Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal plan to prevent Wilfried Zaha and N’Golo Kante transfer errors – Tom Canton

The list of players that Arsenal could have signed over the last couple of decades is a famously long one that includes some of the biggest names on the planet. Especially according to some of what Arsene Wenger has suggested throughout his tenure as current and previous Gunners manager.

Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu have however set about ensuring that even when Arsenal miss out on their preferred targets in the transfer markets the club avoids making some of its biggest mistakes.

Arsenal did not bring anyone into the squad to help with the push for the top four places this season during the January transfer window despite loud calls from the majority of the fan base to do so.

Instead, Arsenal moved on plenty of surplus players and loaned out several depth options in order to further their development and increase their value as was the case with Folarin Balogun and Ainsley Maitland-Niles respectively.

Arteta was questioned on the decision not to push ahead with big-spending to convince clubs to sell and convince players to join. Answering back with a refreshing take on the progression in the transfer market.

“We did what we believed was the right thing to do. The squad composition and contracts were catching up, be fair with players who haven’t had a lot of minutes. We had a clear plan of what we can do but then it has to be doable,” said Mikel Arteta.

“Edu and his team have done a great job. We are very clear we only want the best people and the best players at this club. When we are in a rush and the reasons to get a player on board are not the right ones, we didn’t do it.”

Arteta has been reshaping the squad but there remain some players still in the current group that saw a significant investment but have since failed to return on what the club paid.

Granit Xhaka was signed from Borussia Monchengladbach in a deal worth in the region of £40 million pounds. Since then, the Swiss midfielder has offered plenty of solid displays, but they have been marred by errors leading to goals, red cards and the conceding of multiple penalties. Not to mention exploding vocally at supporters booing him in the infamous 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace that saw him lose the club captaincy.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Xhaka arrived after failed attempts by Arsene Wenger to recruit N’Golo Kante from Leicester City who eventually joined Chelsea and went on to win the Premier League and Champions League with the Blues and the World Cup with France. Xhaka has been nowhere near the player Kante has become.

Nicolas Pepe signed for a club-record £72 million from Lille after an electric season in Ligue 1 but was the second choice for Unai Emery. The former Arsenal boss preferred a move for Wilfried Zaha but the extortionate Crystal Palace asking price turned the Gunners off any potential deal.

Both Zaha and Pepe have since been unable to reach their expected potential. Shackled perhaps by their surroundings which have not been able to let them flourish. Pepe suited the counter-attacking style of Lille rather than the possession-based Arsenal system. Zaha could have been the incisive and technical dribbler that the Gunners were crying out for but will likely now remain in south London for the foreseeable future.

Mikel Arteta is seemingly determined not to overspend on backup options any longer and instead be patient in the market. Waiting until an alternative option at a reasonable figure presents itself.

After missing out on primary striker target Dusan Vlahovic who joined Juventus, Arsenal looked to Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak. However, the £75 million buyout clause La Real were demanding Arsenal to pay was deemed far higher than his estimated market value.

Arsenal have an interest in the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jonathan David who were not free to move in the winter. Perhaps the summer will open up the opportunity for the clubs to sell at prices more reflective of the player’s worth, sparking Arsenal into action.

It may be regrettable if Arsenal miss out on Europe this season, however, the long-term benefits of holding back on panic buys and overpriced talent, will hopefully pay dividends in the end.

Make sure you have subscribed to The Arsenal Way! The Fan Brands team along with plenty of your football.london favourites will be producing daily Arsenal content for you to enjoy including match reactions, podcasts, football fun and interviews. You can follow Tom Canton from the TAW team to keep up to date with his work.

Source link