Arsenal are generally very quiet in the January transfer window.

Arsene Wenger is clearly not a fan of this window with it’s inflated prices and restricted options while many other managers have stated that they find them very disruptive, going into the ‘business end’ of the season.

But despite all of that, business does get done so I decided to have a look back at some of the weird and wonderful signings we’ve made since the January transfer window has been a thing.

Guillaume Warmuz – Free Jan 2003
Guillaume Warmuz
(Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Our first ever winter transfer window signing (that could be an answer at an Arsenal-based pub quiz) and boy was it a good one! Not conceding a goal in all of his zero appearances for the club after being signed as a replacement for the injured Rami Shaaban. Legend.

Verdict: Miss

José Antonio Reyes – £10.5mil + add-ons from Sevilla Jan 2004
José Antonio Reyes
(Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

The curious case of José Antonio Reyes.

When José signed for Arsenal he grew and grew into the English game, scoring goals, creating chances and linking up well with others. Then, something happened and the goals dried up, the attitude changed and constant transfer rumours appeared.

There were reports of homesickness and a case of the prank phone call from a Spanish radio station where he claimed that he wasn’t enjoying life in London and that “bad people” were at the club.

Reyes then confused everyone by signing a six year contract three months later.

One year on from committing his future to the club, he refused to play in a Champions League qualifier as he did not wanting to be cup-tied.

In August 2006, he agreed to join Real Madrid on loan and we got Júlio Baptista in return for a season.

Verdict: Miss

Emmanuel Eboué – £1mil from Beveren Jan 2005
Emmanuel Eboué
(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

A cult hero to some, a useful squad player to others, a hilarious liability to most.

Eboué wasn’t a bad player, but if we’re honest he was just not good enough for a club wanting to compete for trophies.

The first few years of his Arsenal career were fairly solid but then as soon as we signed Bacary Sagna he was demoted to second choice right back or emergency right winger.

I’ll remember him for a poor performance against Wigan at the Emirates, giving away a penalty in the 97th minute v Liverpool and “You’ve only come to see Eboue.”

Verdict: Miss

Carlos Vela – £550k from Guadalajara Jan 2006
Carlos Vela
(Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A deal to sign Carlos Vela was agreed late in 2005 but wasn’t official until the window opened in January 2006.

I loved Vela and was disappointed when we sold him, but the player was understandably frustrated with the lack of playing time at Arsenal.

After a few loan moves in England and Spain he’s now doing a decent job for Real Sociedad.


Verdict: Miss

Abou Diaby – £2mil from Auxerre Jan 2006
Abou Diaby
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Oh Abou.

He showed glimpses of his potential before a horrendous leg break at Sunderland from Dan Smith just a few months after arriving at the club.

So much promise, so many injuries since.

With his contract up this summer and unfortunately sidelined with another injury I think it’s unlikely we’ll see him in a Arsenal shirt again.

Verdict: Miss

Emmanuel Adebayor – £3mil from Monaco Jan 2006
Emmanuel Adebayor
(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Now, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I can’t stand him as much as the next Gooner.

However, he was great for us for a couple of years including the 2007-08 season when he scored 30 goals in all competitions.

He then became too big for his boots and started saying weird things about Beyoncé being like AC Milan and god knows what else.

We clearly sold him to Man City for £25mil at the right time considering his problems at various clubs since.


Verdict: Hit!

Theo Walcott – £12mil from Southampton Jan 2006
Theo Walcott two-nil
(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

We beat a lot of clubs to the signature of a 16 year old Theo.

He’s had his critics but he’s a class player and when on form can cause problems to any side.

His pace is obviously his main asset but before his last two long-term injuries, he started to pop up with a fair few goals.

His first goal for Arsenal came in the league cup final v Chelsea and he’s gone on to score 68 more times in all competitions from the wing. He’s stayed when many others got itchy feet and hopefully his loyalty can be repaid with more trophies in the future.

When fit, he is a vital player in our first team so here’s to hoping he can find some of that pre-injury form.

Verdict: Hit!

Luke Freeman – £200K from Gillingham Jan 2008
Luke Freeman
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

I really have no idea about this one.

Signed as a youngster, went on loan to Stevenage in 2011, and joined them permanently for an undisclosed fee in 2012.

Now plays for Bristol City. Good for him.

Verdict: Miss

Andrey Arshavin – £15mil from Zenit Feb 2009
Andrey Arshavin
(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Arriving after a spectacular Euro 2008 great things were expected of the little Russian.

He originally settled in quickly and had a decent return in his first few months in England.

After a year or so though his confidence dropped, some put it down to the fact he was playing left wing, even though this didn’t seem to be a massive problem at first, others put it down to laziness.

We’ll always have the four goals at Anfield and the winner v Barcelona as memories.

Verdict: Miss

Sol Campbell – Free from unattached Jan 2010
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

He started the season at Sven-Göran Eriksson’s Notts County in League 2 after those bizarre takeover talks by a Middle East consortium.

He made his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Morecambe and mutually agreed to cancel his contract three days later.

A few months later, we picked him up on a free to give us more options at the back and he actually did pretty well!

Appeared in 14 games in all competitions and scored in the Champions League v Porto in his short second stint.

Verdict: Hit!

Thomas Eisfeld – £420K from Borussia Dortmund Jan 2012
Thomas Eisfeld
(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Picked up on the cheap after a serious injury at Dortmund, the young German never made his mark in an Arsenal shirt.

With just two Carling Cup appearances and one goal to show for his two years at the club, he moved to Fulham in the summer window.

Verdict: Miss

Nacho Monreal – £8.5mil from Malaga Jan 2013
Nacho Monreal
(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

We were due to sign Monreal in the summer of 2013 but it was brought forward after an injury to Kieran Gibbs and the calamity of Andre Santos whom we loaned out the following month.

To me, he’s been a very reliable squad player since we signed him and has come up with some solid performances.

He’s never going to get many plaudits but there can’t be many better second choice left backs in the league.

Verdict: Hit!

Kim Källström – Loan from Spartak Moscow Jan 2014
Kim Källström
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

I was on holiday when this transfer went through.

I got a text from a mate which said something along the lines of “You’ve signed Källström, LOL!” to which I replied “Put down Football Manager and get some fresh air.

I found a WiFi hotspot later on that day and sure enough we had signed Kim Källström, with a broken back, on loan until the end of the season.

Wenger said he wouldn’t have signed him if it wasn’t the last day of the transfer window which didn’t really fill anyone with hope.

The whole deal just seemed weird, one start and two sub appearances in the league and one sub appearance in the FA Cup is the return we got. I suppose he scored a penalty in the FA Cup semi-final shoot out but apart from that, nothing else to say about him.

Verdict: Miss.

January 2015

It’s a bit early to make a judgement on Krystian Bielik whom I’ve already talked about earlier in the window and with Gabriel Paulista on his way to The Arsenal shortly, let’s hope they fall in the Theo Walcott category rather than the Guillaume Warmuz one!