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Looking Through The Transfer Window

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According to the BBC, close to £1 billion was spent on player acquisition in the just closed transfer window, a new record, up 4% on last year at £870 million.  Factor in new salaries and the £1 billion figure may prove a tad conservative, all in. 

Some of these players come from other Premier League clubs but a huge number came from abroad. It’s hard to get accurate numbers but something approaching 160 players joined PL clubs and close to a staggering 300 were moved on, being sold, loaned or otherwise released. Getting a handle on exactly how many have joined and left, and how much money has been spent or accrued from sales, is a tricky business as ‘sources’ all suggest slightly different numbers depending upon which flavour you choose to consult. All the numbers in this article should therefore be treated with some caution and are offered up only as rough guides.

Whilst wholesale squad upgrades might be expected from newly promoted sides and last season’s strugglers (looking at you, Sunderland), the sight of Chelsea moving on around 34 players and Liverpool shifting 22 is something of a surprise. 

Man U have parted with around 14 but arguably with the greatest single collection of well known names saying farewell (Di Maria, Cleverly, Nani, RvP, Evans, Januzaj, Hernandez), their departure board is ostensibly the more shocking.  It’s been reported that to the man, the Manc side that so memorably lost 4-0 at Milton Keynes has now all been shipped out with the exception of De Gea whose registration remains at Man U after this year’s window only thanks, we are led to believe, to Windows ’95 and a corrupt file.  First time for everything, so they say. 

Eighteen are out of Spurs, mostly sold and 4 on loan, according to the Daily Mirror, at least. Watford brought in around 16 players, Villa 13. A bigger surprise here is how few Newcastle – described by some as a ‘zombie’ club – have brought in, around 5 new players.  Most clubs appear to have brought in between 6 and 10 players with Everton and Palace bringing in 6 and 5 respectively.

All well and good, the sheer volume of players – as expertly demonstrated by both Spurs and Liverpool in recent times – is no guarantee of quality.  But aside from the headline numbers, in many ways this has been a remarkable summer of transfers – and non-transfers.

At one time this summer, Man United were ‘associated’ with pretty much every player capable of lacing a pair of boots, both in the EPL and further afield.  That they ended up with just seven new players was more by accident than design and de farce of De Gea’s ‘transfer’ left them with more than egg on their faces. Whilst failing to reluctantly sell their best player from last season, they plunged in with a highly speculative £57.5 million (according to Monaco) splurge on a 19 year old with zero Premier League experience and few goals anywhere. The two biggest elephants in the red half of Manchester squat firmly on questions surrounding the manager:

Why can’t LvG can’t get on with anyone and why do so few players want to move to Man U?  

I just can’t work it out at all.  At the time of writing there are no accurate estimates available for the numbers of players in or out of the club that LvG has not, so far, fallen out with. 

That Angel di Maria features in the list of the vanquished is surely the single most telling factor in assessing LvG’s man-management performance to date with rumours of player tears at tea-time by no means uncommon.  And LvG appears to have left himself short at the front having retained from the old guard only Rooney and a strikingly rebranded Fellaini to perform the scoring honours; given the disastrous goal-keeping situation, this seems a little careless and it means much must ride on the immediate success of young Mr Martial as well as the hope that De Gea can be simultaneously rehabilitated for his final season in the North.

But Man u are by no means alone, at least when it comes to player retention.  

Brendan has now jettisoned something like half the players he (or his ‘committee’) has signed since he joined Liverpool a mere three years ago.  This season alone 15 have gone on loan and 7 sold. Players on loan are not necessarily a negative but in the context of The ‘Suarez Money’ which, like the ‘Bale Money’ before it, is largely a distant fiscal memory, one has to wonder about Rodgers’ ability to target the players the club actually needs.  And the trend, nay stampede, of departing players making their escape from Merseyside is hardly a source of celebration for anyone connected with the club. Yes, Arsenal have player turnover but the big difference lies in the significantly larger amount of cash spent on ‘duds’ by Liverpool in the process.

Chelsea have shipped out a staggering 26 players on loan (Daily Mirror) leaving one to wonder why would anyone bother to sign for Chelsea?

The defending champions have had an appalling start to the season both on and off the pitch and one wonders how much time and energy they must waste dealing with players they don’t really want. Is it simply Jose’s appalling nature that means they require a gigantic pool of players for him to dip in and out of depending on who or what he is blaming for any given setback at any one time.

So who DID have a good window? Man City have done themselves little harm in restricting themselves to around 7 new players but they have spent over £150 million, including daft sums on Sterling (£49 million) and Kevin De Bryne (£51 million). And these are in positions they arguably, and especially in De Bruyne’s case, did not need to fill. Only ten players left the club but Nasri will get his own name plate added to the bench …

And what of Arsenal who have sold six and loaned or released about eleven. It’s still a fair number, but it’s offset by the singular, towering figure of Petr Cech’s arrival in goal.  The release of the news of Welbeck’s surgery mere hours after the closure of the window emphasises still further how few viable strikers there appear to be available to buy, and it puts United and City’s excessive expenditures in this area into some kind of perspective.  

The point at which demand becomes desperation is moot but few would be surprised at Arsenal’s reticence to join in and, in any case, as the John Stones example (not to mention, supposedly, Karim Benzema’s) clearly demonstrates, sometimes it’s not all about the money. Add in complicating factors such as diminished sell-on values for the more elderly buying opportunities (Cavani) and the fog starts to clear a little when it comes to understanding Arsenal’s absence of action at this end of the pitch.

Swansea have added Andrew Ayew at no cost, without doubt, one of the buys of the summer. Pedro and Begovic are the stand out buys for Chelsea and silly money was not required to acquire either. For Liverpool only Nathaniel Clyne really stands out although there are great hopes resting on the shoulders of Benteke and they will have Sturridge to one day return. James Milner, on a free but presumably with hefty wages was also a decent addition and Gomiz has made a promising start to the season.

Although they bought no-one of great note, Everton seem to have missed a trick in retaining the much sought after John Stones. One admires their principles and determination to hang on to the lad but at what cost?

And it is surely a sign of the monied times that Stoke have managed to bring in players from Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and even Liverpool.  Get that lot performing and they may spring a surprise or two. Who knows, they may even develop a more palatable style of football, unlikely as that presently seems.

So exactly what can be surmised from this summer’s wheelings and dealings? 

For me, the stand out factor was the scarcity of genuine ‘star’ names signed, given the huge sums spent.  Yes, plenty of names we know and a few we with whom we will become re-acquainted.

Pedro, Cech and an ageing Schweinsteiger seem to be the exceptions that prove some kind of rule.

Few of us are sufficiently familiar with all the new players joining the league so the jury remains out but, I think, it is safe to assume an overall increase in the playing standard of the league.  If there were no easy games last season and last season every game seemed to be ‘must win’ then it’s going to be at least 4% harder this year.

Given that all this may come to pass, Arsenal’s solitary signing of Cech may yet prove to be one of the most significant. He joins Kos, Per, Monreal, Bellerin, and Gabriel in forming what may yet prove to be the meanest defence in the league and certainly our best since the Tony Adams’ era.

The value of conceding ever fewer numbers of goals rises exponentially in a league where the ability of most teams to score more has become a reality. That we have lost Welbeck until Xmas becomes more problematical in the event of injury to Giroud, Theo. Alexis or Campbell.  It’s not ideal but it is what it is.

The remaining strikers and the uber attacking nature of our midfield is such that our success in securing Cech may yet outweigh our inability to supplement and strengthen our forward line.

Time will, of course, tell.

About ArsenalAndrew

Annoying, perennial optimist and lifelong supporter of the finest football club the world has ever seen. My support for the club manager and every single player is non-negotiable, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Retain all options on fellow fans.

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95 comments on “Looking Through The Transfer Window

  1. Tim – I’m watching that match again as we speak and the first thing I’ve noticed is how much Coquelin has matured – credit to Arsene and his coaches – his foul within the first ten minutes was a foot up sliding over the ball horror show and he should have been sent off for it.
    Campbell, as you rightly say looked very crisp.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Second observation from the Hull game is how much I miss Tomáš Rosický, without question my favourite Arsenal player for many years.

    Like

  3. I decided to blank out on any Arsenal Blog or twitter aside from PA, George and some other PA residents on twitter till the transfer window closes.
    I read every post and comments but I really couldn’t comment because of my workload.
    After the close of the window and subsequent reaction that followed, I realise I made the best of decision not to be bothered with reading anythg related to Arsenal and transfers. I’ve always believed the squad can be improved IF a real upgrade is available while still believing it’s going to b a big task to find one. I can’t understand people’s reaction to not signing just for the sake of it.
    I was having a discussion with a friend on the Schneiderlin issue and I told him frankly that I done believe he is even as good as Coquelin not to think of being better than him. That is my sincere view of the two of them though many think I’m looking through my Arsenal tinted glass. Stats aside, what I’ve seen with my naked eyes hasn’t convinced me to have a different opinion after the 1st four games of the season. And I equally believe that Arteta can always fill in for a few matches and even Flamini will do a job for a few matches too. I’ll rather toll the way of Arsene and keep the money for when we’ll have to replace Both Flamini and Arteta with something more decent than what is available on the market now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Just gone through the Daily Mail article now. I don’t undastd why people no longer have common sense. I’m sorry if that sounds abusive but for all my money, what is in that article is simply common sense and not smthg out of this world.

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  5. It’s not the article per se (decent though it is) that is so surprising, Lorde, more the publisher.

    Agree with your sentiments btw.

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  6. It’s all very sinister AA

    If the Daily Stormtrooper is saying that ask yourself ” Why?” !!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, the DM thing intrigues me, somewhat. It’s totally out of character, and appears to have been spawned from articles hereabouts I wonder what’ll be the payback.

    I’m reminded of the time when G Nev said how incredible Arsène is, which was followed by many seeing GN as some kinda sage, despite the fact that 95% of the time he’s slagging Arsenal off, with or without subtlety. And his complete denial of any hint of shenanigans in game 50.

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  8. OG12’s got ‘touch’:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. https://mobile.twitter.com/hughwizzy/status/638047288758284288/video/1

    WS save for Roma vs Juve that earnt the plaudits.
    He’s fighting with his old mucker for the Polish jersey going into the Euro’s. Probably a consideration with his loan move.

    And if Zelelam can survive the fitba then perhaps he’ll be able to survive the house of Riley:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Danny_RFCACM/status/637967420276260864

    Like

  10. The house of Riley.

    It’s all very sinister.
    The ref from the 50th game selects the refs and has done since (more or less).
    A clogger who was never more then a journeyman player from that 50th game is now the Newscorp (as Marca is to Madrid) Chief Whip or Orifice and an England coach to boot too. Though every indication would be that he would be just as poor a coach as his clogging brother has already proven to be.

    Is it sinister?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oopsy daisy ruined my post with the first “it’s all very sinister” so I’m going to repost it:

    The house of Riley.

    The ref from the 50th game selects the refs and has done since (more or less).
    A clogger who was never more then a journeyman player from that 50th game is now the Newscorp (as Marca is to Madrid) Chief Whip or Orifice and an England coach to boot too. If he tried to be a club coach there is every indication from his gibberisims that he would be just as poor a coach as his clogging brother has already proven to be.

    Is it sinister?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bobby McMahon is a good plundit.
    Very little coverage in the uk 24/7 football meeeeedjiyah scrum of his work:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbymcmahon/2015/08/30/how-spending-228m-in-transfer-window-could-actually-improve-man-citys-financial-position/

    The AFC model we are witnessing, only trying to spend big on good players and bringing through as many as possible has always been The Plan. The snide bleating from the AAAA is exceptionally disingenious coming from people who say that they forensically follow the club. Who can pretend that AFC ever expected to be run like one of the big two in Spain, yet that is what they say theplanhasalways been? What? Why would anyone who supports their club want that anyway? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve got a lot of time for the supporters of FC United. None for the AST. The contrast between the two in the same time period says more then I could.

    The team from the United Emirates playing in the United Kingdom (which created the United Emirates) when not funding wars all over the world and the Gazprom Fulham Franchise have copied the Youth model in so far as much as it’s a means to move lots of money about all over the place relatively easily. But don’t kid yourselves they have no commitment to bringing through young athletes in the way that a normal sporting institution has done historically, does so in the present and will do in the future.

    The number of Royal arsenal Acadamy graduates having successful careers even if they don’t make it at AFC is only starting to be matched by Gazprom now after a decade or so of the roman era but you will never see players make that breakthrough at the club when 19-23 at the highest level because they will not be given the chance. he petro laundrettes will always be buying in players who’ve been given the minutes elsewhere. Courtois I think is their most successful story, but AFC have to use other means In such instances to get their prospects the loans to prosper and after a few seasons where it was a bit of a worry they seem to have secured great positions on loan for arsenal players in recent seasons. Looking good.

    It’s why Utd have got so desperate that they just spent so much on a youth player. before they imagined any of their rivals might come in for him, in a season or two when he’ll be further down the line. Whether Utd can sign them young and still bring them through like they used to and like AFC still have proven that they do remains to be seen: it’s one reason you can’t write off LVG in spite of all the comedy. He knows the Game, and like AW or MP he’s a serious coach (unlike some others we could think of!) and that means he understands all of this better then any of us.

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  13. With Phil Neville’s promotion to the BBC as plundit* following his failure as a coach and with his brother at Newscorp, is this the only successful one-two that these two cloggers managed to make during their football careers?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Well my day – maybe my week – has just been made!

    I’ve just had a tweet featuring three pictures I took of Jeff Reine-Adelaide skinning two West Ham players during last Friday’s U21, retweeted by the player himself.

    As much as anything, I’m delighted Jeff (first name terms from now on) got to see some positive comments and images.

    I tell you, this lad’s going far – all the way to the very top!

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Fins – the main problem I think LvG has is his self-destructive, abrasive personality.

    Yes, Ferguson was a disciplinarian – as Beckham’s cut nose will testify – but he was a successful disciplinarian. For me, Manu are a long way off winning all that much, so his lack of charm, tact and diplomacy will likely do for him before the United trophy room is once more called into action..

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Fingers crossed they go for the dream team of Giggsy alongside the two Neville-Neville’s.

    Like

  17. Anthony Martial (born 5 December 1995) :
    Youth player. He’s still a rookie.
    signed for: £35M

    Jeff Marmalade
    Born: (January 17! 1998)
    Youth player. Definitely a rookie.
    Signed for: who cares?

    Two players, two years apart who might end up playing for France together one day you can imagine. So Utd have gone in for the 19 year old and out hazarded Gazprom’s signing of hazard in the process. They did not want to be gaszumped by a petro club on the player, not today not in a few seasons. Arsenal just go one further. Is this really that hard for all these podcastateers, bloggeristas these gallant selfless defenders of The Game to understand?

    Repeat after me if you are a stupid **** pardon my French football schooling:

    ARSENAL HAVE SIGNED ZERO OUTFIELD PLAYERS

    Imagine you are a Barcelona fan. Hard, I know, but give it a go. What kind of Barcelona fan would choose to listen to and then repeat what is preached by Marca?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ARSENAL ONLY HAVE SIX DEFENDERs!

    Groundhog Day?
    You can say that again.

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  19. Why are people who say that they love arsenal football club so quick to quote media that have an unequivably, proven, an easily identifiable aggressive and biased attitude towards said club?

    It is very strange behaviour.

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  20. Walcott would’ve got on the end of this but any finish would’ve needed the luck.

    Lots of praise of course for the Ozil pass.

    A great save against Europe’s best goalscoring forward. To not give away a pen and palm the ball away. The player the self-declared dysphoric experts termed “Flappyhandski” who is still keeping WS out of the Polish team (be interesting to see who starts for Poland next summer), a team famous for producing good ‘keepers.

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  21. palm the ball away < kick the ball away

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  22. I am bored this afternoon so I was wandering around the internet and looking through some old pictures of London and where I used to live in Hornsey.

    You may have also seen me write about the pure chance whereby I became an Arsenal fan, rather than the other Lilywhite mob up the road as a bus ran past my house between Finsbury Park and White Hart Lane, and I was lucky enough to live on the side of the road that made Finsbury Park and a ten minute walk to the Highbury ground afterward the obvious choice.

    That a bus route should have such a profound influence in a man’s life – FATE – and here it is – the very bus – a 233 parked at Wells Terrace in Finsbury Park where I would queue to get on after the game;

    Liked by 6 people

  23. Arsenal U18’s came from 2-0 down to beat Brighton 4-2 today, Nketiah(2), Fortune and Mourgos with the goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Arsenalandrew et all

    I am quoting from Ken Friar’s Proof of Evidence, for the increase in the number of concerts,:

    PINS Reference:
    APP/V5570/A/13/2202521

    P2013/0392/S73RC

    LPA Reference:

    3.10 When events are held at the stadium we employ additional temporary staff, with over 700 required to steward an event. A steward will typically work a 9 hour shift at £10 per hour, therefore the casual wage bill is approximately £70,000 per event. A significant proportion of these employees are from the local area
    .
    3.11 It is also worth recognising the benefits that arise from these jobs. For example, our catering partner, Delaware North, run an initiative to employ disadvantaged young people between the ages of 16-21 years old, who are not in work. Details of the number of those people that we were able to provide with opportunities for each concert from Islington and surrounding boroughs are listed below. Clearly, the number of young people that would be able to benefit from this initiative would double if this appeal were to be allowed.

    – Muse 25.06.13: 190 staff (this was a clash event with Wembley)
    – Muse 26.06.13: 273 staff
    – Green Day 01.06.13: 300 staff

    From the facts given in the document, and others submitted to the London Borough of Islington, in respect of the additional concerts; I am better informed!

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  25. Andynic, very interesting your “boredom” at 3.23!

    As you probably know if you drill down from Arsenal Holdings to Ashburton Trading Ltd to Drayton Park Trading Limited, we have the Arsenal property portfolio, in part!

    45 Hornsey Road and 252 Holloway Road, Local Planning Authority reference P112907. In brief, a 25 storey building, or a 16 storey building based on student accommodation and flexible commercial,community use spaces.

    The proposals have been shot down, for Stan the main man to think again.

    What are your thoughts, Andy, as a former resident?

    Like

  26. If you look on the Delaware North website NOTH today you will see the advertised rate for all catering/bar/concessions and waiting staff at the Ems is £7.28 ph

    I assume though it is not explicitly stated that is for all staff regardless of age. It is clearly below the London Living Wage but well above the NMW of £6.50

    I am pleasantly surprised

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  27. 25 storeys would be out of scale height wise with anything else in Islington I think NOTH and that is why it was sent back. If the block had offered any real architectural merit they might have swung it but the designs were like most of the new developments in the area, other than the stadium – bland post modern with a 40 year life

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Notoverthehill – I was specifically referencing NON-MATCH DAY staff when I wrote earlier:

    “Specifically, those hardest hit are the non-match day staff working in the shops, providing security, catering and cleaning services”.

    Those working events including concerts and football matches are, generally speaking, supplementing their incomes. In other words, match days or events are not their main source of income. Most of those working non-match or event days at the stadium are usually on zero-hour contracts. If you are on minimum wage, Living Wage or more, makes little difference if you don’t know how many hours you may be working from one week to the next especially when the range can be anything from 7.5 hours to, maybe 30+ hours if you are lucky. Not having sick pay or holiday pay is hardly something to celebrate, either.

    So congratulations, you really are now better informed.

    Like

  29. If you want to build a big tower you can do it easy in the City or on the fringe City blocks – easy

    Like

  30. Arsenalandrew

    Notoverthehill – rate of pay aside, the main problem for a whole generation of Arsenal staff is currently the prevalence of the zero hour contract that has been rolled out across most departments in the estate and certainly those departments employing the most staff. Specifically, those hardest hit are the non-match day staff working in the shops, providing security, catering and cleaning services. Many but not all of these staff are not employed directly by the club but via agencies who rarely pay Living Wage rates.

    YOU refer to – whole generation of Arsenal staff is currently the prevalence of the zero hour contract…. ???

    Is Ken Friar lying???

    I understand your viewpoint.

    We have no control, over what our neighbours are willing to pay to have a problem fixed???

    Like

  31. sry for changing the theme:

    i was watching this and just felt like sharing it.

    watch this! this is football..the football of the purest form.

    please dont call me greedy if i expect more from the genius.

    Like

  32. the first touch, the economy of the movement, the technique – almost like caressing the ball, the weight of the pass, the vision, awareness, how he receives the ball into space, the little movements he makes to make it easier for his teammates to find him.

    wow..just wow really..

    Like

  33. Hey George, how’s it hanging. I ‘m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I have my blog up and running again… posted something today that you and yours may like… have a butchers..

    http://wp.me/p4FeF9-rL

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Notoverthehill – Ken Friar is referring to match day staff.

    I’m referring to non-match day staff.

    I can assure you, neither of us are lying.

    Like

  35. Ha northbank. You can please some of the people some of the time etc.
    Here in Kalyves it’s 38 in the shade but a slight breeze from the mountains makes it bearable. Calamari, gigantes and retsina on the menu today. Banned smug smiley.

    Like

  36. All good on the international front: no knocks, first goals of the season for Sanchez and Walcott

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Good luck toAaron tonight against Israel. 5pm BST for those who are watching. Surely the Welsh cant mess it up from such a strong position ?

    Mind you this is football – and you know what that is like…..

    Just to get you in the Celtic mood enjoy a rendition of the Welsh anthem Land of my Fathers from the other code.

    The hair on the back of my neck stands up every time I hear that. If Carlsberg did national anthems……..

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Tim Payton runs into a pub and shouts to Pedro of Le grove

    “someone stolen your car”

    Pedro asks

    “Did you see who did it?”

    Tim says

    “No, but I got the registration Number”

    Like

  39. Blimey.

    Check this out for a first touch:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Nikomarvel/status/640475891806638080/video1

    This Alexis fellow he may not always remember how to pass especially when his legs are tiring but he is quite good!

    Arsenal have no strikers? Urm how am I supposed to describe a flair player who scores goals, great goals, but isn’t the best at passing?

    Like

  40. It don’t exist Fins !?

    Like

  41. Eddy – It may be a foreigner thing but I didn’t get the punch line.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. If only Wales had a Cazorla or Ozil. Workmanlike so far.

    Like

  43. A draw for Wales

    #ColemanOut

    Liked by 1 person

  44. New Post up from that Professor of Cunning Computation and Relentlessly Rigorous Reckoning Shotts

    Liked by 1 person

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