With undoubtedly the biggest individual signing of the window, Arsenal saved their ‘war chest’ for deadline day and blew half of it on one player. There is no doubt Mesut Ozil will improve Arsenal as he is undeniably a world class talent, but for the purpose of deciding which teams will look on this transfer window with fond memories, and which with sore eyes, he must be taken into account with their other signings as well as his price tag.
Arsenal were struck by a horrific string of injuries barely after the new Premier League Season had started and with the squad already lacking top four talent throughout, the pressure was piled upon Arsene Wenger to strengthen all areas of the team. Despite the pessimism that surrounded the Gunners’ activity this window you could argue that they have all but achieved that very objective highlighted by pundit and peasant across the country. On the face of things, Arsene Wenger managed to sign a Goalkeeper (Viviano), a holding midfielder (Flamini), an attacking midfielder (Ozil) and a striker (Sanogo). Now, tell me if I am wrong, but on the face of things the only position that has not received any reinforcement is the defence which although many argue was the main problem area, will at least see the return of club captain Thomas Vermaelen.
However, the fact that although the squad has been filled out, four players is hardly the drastic reinforcing that so many Arsenal fans desired and when considering the likes of Viviano and Flamini were signed purely as backup and ‘competition’ for Szczesny and Arteta respectively, as well as the age and inexperience of Yaya Sanogo up top, Arsenal fans including myself can be forgiven for being slightly underwhelmed by the reality of the transfer market which had so much promise to start.
But, making another U-turn in terms of describing Arsenal’s business this summer, the signing of Mesut Ozil was a tremendous coup for the North London Club and despite the perhaps less exciting signings that join him, there is no doubt the German playmaker’s arrival will have sparked widespread excitement amongst all Arsenal fans. Furthermore, the fact that Wenger and the board shelled out £42.4 million pounds for the 24 year old in itself is progress. The club’s transfer record was blown out of the water and by signing such a global talent, the signing could represent the renewal of an Arsenal side that in the past struck fear into all clubs it came up against.
Also, it is worth noting that Ozil will be extremely beneficial for not only the players already in the starting XI, but also the next generation of Arsenal players, especially the very exciting Gedion Zelalem, who has been quoted to have modelled his game on his new teammate. By providing academy players with the opportunity to work with their idols, Arsenal fans can be very excited about their future and with Ozil himself only 24, this German international could very well have a huge impact on the direction of Arsenal football club takes, with many hoping it be towards the return of consistent silverware to the Emirates Stadium.
All in all, as an Arsenal fan myself, I am pretty pleased with the business done, as not only does the Ozil signing represent world class quality, but it is provides evidence that Arsenal are taking giant leaps forward. Also we have accompanied this signing with not only an exciting youth prospect, but the return of a player who I love. Flamini already showed on his return that he has intense passion for the game and also the aggressive leadership qualities that may have been missing from the Arsenal side of late. Therefore, with the back up in goal and returning injured players, as well as vastly improved form from Olivier Giroud (who I have never ever doubted) and Aaron Ramsey (who I am guilty of criticising) especially, I think Arsenal fans, like myself, should take optimism from the recent transfer window and look ahead to what should be an improved season, and could in fact be a very successful one.