How Arsenal could have lined up if Edu had completed three January deals, including Vlahovic | Soccer | sport
The January transfer window promised a lot for Arsenal, but ultimately delivered very little, save for a reduction in Mikel Arteta’s squad. Ultimately, a much-needed striker never arrived, despite links to Dusan Vlahovic, Alexander Isak, Alvaro Morata, Jonathan David, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raul de Tomas and more.
Ultimately, it was a storyline window for Arsenal, which ended with six players leaving and none arriving.
A late deal for Colorado Rapids defenseman Auston Trusty will have done little to quell unrest among Gunners fans.
Trusty remains in MLS on loan so won’t help catch up numbers after Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Roma, loan), Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough, loan), Calum Chambers (Aston Villa, permanent), Sead Kolasinac (Marseille, permanent), Pablo Mari (Udinese, loan) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona, permanent) have all left.
Sporting director Edu is likely to come under pressure following a disappointing transfer window for Arsenal.
Arsenal fans: here’s what you could have won.
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Kieran Tierney remains the best left-back on the books, with Nuno Tavares as a backup.
The back line was not the area that needed strengthening in January.
This is where things can start to get annoying for Arsenal fans.
The Gunners were linked with a few different midfielders during the window but came away empty-handed.
Bruno Guimaraes was a target, but the Brazil international ultimately decided to snub Arsenal and move to relegation-threatened Newcastle.
The 24-year-old Lyon midfielder cost the Magpies £33million, with another £6.7million added.
This is where things are really problematic for Arsenal.
Arteta allowed the talented youngster Balogun to leave on loan for Middlesbrough, then sanctioned the permanent departure of Aubameyang.
Aubameyang’s fallout has been well-documented and he had not played for the Gunners since December 6, when he was dismissed as captain.
Whether his start was good or bad, he undoubtedly left Arsenal short of options up front, with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah being the club’s only senior strikers. To make matters worse, both are out of contract in July.
Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli are talented players who can score goals.
But what Arsenal desperately wanted was for Vlahovic to join them from Fiorentina. Instead, after a prolonged chase, he opted for Juventus.
A back-up option couldn’t be drawn in either, leaving Arteta with what can optimistically be called a thin side who have failed to score in the last four matches.
How Arsenal could have lined up: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Arthur, Guimaraes; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Vlahovic.