What Arsenal’s failed summer transfers including Aouar and Edouard mean for January window plans

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Arsenal’s summer can be seen as an overall success given that there was a lot of work to be done and a majority of it was completed. But Edu, Mikel Arteta and the rest of the staff working on transfers probably always knew it would be more than a one-stop-shop rotation process, even if the summer 2020 transfer window was longer than normal. There was simply too much to do, inside and out, to make this a quick fix and bring the Gunners back to the top of the table – but it was a good start nonetheless.

So what deals haven’t quite come to fruition, and what work does that leave as attention off the pitch immediately turns to January – which after all is only two and a half months away. .

Those who ran away

On the incoming side, while Arsenal may have been after other names that didn’t appear in the gossip columns, there were two main areas of the squad that appeared to be in line for upgrades that didn’t appear. are never produced.

The first and most important was a creative and forward-thinking outlet in the central midfield.

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High on the wishlist appeared to be Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, although other names were mentioned including Chelsea’s Jorginho. Aouar was clearly the preference, however, but a combination of lack of funds and the France international not being fully convinced of the move means it never really happened.

Second, an attacker has long been mentioned, but never really prosecuted it seems.

Perhaps this was an area Arsenal were only looking for a new signing in case Alexandre Lacazette leaves, or perhaps the salary taken by the unwelcome Mesut Ozil could be written off. In both cases, players such as Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele – another Lyon star – were often linked, but never close to a transfer.

No buyers found

The outgoing side of things was more of a concern, actually. Arsenal’s squad remain bloated and unbalanced, with a handful of defensive players clearly having little future under Arteta.

At one point it seemed like Sead Kolasinac, Shkodran Mustafi, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos all had lined up moves, the first in Germany and the last in a duet in Italy, but for various reasons they all failed. Bringing in £ 10million or more for a few of them might not have done much in this window, but the savings on their wages and leaving the manager free to focus on improving a thinner group on the training ground would have been just as welcome as the incoming funds.

There were rumors and suggestions that Reiss Nelson, Folarin Balogun, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and even Hector Bellerin could be allowed to leave if any offers came, but either none materialized or the offers were not. acceptable.

January sales

The mid-season market needs to be more focused on offloading superfluous and unnecessary bodies, rather than Arteta to strengthen his squad.

Arsenal are clearly playing the long game with the Spain manager, a reasonable option given they have such a long way to go from mediocrity at the mid-table to contested top honors. This means there is no need to rush, pay big in winter, and hope for an immediate impact from signings.

If there is the option to add a quality face, then of course they could go ahead with a move – but given their number of non-local players and the team quota limits placed on them. best sides, selling two or three is the highest priority.



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Going into the new year, Edu’s job is expected to be twofold: monitoring and deciding early on which players will significantly boost the first team for next season, and trying to find clubs to pull an unwanted quartet out of the hands of the Gunners.

Ozil, Kolasinac, Mustafi and Sokratis need to find new homes for their talents still present, homes whose style and plans for the future match the capacity they have to offer.

Is Aouar still the player Arsenal want the most? That wouldn’t be a surprise, as his talent level is huge, but he’s already noted that he doesn’t care too much about missing a move to the Emirates and that he will likely have more suitors in a year. Keep an eye out for the next top talent to catch up with the money raised and saved on other departures, and Arsenal’s long-term improvement plan will always be on track.

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