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Arsenal transfer window recap/roundup: players in, out, overall grade

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The Gunners made a bunch of moves stretching back into the summer. Were they good ones?

Atletico de Madrid v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The transfer window SLAMMED shut this evening, meaning player movement is done (aside for moves between Premier League and EFL clubs) for twelve months, which means the January rumours will start heating up in about 10 days time. Here’s what Arsenal have done over the last couple of months:

Re-signed

David Luiz, Pablo Marí, Cédric Soares, Dani Ceballos

Luiz extended his contract shortly before the June 23 deadline. Arsenal did the same for Cédric Soares and Pablo Marí, and then confirmed extensions last month. Luiz, although sometimes a liability, was also excellent in the FA Cup run at the end of Project Restart. Cédric Soares is of course represented by Kia Joorabchian, and has played 250 league minutes for Arsenal, which seems high. Pablo Marí started two games, and is now a backup to Gabriel and Kieran Tierney. Mari is expected back in full training after the international break.

Dani Ceballos, of course, re-joined on loan from Real Madrid.

Returned from loan

Mohamed Elneny

Elneny is back, and essentially takes the place of Lucas Torreira. He’s started three Premier League games so far, though we’ll see how his playing time gets affected by the move Arsenal made on deadline day.

In

Willian, Gabriel Magalhães, Alex Runarsson, Thomas Partey, Nikolaj Moller, Omar Rekik

Partey is obviously the highlight here—a key addition to Arsenal’s midfield, bringing physicality, dynamism, and athleticism. Gabriel, signed for over £20m, looks set to be in Arsenal’s first choice defence. Runarsson is a backup goalkeeper; Willian, signed on a free, has played on the right hand side ahead of Nicolas Pépé early on. Arteta’s task is to get Willian and Pépé into the same team.

Moller and Rekik are youth signings for the future, and technically, Rekik will not join Arsenal until January because the club couldn’t finish his medical and the deal in time.

Out

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Emi Martinez, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Mattéo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira

Mkhitaryan was released in order to get out of paying a bonus—a sign of some tight finances. Emi Martinez jumped onto the scene following Bernd Leno’s injury, won the FA Cup and Community Shield, and left for a guaranteed number 1 spot at Aston Villa, in a deal worth £20m. Farewell, sweet prince. Mavropanos went on loan to Germany, again; as did Mattéo Guendouzi, who never regained the trust or backing of Mikel Arteta following a disciplinary breach. Lucas Torreira left on loan on deadline day for Atletico Madrid, likely bringing his time at the club to an end. The wages of the latter two will be covered by both clubs, and Arsenal got a loan fee for Torreira.

Overall grade: B-

From the verge of failure, Arsenal pulled the window out of the bag. There are question marks about the expenditure for Partey, given that he won’t have any real re-sale value, but he does improve the midfield by a large degree. Nor does Partey increase the creativity of the midfield, and that is something that needs to be addressed. He does, however, allow Mikel Arteta to potentially play a back four and get an extra midfielder on the pitch, which would help the attack.

Arsenal’s selling window was worse, and it’s what knocks the overall grade of the window down. Only selling Martinez, and failing to get fees for Kolasinac, Torreira, and Guendouzi is a disappointment, and Arsenal are going to be eating some wages on player registration unless there are any forthcoming moves to EFL clubs. The Gunners currently have 2 senior players more than they can register for the Premier League.