Much noise had been made on Arsenal’s successful summer transfer window, perhaps so, for a team thought to have had just a little above £40M transfer budget but ended up spending as much as triple of the claimed budget, it seemed a successful window, after all, forking out well over £100M in a single transfer window is not a popular occurrence at the club. However, were that huge amount of money well spent?
Arsenal’s defence had been on a free fall since the end of the invisible era(2003/04 title-winning squad), and the then manager Arsene Wenger was consistently criticised for not bolstering his defence, and the damaging consequence is Arsenal’s lack of league title in 16 years, unacceptable feat for a team in Arsenal’s status.
Unai Emery, source
Arsene Wenger had since left the club and in came a new manager Unai Emery. The Spaniard understandably had to use whatever players available at his disposal to try and tidy a crippled Arsenal defence in his 1st season in charge. However, Emery has now had 3 transfer windows since his arrival at Arsenal but yet, the defence is still in shambles. The 2019/20 league season has just past matchday 5 and it’s the same old anguish for the fans, as Arsenal had conceded a whopping 8 goals already(2-1 Burnley, 1-3 Liverpool, 2-2 Spurs & 2-2 Watford), a poor return for a champions league chasing team. Their poor showing at the back was highlighted in the 2 all draw at Watford on Sunday.
Arsenal allows their best centre-back Laurent Koscielny to leave the club during the summer window but failed to bring in a replacement, a title-winning Van Dijk-Esque signing. Instead, they brought in David Luiz(whom many believe should not have been a defender) to supposedly add stability and leadership to the back 4, a player Jose Mourinho was never a fan of because of his inconsistencies as a centre-back. Seems like Luiz is only adding more chaos to the defence.
So, the burning question is, why spent as much as £72M on Nicholas Pepe(a winger) when Arsenal’s urgent need is a world-class defender? Many had argued in Arsenal’s defence that a top-class defender is hard to come by when you are not playing champions league football but others disagree, they argued that the £72M spent on Pepe would have persuaded either Juventus(Italy) or RB Leipzig(Germany) to let go of center-backs Daniele Rugani or Dayotchanculle Upamecano, either of whom could have offered immensely than David Luiz.
At the weekend, Emerick Aubameyang’s brace had given the Gunners the lead but a horrendous pass in own box by Sokratis Papastathopoulos was intercepted by Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverly fired home to pull 1 goal back. Then, the infamous David Luiz conceded yet another penalty, his 2nd in 3 league games, Arsenal’s 3rd in 3 consecutive league games. Robert Pereyra converted from the spot, to earn his side a deserved 2-2 draw.
A difficult period for Arsenal and her fans, with centre-back Rob Holding still few days short of a return to matchday squad and Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin still recuperating from injuries, the winter transfer window seems like light-years away(should Arsenal come true with their promise of being proactive ahead of the window).
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