by Nia Griffiths

At the Puma kit launch, Ivan Gazidis had a wander amongst the fans and had a brief chat with Arsenal Fan TV about how he and Arsene Wenger approach signings.

Speaking openly, the Chief Executive Officer explained how signing a new player isn’t as simple as just getting their signature and sending them out onto the pitch with the first team. It involves a lot of discussion behind the scenes and a huge amount of consideration before making a move.

“[With] every [new signing] you’ve got to work out is the advantage of signing a player,” he said. “Does it overcome the loss of cohesion you have every time you make a change? There’s an awful lot of thought going into this window.

“We have to get the right pieces. When people say we need a couple [of new signings] you may be right but it’s the right pieces.

Gazidis then revealed why we didn’t sign a defender last summer saying, “Our assessment of both [Mathieu] Debuchy and [Nacho] Monreal was that they can both play central defence. Together with the fact that any new defender we sign would have to integrate into a new system along with Calum Chambers as well. So what you’re really talking about is the incremental advantage of signing somebody early that perhaps you don’t really believe in long term, versus playing somebody that you do believe in a pinch if you’ve got an injury problem, that can go inside and play there.

“Is that incremental difference enough that you have to go out and sign someone in the summer who you don’t necessarily think is the right person? That’s really the issue and I think people have struggled to find the right centre-backs.”

Gazidis was keen to show his empathy for fans, however. As someone who oversees our transfer plans, it must be comparatively easy for him to remain composed, even during stressful periods, but for us, the ones who haven’t got a clue what’s going on in the board room, it’s another story.

“It must be tough being a fan during the summer,” he admitted. “Because there’s no football so you’re just going to be obsessing about it and even though you know 90% of it is absolute rubbish, you still have to read it.

“If you look over the last two or three years at most of our signings they haven’t been the players everyone is saying we’ll sign and they haven’t been players that have really been on the radar for most people.”

Since joining taking up the position on our board in 2009, Gazidis has been witnessed his fair share of transfer drama and in recent seasons especially seems dead set on bridging the gap between the board and the fans. As long as the team continue improve, I don’t see why that couldn’t happen.

On whether Arsenal deliberately try to remain tight-lipped on transfer dealings, Gazidis nodded. “We try to,” he said.