Rating Arsenal’s Summer Transfer Business: FULL BREAKDOWN
Author: Edward Pitt
After the huge blow that Lyon had ended negotiations with Arsenal over the potential transfer of hot property Houssem Aouar, it seemed for Arsenal fans like there would be another window without significant transfer funds being available. Some fans even said that our squad had gone backwards with the loss of players like Torreira, Martinez and Guendouzi. However, this opinion dramatically changed with the uplifting arrival of Thomas Partey after Arsenal met his £45 million release clause on deadline day. However, don’t let this signing hide the fact that beyond Partey, Arsenal have done some tidy business, especially considering the financial limitations brought about by the current circumstances. Here is a review of every signing we have made this summer.
Dani Ceballos – 7/10: Let’s start with one that technically is not a transfer but instead a loan deal for Dani Ceballos. Considering his tremendous impact in the latter stages of last season and the fact that we eventually missed out on Aouar, it was crucial to get the Spaniard for another season. Fans are really starting to see his ability at picking the ball up from the defence, turning and then linking the midfield to Arsenal’s dangerous attack; an ability which many fans have likened to that of former fan favourite Santi Cazorla. The only reason that the move has not received a higher mark is that it is only a loan and Arsenal are yet to make the move permanent.
Alex Runarsson – 6/10: This is a very difficult one to rate for a number of reasons, not least because he is yet to make his debut for the Gunners. However, after losing Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa, Arteta needed to bring in some backup for Bernd Leno to do a job when called upon. The Icelandic ‘keeper seems to be a solid shot stopper whose strengths are his reflexes and his willingness and speed to get out to attackers in one on one situations. For the low fee of £1.5 million, it resembles a solid, if not awe-inspiring, piece of business.
Willian – 7/10: This was Arsenal’s first dealing in the window this year and arguably one of the most exciting. The experienced former Chelsea man was brought in on a free transfer and has clearly alright started to bring a flair and added inventiveness to Arsenal’s attack. Furthermore, he can act as a brilliant teacher for the likes of Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian would receive a higher rating, however the one drawback of the deal is that by the time we reach the final year of his contract he will be on a rumoured £150,000 per week at the age of 35.
Gabriel – 8/10: Exactly what Arsenal were crying out for! It was no secret that based on the shakiness displayed last year, Arteta needed to put Arsenal in the market for a young, commanding centre back who could adhere to Arteta’s style of building from the back. The 22 year old Brazilian ticks every box and for a reported £27 million, the early signs are that he will prove to be a bargain.
Thomas Partey – 9/10: For years fans have desired a commanding, dynamic holding midfielder to fill the void left by Patrick Vieira all those years ago. Finally, we might just have the man for the job. A superb no-nonsense tackling ability coupled with an underrated ability to drive with the ball and play killer forward passes, the Ghanaian international really appears to be the complete package and can help transition Arsenal from a back 5 to a back 4, allowing for more creative roles for the likes of Willian, Pepe and Ceballos. If Arsenal had got the deal done earlier in the window ready for the start of the new season, it could arguably have been a 10/10!
Header Photo: Liondartois, 2019