Arsenal signed three players and let 13 leave in its busiest January transfer window for years.
If you asked Arsene Wenger, he would want the January transfer window abolished. Yet, he put his personal disdain for it to one side to oversee several changes to his squad ahead of the final half of the season.
It began quietly enough with the signing of Konstantinos Mavropanos from Greek side PAS Giannina for £2.2m. The 20-year-old centre-back would go straight into the u23 side while he adapted to English football.
The serenity wouldn’t last, as rumblings of Alexis Sanchez’s future grew louder and louder until, finally, the saga came to an end.
Manchester City tried to sign him again, but pulled out due to his wage demands. Manchester United saw the opportunity and, after some back and forth about which player they’d let go, offered Henrikh Mkhitaryan in exchange.
Swap deals are very rare these days, but Arsenal went through with it. Sanchez was gone, and in his place was Mkhitaryan, who took his number seven shirt.
Meanwhile, Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott left the club after several years of service.
Both had struggled for regular first team minutes this season, and while they were respected for their contributions, they didn’t have the quality we were looking for.
In the final week of the window, Arsenal made a serious effort to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund.
What started out as a doubtful rumour escalated into something tangible as the club sent a delegation of Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Huss Fahmy to Germany to get the deal done.
Negotiations continued up until the final couple of days. Dortmund’s need of a replacement complicated things, and brought Chelsea into the mix.
Another outgoing was Mathieu Debuchy, who joined St. Etienne on a free transfer after Arsenal ended his contract early.
There was also movement at youth level.
Stephy Mavididi cut his loan short at Preston North End and joined League 1 Charlton on loan instead. Kelechi Nwakali switched from VVV Venlo to MVV Maastricht.
And in the final deal of the day, Krystian Bielik joined Walsall on loan for the rest of the season.Click here for reuse options!
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