Just as promised, Arsenal made no additions to their first team squad during the January transfer window.
As is the norm with the January window, I went into it with no expectations whatsoever. Arsene Wenger confirmed multiple times that he wouldn’t be very active, so at least he was honest from the get-go.
Arsenal did, however, see a lot of players going out on loan. In fact, we now have 19 players out and about gaining experience at other clubs.
Let’s take a look at who we brought in (hah), who left and who’s still at the club but perhaps shouldn’t be.
At the beginning of the window, Arsenal bought 20-year-old left-back, Cohen Bramall, from Hednesford Town. He’s a youth player though and I’ll doubt we’ll see him in the first team for a while, especially considering we’ve been knocked out of the EFL Cup.
Krystian Bielik – Birmingham City – Loan
Marc Bola – Notts County – Loan
Matt Macey – Luton Town – Loan
Stephy Mavididi – Charlton Athletic – Loan
Gedion Zelalem – VVV-Venlo – Loan
Ismael Bennacer – Tours – Loan
Jon Toral – Rangers – Loan
Kaylen Hinds – Stevenage – Loan
As you can tell, plenty of players currently out on loan but no one was sold.
Carl Jenkinson was supposed to be signing for Crystal Palace on a permanent deal. Everything looked like it was going ahead but the right-back couldn’t agree personal terms it seems. With Hector Bellerin going from strength to strength and Jenks’ confidence apparently shot, I struggle to see what we’ll do with him until summer.
If there was one player I would have put money on leaving at the very least on loan again in January it would have been Mathieu Debuchy. The Frenchman badmouthed Wenger in the press, claiming that he had blocked a move to Manchester United, something the boss disputes, and seemed perplexed at his lack of first team playing time despite being injured.
The fact that we couldn’t offload him says a lot. Although, since he’s injured, perhaps we didn’t even try.
All in all, no surprises, except for the fact that Jenks and Debuchy are still Arsenal players. Where would we have strengthened? Arsenal’s inconsistencies and weaknesses aren’t simply problems that buying one or two ‘top, top quality’ players can solve overnight. The issues lie deeper than that, in the attitude and set-up of the team as a whole. On paper, our players are capable but, as we proved against Watford, we’re far from title contenders.
It’s no longer the players we should be looking at.