Now we’ve reached the end of 2017, let’s look back at Arsenal’s transfer business, rating all the ins and outs over the last 12 months.
Starting with the 2017 January window, there isn’t much to say here, because no permanent transfers took place.
There were only a handful of loan deals for players struggling to break into the first-team:
Winter transfer window (January) 2016/17
1Chuba Akpom – to Brighton & Hove Albion (3)
This loan move for Akpom didn’t work out at all. He didn’t manage a goal, and only received one start in five months, which resulted in him being subbed after 58 minutes.
His total game-time came to just under two matches worth. I’m sure he will have learned some things during Brighton’s promotion push, but that doesn’t make up for the sideline spell.
2Matt Macey – to Luton Town (7)
Macey made 11 appearances for the League Two side on loan, before he was recalled when the Gunners faced a goalkeeping crisis.
Since then, he’s gone on to make his senior debut for Arsenal, and overall it seems like the loan deal worked out quite well, even if it was short-lived.
3Krystian Bielik – to Birmingham City (8)
Bielik’s temporary spell away from Arsenal went even better than Macey’s.
Although he only made 10 appearances, he very much impressed during the short spell with Birmingham, and got a run in the Arsenal first-team during pre-season as a result.
Unfortunately, he fell injured with the u23s before he could play in the Europa League or League Cup in 2017/18, but the loan was certainly helpful.
Summer window – transfers (June, July, August) 2017/18
Arsenal didn’t bring in a lot of players over the summer, instead offloading half a squad’s worth, as manager Arsene Wenger complained his side was bloated.
4Sead Kolašinac – from Schalke (9)
It’s not often that you find a starter with experience of a top-five European league, who needs no time to adjust and doesn’t cost you a penny on transfer fees.
That’s exactly what the Gunners managed with Sead Kolasinac, as the Bosnian joined early in the summer, and has contributed seven goals in all competitions. Coupled with his equally impressive defensive performances, Kolasinac has been a fantastic piece of business.
5Alexandre Lacazette – from Olympique Lyonnais (9)
Similar to Kolašinac, Lacazette burst onto the scene in England after his £46m move.
In the latter’s case, it took just seconds for him to open his account in the Premier League, and a goal and assist against Manchester City and Spurs helped win the doubters over very quickly.
Lacazette has to be the most clinical striker Arsenal have had since Robin van Persie, in my opinion, and that was exactly what the team needed.
6Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – to Liverpool (7)
Selling Oxlade-Chamberlain for £35m was something that couldn’t really be avoided, but getting such a big fee for an under-performing player with a year left on his contract, was great business.
There’s still a question whether the Ox will suddenly fulfil his potential and be worth the money Liverpool paid. But, for now, this looks like the sale of the summer.
7Wojciech Szczesny – to Juventus (4)
Arsenal needed to sell a goalkeeper over the summer, but it shouldn’t have been this one.
Szczesny knows the Premier League, and did very well on his loan spell with AS Roma. Meanwhile, David Ospina has performed poorly, and Martinez was never trusted to play other than in emergency situations.
With Petr Čech getting older, Woj was a free and low-risk replacement. Arsenal sold him for £11m, around a third of the price Everton paid for Jordan Pickford. A poor transfer on multiple fronts, in my opinion.
8Gabriel Paulista – to Valencia (6)
Honestly, I think Gabriel leaving Arsenal for £10m was best for all parties, although it didn’t look that way when injuries left Coquelin at centre-back!
The Brazilian had never settled, and never looked like he would. For all the good games he had, he made just as many silly mistakes, and Arsenal couldn’t afford to keep a centre-back like that.
From his point of view, he’s performed very well for Valencia. The only issue I have was with his asking price. Gabriel wasn’t someone who needed to leave immediately, so the Gunners should’ve held out for £15-20m at least.
9Kieran Gibbs – to West Brom for £6.75m (6)
Gibbs needed to go for his own sake, Arsenal needed to move on, but the price wasn’t right at £6.75m.
Unfortunately, the Gunners were in a very weak bargaining position with his contract up in the summer, so there wasn’t much they could do about asking for much more money.
10Yaya Sanogo – to Toulouse (8)
I feel sorry for Yaya, as he really did help us on the way to the 2014 FA Cup. But it was time to move on.
The constant injury problems and goal droughts left him needing a fresh start, and thankfully he’s now got one, leaving for free at the end of his contract with Arsenal.
Summer window – Loans (June, July, August) 2017/18
Loan spells are always hard to judge, given so much could happen in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, here’s what we’ve seen from them so far:
- Marc Bola – Bristol Rovers (8): For a young full-back, getting regular game-time is invaluable, and Bola has appeared as often as anyone on this list.
- Lucas Perez – Deportivo La Coruna (7): Lucas has been scoring goals, assisting them and playing regularly for Depor. He’s not setting the world alight, but he should’ve done enough to command a decent fee in the summer.
- Takuma Asano – Stuttgart (6): He hasn’t been free scoring for Stuttgart, but he’s getting more and more chances as time goes by.
- Kelechi Nwakali – VVV-Venlo (5): Another player that could do better in the second half of the season is Nwakali. He’s been in and out of the VVV-Venlo team so far this campaign.
- Stephy Mavididi – Preston North End (5): Early days yet, but Mavididi hasn’t been given too many chances up front for Preston. Hopefully that changes.
- Joel Campbell – Real Betis (4): Poor Joel Campbell has had more injury problems slowing his progress so far, even if he has looked good when he’s been available.
- Carl Jenkinson – Birmingham City (3): This could still turn out to be a good loan for Jenkinson, but for now the defender has spent the majority of his time with Birmingham injured.
- Emi Martinez – Getafe (2): Martinez has hardly played for Getafe, and now that he’s out the Copa Del Rey his prospects of gametime look even worse. It could be worth recalling him in January.
- Cohen Bramall – Birmingham City (1): Bramall has only been playing for the u23s with Birmingham. He could’ve done that at a higher level with Arsenal. Terrible loan move.