English football is knocking on the door with clubs bolstering their squads for a much awaited Premier League campaign. North London outfit Arsenal had a shambolic outing last season and a turnaround at the Emirates was expected under the inexperienced coach Mikel Arteta. But an inconsistent transfer window for Arsenal has hinted towards another downward fall clearly evident in the pre-season.
In speaking with Inter Milan about Bellerin, Arsenal enquired on Lautaro Martinez. 23yo striker (contract 2023) is for sale & #AFC thought to have mentioned Lacazette, but #Inter need cash + hope it helps them keep Chelsea target Lukaku @TheAthleticUK #CFC https://t.co/ldSuW48a0f
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 31, 2021
While Arsenal’s latest approach of Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez explains how Mikel Arteta and company don’t have a roadmap laid in front of them and they are inventing new problems instead of solving the existing ones. Martinez’s hunt indicates that the trust in the attacking battery of Aubameyang and Lacazette is lost and although Martinez could garnish any roster throughout Europe, he might not solve Arsenal’s mystery.
Considering that Arsenal was fighting for a spot in the European Super League (a breakout league involving Europe’s elites) in February this year, this inconsistency shown by the Gunners is a questionable matter. Will the inconsistent transfer window take a u-turn or will Arsenal continue the same approach in the remaining time left?
THE QUESTIONABLE SUMMER
The summer window is inching to a closure, and the Gunners are yet to identify an exceptional signing. Consider the situation at Barcelona, they needed a replacement for Luis Saurez they purchased Sergio Aguero, they wanted a substitute for Gerrard Pique they captured Garcia’s autograph, while Emerson’s and Depay’s arrival solved their other major headaches. And most of the above-mentioned names were either free or entered Camp Nou at the price of pennies.
This is a perfect example of how you could enjoy delicious summer shopping without having to spend millions of bucks. And even if the Gunners are prepared to splash out the pounds, they never went looking for solutions to their problems. English centre-back Ben White was purchased from Brighton for a whopping amount of 50 million pounds without thinking twice. Although the Seagulls’ defender is a brick wall, the Gunners could have weighed their options before signing the paper.
Sorry we're late…
Traffic was a nightmare 😉 pic.twitter.com/sO1T9981Rw
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 30, 2021
Manchester United and Raphael Varane agreed for a contract and other than Varane’s iconic defensive techniques, the Frenchman brings a championship pedigree to the Theatre. And considering the Gunners’ history, two or three disastrous outings for the centre-back and his debut campaign might be left in tatters.
The pursuit of Lautaro Martinez hints at the departure of Lacazette from the Emirates with the club possessing numerous striking options. But the real question is did Arsenal need a striker like Martinez? Secondary to Lukaku’s heroics, Martinez prefers operating from the wings allowing his partner to take the centre stage. And when given full attacking responsibility with his national outfit, he showed glimpses of confusion and hesitation.
If Aubameynag’s catastrophic summer continues for another summer, the Argentine forward would be expected to marshal the Gunners and his chances of failure at the club could increase throwing away millions of investment out of the window.
THE ‘CENTRAL’ NEEDS
While the Gunners spectators would argue that since Emery’s arrival, Arsenal has been particular about their signings, an inconsistent game plan is evident in the rumours shrouding the club. One day you could hear that Emirates need a defensive midfielder to replace the ageing and departing Granit Xhaxa and the next day Xhaxa would be seen donning the captain’s armband.
AS Roma are preparing their new bid to sign Granit Xhaka. They’re now feeling confident as personal terms are agreed, Xhaka is pushing to join Roma as priority… and he knows how strongly Mourinho wants him 🔴🇨🇭 #ASRoma #AFC
Arsenal are open to sell Xhaka after signing Lokonga.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 20, 2021
While unpredictability might be a manager’s potent weapon, using it in the summer window puts question marks over the club’s long-term roadmaps. The horrendous summer under Mikel Arteta ended with the Gunners experiencing a trophyless campaign. And after a shambolic outing, a revamp at the Emirates was expected but Mikel Arteta and company have shown signs of thinking about the present rather than planning for the future.
Doing what I love… ⚽😃💛💙 pic.twitter.com/0eaZjgCwM5
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) April 22, 2021
Arsenal’s top priority has been to fill the gap left by Mesut Ozil’s departure from the Emirates. Ozil’s jail-time with the Gunners ended with the German world-cup winner parting ways with the North London outfit in the most disgraceful ways. And since Ozil’s departure, creativity has been lacking in the centre.
Unai Emery’s army thrashed the Gunners, throwing them out of the Europa League in the semi-finals and Gunner’s midfield difficulties were on display in London and Spain. The lack of flamboyance and creativity is visible with Arteta possessing a technically gifted player but lacking playmakers who could outwit a defender.
🗣"Everyone thinks it is a step down, I think it is a step up in my career"
Emiliano Martínez on leaving Arsenal to join Aston Villa @emimartinezz1 pic.twitter.com/d2KXK3wkuJ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 3, 2020
Another major concern for Mikel Arteta is the reputation surrounding the Gunners. Aston Villa snatched Arsenal’s target, Emi Buendia, while Emiliano Martinez exclaimed his switch to Villa Park a step-up in his career. Rivals feared the Gunners while players waited years to join Arsenal’s roster but at this point, the problems shrouding the club have forced players out of the club rather than attracting them into joining the roster.
A YOUNG GANG
Every time a club expects to rebuild itself, there are two significant ways for the glittering process. Either you choose Lampard’s ideology of buying the big names across Europe or you back your youngsters developed and nurtured in your own backyard.
🤩 A week in the life of Bukayo…
🗓 Tuesday, June 1
🏴 Named in @England's #Euro2020 squad
🏆 Nominated for @PremierLeague YPOTY
🗓 Wednesday, June 2
⚽️ Scores first @England goal
🏆 Nominated for @PFA YPOTY
🗓 Friday, June 4
🥇 Wins Arsenal Player of the Season
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 4, 2021
Although Arsenal under Arteta chose the second option, their whole eleven consisted of an injection of fresh blood. Without the fostering of experienced campaigners,’ it became quite difficult for the younger generation to showcase their talent on the biggest stage. Lacazette and Aubameyang had a catastrophic summer while Xhaxa’s brawls with Emirates’ audience didn’t take a backseat throughout the summer.
Sergio Ramos has completed his medical in Paris as new Paris-Saint Germain player. Contract already signed until June 2023 together with his brother Rene Ramos. 🔵🔴 #PSG
Now it’s gonna be time for official announcement. Sergio Ramos joins PSG.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 7, 2021
And while Arsenal should have been looking for the experienced names who could settle nerves in crucial contests, this summer they again began hunting for the young guns. Look at PSG, Los Blancos’ most-decorated defender Sergio Ramos might be reaching the twilight of his career, but the experience under his belt bolster Paris’ European aspirations. And the absence of leaders in the dressing room is another reason why Arsenal have been inconsistent in the transfer window.
Nowhere he’d rather be ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dQKHd3D2oF
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 22, 2021
The Gunners did capture Albert Sambi Lokonga’s signatures, but the Belgium youngster is seen as Granit Xhaxa’s replacement rather than Ozil’s. Martin Odegaard and Emil Smith Rowe were considered the heir of Ozil’s throne while Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka could have solved the defensive headaches but the Premier League isn’t a cakewalk.
The biggest European sharks are prepared to eat you for breakfast and you can’t expect the youngsters to carry the weight of one of the participants of the ‘Big-6’.
Imagine being a Gunner enthusiast and not solving the biggest problem shrouding your club’s future- ‘Getting Rid Of Deadwood’. The North London army has an immense amount of players who could be off-loaded to smaller clubs across England and the Gunners could reap some profits.
BREAKING: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed midfielder Granit Xhaka will NOT be leaving the club this summer ❌ pic.twitter.com/YfbUNwoVse
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 1, 2021
But owing to the Emirates’ unbelievable transfer tactics, none of these players has been forced out of the club for either revenue or playing time. Cedric Soares, Saed Kolasinac and Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Willian, Granit Xhaxa, and Hector Bellerin the catalogue of unproductive gunners in the Emirates’ arsenal is quite lengthy.
But neither the deadwood has been sold nor there have been any efforts made by Arteta for the departures of ceratin names hinting towards an inconsistent transfer window for Arsenal.
There are more reports today linking Arsenal with a move for Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez. 👀
The latest reports suggest Hector Bellerin could be included as part of any potential deal… 🔄 pic.twitter.com/UUo9h8X7Bm
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) July 29, 2021
And it’s difficult to fathom the fact that Mikel Arteta and company weren’t using Hector Bellerin, Inter’s defensive interest, to discount the price tag linked with Martinez. Although Bellerin entered the equation, the initial offer proposed by the Gunners came as a shock to many pundits.
These factors clearly explain why Arsenal have had an inconsistent transfer window. Not being able to offload players, putting immense and unnecessary pressure on young shoulders’ and failing to understand their targets, the Gunners need to put their seat belts on for another roller-coaster ride in England’s top-flight.