The January 2021 transfer window has now closed, so let’s have a look at all the Arsenal deals that were completed.
Arsenal deals – Completed
Arsenal players – In
- Omar Rekik – 19-year-old ball-playing centre-back, signed from Hertha Berlin in a deal that was almost completed in the summer. He has joined the u23s initially.
- Anna Patten – Former Arsenal player re-signed after finishing her studies in the US.
- Mat Ryan – The Brighton keeper has signed on loan until the end of the season in a move nobody saw coming.
- Martin Odegaard – The Real Madrid midfielder has joined on loan until the end of the season.
Arsenal players – Out
- Sead Kolasinac – Schalke, loan, expected to turn into a permanent move in the summer.
- William Saliba – Nice, loan.
- Daniel Ballard – Blackpool loan extended.
- Matt Macey – Hibs, permanent.
- Sokratis – Contract terminated.
- Mesut Ozil – Did not have his contract terminated as many believe.
- Matt Smith – Loan switched from Swindon to Charlton Athletic.
- Joseph Olowu – Loan with Wealdstone FC until end of Arsenal contract
- Zech Medley – Loan with Kilmarnock after Arsenal recalled him from Gillingham
- Shkodran Mustafi – Contract terminated, has joined Schalke
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Loan, West Brom
- Joe Willock – Loan, Newcastle
Arsenal deals – extended
- James Hillson – Goalkeeper signed his fourth Arsenal contract in three years.
- Alex Kirk – Signed his first professional contract.
- Brooke Norton-Cuffy – Signed his first professional contract.
Was Arsenal’s transfer window really that good?
by Stephen Bradley
With the 2020-21 winter transfer window coming to an end, let’s see how well Arsenal have managed to go about their business over the past month, and whether they can be happy with their work as a whole.
Martin Ødegaard – Loan from Real Madrid until end of season
There are a number of questions regarding this deal, and all of them can be answered with one word:
- Is Ødegaard a good player? Yes.
- Can he help them team climb the table and go far in the Europa League? Yes.
- Is it a indicative sign of Mikel Arteta’s ability to draw players of Ødegaard’s ability to the club? Yes.
- Is it a problem that this deal doesn’t include a buy clause? YES.
As happy as I am that someone of Ødegaard’s quality has been brought into the club, there is a whiff of short-termism about the deal. He can help now, absolutely. But what happens in five months when the deal is up?
There are only two outcomes in play here; Either Ødegaard plays superbly well for Arsenal, in which case Real Madrid will thank us for getting him back into form and bring him back to the Bernabeu, or he doesn’t perform well and Real Madrid offers us the chance to sign a player who we won’t particularly want. Neither are in Arsenal’s best interest.
RATING: Right now, it’s a 7/10. If Ødegaard is still at the club on September 1st, it’ll be a 10. If he isn’t, it’ll be a 4.
Matthew Ryan – Loan from Brighton until end of season
After watching Alex Runarsson underwhelm during Europa League games in the autumn, and then proceeding to flap at a Rihad Mahrez free kick last month as if he was trying to catch a bag of wasps, most Arsenal fans made up their minds that the Icelander was not the man to challenge Bernd Leno as the number one goalkeeper. So, it was pleasing to see that Arsenal’s hierarchy agreed and brought a more experienced set of hands into the club.
Frankly, pretty much anyone would have been OK here, as if Leno plays every game for the rest of the season then nobody will be upset. But Ryan is a Premier League calibre goalkeeper who is happy to be backup at the club he supports. I’d be more than happy to keep him long-term.
Sigh. It’s such a shame that it had to end this way, with Arsenal virtually having to bribe a player to leave, even though that same player was virtually bribed to stay only three years ago. There is plenty of blame to go around, and nobody comes away from this saga smelling of roses. Our own Matthew Wade wrote this about Özil six years ago and it still applies today.
From February 1st, Arsenal won’t be paying Özil £350,000 a week anymore. It would have been far, far more beneficial to everyone involved if this had been managed to have been sorted out last summer, but it’s done now. End of. Everyone can move on and I can start copy and pasting Ø instead of Ö into columns now. Wøøt.
Let me give you a rather depressing fact; Kolasinac and Mustafi are only 27 and 28 years old respectively. They were both 24 when Arsenal signed them. On paper, these were both good bits of business, getting in established defenders who had shown good form, and were about to enter their prime.
Bringing both of these players to Arsenal was totally justifiable. But neither player has adapted well to the Premier League, with Kolasinac unable to play as a left-back in a back four, and Mustafi unable to rid his game of crippling yet inexplicable lapses in concentration.
I give Arsenal a bit more of a pass on Kolasinac leaving, since he was brought in on a free transfer, but watching £35 million walk out the door in Mustafi’s case is a bitter pill to swallow. Add that money to the potential pot that would have had Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s potential transfer fees in it too, if we didn’t let them walk out the door for nothing as well………ugh.
RATING: Kolasinac 5/10, Mustafi 2/10
Sokratis – Released on a free transfer
If there’s a blot on Sven Mislintat’s tenure as head of recruitment at Arsenal, it was his decision to bring in the Greek international from his former club, Borussia Dortmund. After the immediate success of his former club-mate, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Mislintat thought that Sokratis would have a similar impact at Arsenal. Yet, whilst the Gabonese striker was a perfect fit for how Arsenal wanted to play, the Greek was anything but.
If this was 1991, Sokratis would be a cult hero. His game is a very old-school one, based around eliminating attacking threats with little sophistication. He is certainly not a bad player, but when the current manager expects his centre-backs to be as good on the ball as they are off it, it was always going to be a tall order for Sokratis to get back into the first team.
RATING: 5/10. Again, this should have been sorted out last summer, but at least Arsenal have managed to get his wages off the balance sheet when they don’t need his services.
Joe Willock – Loan to Newcastle until end of season
Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Loan to West Brom until end of season
A penny for Mr. Maitland-Niles’ thoughts at the moment. He wants to get into the England squad this summer for Euro 2020 (yes, it’s still being called that) and he reckons his best chance of doing so is as a midfielder instead of as full back. He’s probably right, too.
But, as it stands, Arsenal views him as a full back, and every club that inquired about him apart from West Brom, wanted him as a full back. It’s a crucial few months for the lad, and he’s about to spend them playing for Sam Allardyce at a club staring relegation in the face. Remember what happened with Serge Gnabry at Stoke? I’m just saying.
As for Willock, he needs game time under his belt, and desperately. Is he a number 8, or a number 10? Newcastle will play him as an 8, and it’s his best chance of showing he’s a Premier League footballer. It’s one thing not being able to displace Granit Xhaka from a team-sheet. But Jonjo Shelvey?
We’ll know exactly what we have with these two players after these loans, and that can only be good in the long-term for Arsenal. But if I were to pick who’s got the better chance of standing out, it’s Willock.
RATING: Willock 8/10, Maitland-Niles 6/10
The Premier League summer transfer window for the 20/21 season is now closed so how many deals did Arsenal agree?
More than you’d think…
Arsenal deals – completed
Nikolaj Duus Möller
Arsenal signed 6’4″ forward Nikolaj Duus Möller on 4-year-deal from Malmö
The boy from Real Madrid is back for another season and he isn’t even costing as much as he did last season.
After some time in quarantine, Gabriel finally arrived.
Willian – Free (LOL)
Does Mikel Arteta really want him? Is he only joining because of Kia Joorabchian? These are questions we may never know the answer too, but what we do know is that the 32-year-old is now an Arsenal player, joining David Luiz and Eddie Nketiah as former Chelsea players at the club. Willian also joins a quite exclusive club of players who’ve moved directly from Arsenal to Chelsea.
William Saliba – End of loan
Although signed last summer, William Saliba will go into the Arsenal squad for the first time in the 20/21 season making him not only like a new signing but an actual new signing.
Pablo Mari – £7.2m
Mari was another signed on loan in January and then on a permanent deal when this window opened.
Mari is represented by AC Talent whose owner, Arturo Canales is ‘close friends‘ with Sanllehi and also sold him the idea of Unai Emery. Sanllehi, as we know, is very good friends with Joorabchian although not such good friends with Arsenal any more.
Mari will miss the start of the season after surgery on his ankle problem.
Mari is expected to miss the start of the season after surgery on his ankle problem.
Cedric Soares – Free
Arsenal signed Soares on loan in January, even though he was available for free this summer. The transfer was made to look even worse when he then spent a large amount of time out injured, first with a knee injury that he arrived with and then a broken nose he picked up in training.
Salah Eddine Oulad M’Hand
Known simply as ‘Salah,’ Salah Eddine Oulad M’Hand is a Dutch 18-year-old who arrived at the club out-of-the-blue this summer from Feyenoord, not to be confused with Ajax’s 18-year-old defender, Anass Salah-Eddine.
“It feels great to join a massive club like Arsenal,” Salah said. “It’s a good environment for me to work on my development and hopefully through the academy I can become a first-team player.”
Salah is a self-described “central midfielder” who likes to play “play box to box”. “Offensively,” he adds, “I’m a creative player and I can play with my left or right foot.”
He has been given the number 74 shirt.
Jonathan Dinzeyi officially completed his free transfer to Arsenal on Monday, after reaching the end of his deal with Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal deals – extended
Arsenal finally announced that Auba has signed a new extension to remain at Arsenal for three years.
David Luiz – One year
David Luiz, a player so good Arsenal signed him twice within 12 months.
The Athletic claim Arsenal paid £6m to an ‘intermediary’ to make this deal happen in the first place last summer, a claim both the club and intermediary, Kia Joorabchian, denied.
On his day, he is as good as any central defender out there. The problem is, it’s not often his day.
Has joined Hertha Berlin on loan for the rest of the season with no option to buy, as per his request.
Has joined Ipswich for the season on loan.
Emi Martinez has joined Aston Villa on a five-year permanent deal for which Arsenal netted £16m.
Returned to Real Madrid. For a little while, anyway.
Even losing wasn’t so bad when Freddie was in charge. Off seeking new adventures…
Zak Swanson – Loan
19-year-old Zak Swanson will spend next season in the Netherlands representing MVV Maastricht, where we sent Kelechi Nwakali twice.
A defender who has been at the club since he was six, Swanson signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in 2019.
Trae Coyle – Loan
Has joined Gillingham on loan.
Joseph Olowu – Loan
On loan with Cork City until the end of October and has already helped them to three consecutive cleansheets.
Konstaninos Mavropanos – Loan
On loan with Sven Mislintat and Stuttgart.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Permanent
After spending last season on loan with Roma they have made it permanent.
Matt Smith – Loan
Matt Smith has completed a loan move to Swindon Town.
The 19-year-old might be better known to you as ‘that blonde lad on the bench’ from Arsenal’s last three FA Cup games (and three Premier League games).
Zech Medley – Loan
Medley will also spend next season with Gillingham, who play in League 1 where they finished 10th.
The Gills, by their own admission, fought off competition from ‘no less than three Championship clubs and a host of League 1 clubs to clinch the signing of highly rated Arsenal central defender.’
Ben Sheaf – Loan with option
Ben Sheaf, 22, spent the season on loan with Doncaster Rovers.
After catching the eye at Coventry City, they have now signed him on loan for the season with a £750k option-to-buy.
Coventry boss Mark Robins is reportedly a big fan of the midfielder, who can also play at centre-back. The former League One side achieved promotion to the Championship this season, so it is a good move for the player.
Tyreece John-Jules – Loan
19-year-old John-Jules has joined Doncaster Rovers on loan for the season and we will be bringing you regular reports with the help of Doncaster Rovers fansite, Into the Empty Net who helped us cover Ben Sheaf at the club last season.