Duncan Castles thinks Arsenal should be embarrassed by their attempts to bring in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar on deadline day.
Speaking to the Transfer Window Podcast via Daily Star, Castles didn’t hold back in his criticism of Arsenal’s efforts in the market, saying: “Arsenal had a terrible transfer window. A really shocking transfer window.
“And then the horrendous mess they made of trying to sign Thomas Lemar on deadline day, putting in a club-record bid when they didn’t have a guarantee that Lemar would come to the club. Not only did they fail to get the player but they embarrassed themselves publicly in their attempt to sign him.”
“Only one signing of significance, and one who in [Alexandre] Lacazette, for all his skills and finishing, is not a complete striker. Not a good aerial striker. Arsenal, in recent seasons, have moved towards an aerial game. Their defence is a complete mess, desperately needed strengthening and nothing done there apart from [Sead] Kolasinac who is a partial solution.”
Most Arsenal fans probably agree that the transfer window wasn’t a good one, since Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez were kept without new contracts, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wojciech Szczesny were sold with a year left, lowering their price, and only two players were brought in for the multiple outgoings.
Castles going after those two signings isn’t going to go down well though. Lacazette has hardly put a foot wrong since joining and has a couple of nice league goals, one being a headed effort. Sead Kolašinac was one of Arsenal’s best players against Bournemouth on Saturday and looks the best free transfer the Gunners have signed for some time.
However, the Lemar saga was disappointing to say the least. Most Arsenal fans had just about come to terms with the fact that no business would be done, but then on the last day suddenly Alexis was going to be sold and Lemar brought in, and then neither happened.
This left Arsenal in an even worse position than before. Now everyone knows that Alexis wants to leave and that the Gunners were happy to sell him as long as he was replaced, despite constant assertions to the contrary all summer.
Everyone also knows that Thomas Lemar rejected a move to the Gunners, whatever the reason. If Arsenal didn’t feel they could get a deal done, they should have just stuck with the set-up people had already spent a month getting used to, I feel.