The January transfer window is a couple of months away, so we’re looking at the last few winter windows, to try and get an idea of the kind of business Arsenal might do this year.
This summer of 2017 was not a particularly exciting one from a transfer standpoint, with only two signings being made. There were a few departures, with five players being permanently transferred out, and another nine loaned. But before we get excited about all the business being saved for January, let’s look at the most recent January windows:
1. January 2017
This isn’t a good start for anyone hoping for a lot of business, as Arsenal didn’t sign a single player. Matt Macey, Krystian Bielik and Chuba Akpom were loaned out from the senior squad, although they were all playing in the youth teams anyway. That was it.
2. January 2016
Arsenal did make a signing in the 2016 winter window, bringing in Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel. Elneny cost the Gunners around £9.4m, so he wasn’t exactly a mega-money signing, but he’s been a good squad option for the club in general.
Yaya Sanogo and Serge Gnabry also returned from disappointing loans to Ajax and West Brom respectively, and Sanogo was immediately loaned out again to Charlton. Debuchy joined Bordeaux on another temporary deal.
3. January 2015
This window was even more productive, as the Gunners made two permanent signings, bringing two centre-backs in Gabriel Paulista and Krystian Bielik, although at the time Bielik was a defensive midfielder.
Arsenal spent a combined £13m on the pair, and also recalled Francis Coquelin from his loan. Francis went on to have a fantastic few months with the Gunners, so that was the best piece of business of the season at the time. Perhaps that’s why Wenger was reluctant to spend in the 2016 and 2017 windows.
4. January 2014-2012
I’m going to combine the next few years because so little happened. In three windows Arsenal signed Thomas Eisfeld for under £1m, signed Nacho Monreal for £8.5m, brought in Thierry Henry on loan for a couple of months and Kim Källström with a back injury.
5. This year
To conclude, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if this year is anything like the last six, the best we can hope for is a new youth prospect, or a good squad option.
There have been rumours suggesting Arsenal could go back in for Thomas Lemar, but signing the Frenchman from Monaco for a reported £90m would be a larger transfer fee than the total of all the above six windows combined, even if you included the departures.
It would be a big change from the norm and probably just what the Gunners need. Not that that makes a difference…