This Arsenal transfer window feels different than what we’re used to. If we’re being nitpicky, last summer was different, too, and this window feels a lot like 12 months ago. But once is a coincidence, twice is a pattern. So I’ll forgive all of us, myself included, for not cottoning on quicker.
Mikel Arteta knows who he wants to buy. And the club are going out and buying them. It’s quite nice. I could get used to this. Last year, the scuttlebutt was, early on, that Arsenal wanted Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, and Martin Ødegaard. Or James Maddison if they couldn’t swing MØ. It wasn’t the reporting at the time, but I think that’s why the Gunners were so heavily linked with Maddison — he was an Ødegaard fallback.
This summer, he wanted Gabriel Jesus. We’ve got him. The announcement is coming this week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. He also wants Lisandro Martinez. Arsenal have reportedly made a second, improved bid for the Argentine that Ajax are currently mulling. And I’d bet the club end up with at least one of Raphinha or Youri Tielemans as well, given how strong / consistent the links have been.
On top of that, we’ve gotten surprises. Last year, it was Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares, and a deadline day deal for Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Marquinhos signing feels in the category of the first two, a mostly unheralded young player who needs a year or two to develop. Signing Fabio Vieira, although not in the dying hours of the window, feels like the Tomiyasu deal — a move for a first-team ready player with whom not many people were familiar. We also have Matt “Matty” Turner. It’s not nearly as flashy as the other business, but I think it’s a savvy move. It fills a known roster need with a solid player.
I love this new Arsenal transfer policy / tactic. Identify your targets. Pursue them aggressively and early in the window. Get your side set. And get on with preseason. Here’s to hoping they’ve made the right purchases, and we see more of this style of business in future transfer windows.