Since the Summer transfer window has started, Arsenal fans have been desperate to see the side strengthen through the way of signing players. Coming into the window, it was known amongst practically everyone that we needed to solidify throughout the team. Our back line needed even more improvement, we needed to and still need to push out the copious amount of deadwood, and most importantly, we have to improve our wobbly midfield.
Before the window even opened, the Arsenal board came out stating how difficult the upcoming Summer would be. Before Raul Sanllehi was kicked to the curb he had the following to say.
‘I don’t think there will be a lot of movement. The feeling is that this crisis is going to bring a new normality.’
Of course, this was stated long ago when the still ever-present COVID-19 pandemic was much worse than it is now. However, the question I’ve had recently is, are Arsenal overstating and possibly even taking advantage of these unprecedented times?
Arsenal have splashed some cash on the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, brought in Willian for free, and laid out a miniscule amount of pocket change on the Icelandic goalkeeper, Runar Alex Runarsson from Dijon, but the gunners are still yet to make a marquee signing. The likes of Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are both still being heavily linked, but with the window winding down to a close, Arsenal fans are growing rightfully nervous.
Initially, I had no problem with our lack of business. Like many others, I found myself sheepishly consoling myself with the belief that the only reason Arsenal are not making signings is because of the Coronavirus.
When Chelsea started on their spending spree it seemed like that was merely down to the fact that they had a transfer ban previously. FFP repercussions that were already softened before the window began had now become almost non-existent for the blues so they could spend whatever they wanted to. Manchester City were and are spending money because they are rich and that is what they do. And finally, Liverpool were able to secure the service of Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota because they had won the league, emphatically last season.
It was not until when Wolverhampton Wanderers started to spend an insane amount of money when I found myself really questioning Arsenal and moreover, KSE and Stan Kroenke.
Despite finishing just three points above us in the Premier league last season, Wolves have spent almost twice the amount we have this window. While they have sold Jota for a pretty penny, they have also spent £90 million along with his departure, strengthening their side.
This sees their net spend this window at roughly £55 million.
Arsenal have a net spend of roughly only £15m. Sales have been a struggle for us so far, with Emi Martinez at £20m being the only real noteworthy departure. Having said that, Sead Kolasinac is also set to leave the club soon as reported by the ever reliable Fabrizio Romano for a fee of €11m + add ons.
So, the question has to be asked, are the powers that be at our great club merely overstating the complexity of the window because they are reluctant to spend?
Seeing as Wolves have spent heavily despite the fact that their revenue income from last season was probably quite similar to ours is concerning to say the least. The fact that other sides are spending and even our very own, club owner is spending on alternative projects, such as the LA Rams’ $5 billion dollar, state of the art stadium is indicative of the obvious issues in which our club is coping with.
It would be insensitive of me not to acknowledge the fact that a great deal of clubs are actually struggling with the COVID window, however I really have a hard time believing Arsenal are one of those teams.
Maybe KSE are not taking advantage of the pandemic and that is incredibly cynical of me to believe, but the surrounding aspects of the window in regards to other clubs and even ones from our owner lead me to believe such a conspiracy theory.
Having said that, the recent links to Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar are concrete in nature so the chance of Arsenal taking advantage of this window cannot be ruled out either. Over to you, Arsenal, prove me and the other conspiracy theorists wrong and do a masterclass!