Arsenal January Transfer Grade
Looking at it from a recruitment point of view, and without Arsenal seeing either Odegaard or Ryan play, they’ve secured 2/3. Being literal, that’s 66% success. Being not so literal, they’ve brought in reliable cover in goal, a better creator than envisaged and might get away with the lack of a left-back depending on injuries.
In terms of outgoings, there was never going to be place for Ozil, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Sokratis or Macey, and Saliba, Willock and Maitland-Niles were better off getting regular minutes elsewhere as opposed to the occasional ones at Arsenal. Even if the trio are at club’s with different styles and systems to Arsenal.
Maitland-Niles’ versatility will obviously be missed, as he can provide cover across the pitch, while Willock departing leaves only four central midfielders in the double pivot role of the 4-2-3-1. That should be enough to see out the season although Ceballos and Elneny have both lacked consistency this term.
Full-back positions are where Arsenal could falter as even though Kolasinac was a liability, he had the energy to get up and down the pitch just as Maitland-Niles did on the other flank.
How detrimental not signing a left-back could be remains to be seen.
On the whole though, trimming a bloated squad down and leaving Arteta with not only a more manageable group but a group he wants to manage has been done to the best of the club’s abilities. Despite losing to Wolves, that was the most fight Arsenal have shown this season and their best half of football all term. Coincidence? Who knows.
Stability and unity coincided with a lessened wage bill to form a very impressive window. Not perfect, but impressive nonetheless.
Arsenal Transfer Grade: B+