Last night brought back memories of 2013’s deadline day when Arsenal completed the signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. The German was then our biggest ever signing, and fans couldn’t contain their excitement after the deal was announced.
Between Ozil and now, we have signed a bunch of top quality players. Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe are some of the big names who have come in recently, and as excited as Arsenal fans were about these signings, it wasn’t quite as nerve-wracking as the deal in 2013.
Arsenal fans across the globe felt the exact same last night. We have been linked with a move for Thomas Partey for about six months. Reports everywhere made it clear that we could not afford his release clause, and that Atletico Madrid had no interest in negotiating a deal for a lower price.
No deal looked likely for any player early yesterday, but things changed drastically. Multiple reports revealed that the Gunners were prepared to pay his release clause, and we did exactly that. Arsenal sealed the deal for Partey late in the transfer window, and he has to be among the best signings of the summer.
Partey will certainly give us a big boost to achieve our targets this season. The Ghanaian has all the qualities to become one of the best players in the Premier League, but he isn’t the only player we have signed in this transfer window.
A near-perfect transfer window
Arsenal have had a stunning transfer window. Mikel Arteta should be delighted with the work done behind the scenes as he really has almost everything he wanted. Gabriel Magalhaes, in the short time he has been here, has shown that he has the quality to succeed in the Premier League.
The Brazilian was an excellent addition for just over £23 million, (BBC) a massive bargain in a market where someone like James Tarkowski is valued at £50 million. (Daily Mail) Don’t get me wrong, the Burnley man is a brilliant defender, but if a 22-year-old with incredible quality and immense potential is available for less than half of what Sean Dyche wants for his defender, it’s a no brainer.
Arsenal also signed Willian for free. A lot of people questioned Arteta’s decision to bring him in, and rightly so. The Brazilian is on the wrong side of 30, and his best years are arguably behind him. However, the experience as well as the versatility he brings in is very useful for this Gunners side.
The new arrivals are a massive boost on their own, but Arsenal did what they had to do with some of their own players as well. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli were all tied down to long-term deals, making this an incredible summer for us.
One tiny regret?
It was widely reported that Arsenal pushed hard to sign Houssem Aouar. RMC Sport reported about 10 days ago that we had indeed tabled a bid to sign the playmaker. Lyon stood firm in negotiations and we weren’t able to close a deal for him by the end of the window.
That arguably was the reason why Arsenal decided to trigger Partey’s release clause yesterday. It was always unlikely that we would get both Aouar and the Ghanaian in the same window, but had it happened, it would have made this the perfect summer for us.
Not signing a playmaker could prove to be a regret for Arteta this season. We have struggled for creativity in the final third, and Aouar would certainly have made a huge difference if we could have sealed the deal for him.
However, Arteta can still make things work. Partey’s arrival will give Dani Ceballos, who returned for another year on loan, the freedom he needs to play higher up the pitch. Mesut Ozil could also be reintegrated into the squad, and the one thing that the German does is create chances.
Signing Aouar would have arguably made this our best ever transfer window. However, even without him, Arteta should be really confident about a successful season with the squad he currently has at his disposal.