer deadline day stating “this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development.” He rejected an improved contract with Arsenal to further his career and play more in his favoured central midfield role. Yes he has joined a rival club, but with one year left on his contract, Arsenal did great business to sell Oxlade-Chamberlain for £40m.
Selling Kieran Gibbs
The issue with this transfer is not selling Kieran Gibbs. Despite his 13 year association with the club, it was time for Gibbs to move on. The problem is the transfer fee. In July, Arsenal rejected a £10m bid from West Brom for Kieran Gibbs. Then, a day before the transfer window closed, Arsenal accepted another bid from West Brom of £7m.
Gibbs was part of a list of players that were free to leave and at the start of the window Arsenal wanted £15m for him. After all that, they settled for £7m. It’s embarrassing that Arsenal waited so long to complete the transfer when it could have been done months ago and for a greater value.
The Alexis Sanchez fiasco
It remains to be seen whether keeping Alexis Sanchez for another season will be beneficial for Arsenal. I have my doubts. After his first appearance of the season against Anfield, it was clear that Sanchez was fed up of Arsenal and ready to move on to a new challenge. His body language and apparent smirk on the bench seemed to say it all. However, his £60m move to Manchester City fell through after Arsenal failed to secure a replacement.
Sanchez will of course be devastated and now has to reintegrate himself into an Arsenal dressing room that he thought he had seen the back of. Arsene Wenger will be delighted to have kept his star player.
However, letting him leave for free next season is not good business at all, especially if Arsenal fail to make the top four for the second consecutive season.