Well, there we have it. The 2017 transfer window is, for better or worse, closed. Now that the dust has settled and the churn has stopped, what exactly happened?
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool)
Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)
Lucas Perez (Deportivo La Coruna, loan)
Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)
We’ll have much more on What All This Means in the next few days, but overall, this wasn’t Wenger’s best window. Sure, he held on to Alexis, but at what cost?
I’m usually not a person who invests a lot of emotion in the transfer window, but I have to say that in this particular window, with quite a bit at stake, Arsenal fell gravely short and I am extremely unhappy about it. I fully expected them to make a bigger series of plays; there’s always almosts and could-have-beens in any transfer window, of course, but Arsenal had some serious work to do this summer, and only got maybe 20% of it done.
I’m certainly not minimizing Lacazette/Kolasinac’s arrivals, but if Arsenal wanted to keep referring to the Manchesters and Chelsea as “title rivals”, they needed to do a lot more than that. And they didn’t.
Whether that’s down to bad luck or down to Arsenal not being a preferred destination any more, I don’t know; I’ve been a Wenger transfer business defender for a long time, but now I’m even kinda done with that. Yes, transfers are complex. Yes, there are a ton of moving pieces to them. But here we are in September, basically where we were in May (especially if Lacazette and Kolasinac aren’t being started yet), and I wasn’t happy with where Arsenal was in May, so I’m even more not happy now.
All I know is that Arsenal are beginning their descent into being a second-tier Premier League team, and summers like this are a big part of the reason why. There will no doubt be more nuanced, informed articles about this from us later on, but for now I’m just going to be mad that the club I love is in the state it’s in.