With clock winding down on a rather busy January transfer market, we already have more than enough to announce the winners despite there’s still plenty of time before the window is officially closed.
English clubs have it until 11pm on Wednesday, 31 January to conclude their transfer dealings and there’s no doubt we will witness a stomping race to the very last minute. The top flights in France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany also have their respective transfer windows closed on the same day – albeit on different times.
Bundesliga clubs will see their transfer window close at 5pm, but that should not be a worry for Arsenal fans who are waiting for the end of the winter market with a big smile on their face.
And who’d say that would happen after Gunners lost their key player Alexis Sanchez?
Let’s face it, Arsenal have been the laughing stock over the past couple of years with their chronic lack of activity during the transfer windows. Arsene Wenger would either sit with his hands crossed watching his rivals bring big-name players in or he would boost his ranks with players widely deemed unworthy of the north London club’s stature.
Still, they seem to have turned a major corner this year, even though it appeared they were plunging head first on the concrete floor with Alexis Sanchez leaving earlier in January.
Arsenal responded to losing a world-class player by wrapping another world-class player – Henrikh Mkhitaryan who joined in a man-for-man swap deal with Manchester United, and moved on to seal one of the most surprising deals arguably across the whole of Europe.
Following days of speculation and thug-of-war with Borussia Dortmund over a transfer fee – which ultimately stands at £55 million – Arsenal accidentally confirmed deal to sign another world-class signing, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In the aftermath of Arsenal’s disappointing defeat at Swansea – which comes as a huge set-back in Arsenal’s pursuit of a top-four spot – manager Arsene Wenger appeared in a video, confirming the deal for Borussia Dortmund wantaway man.
Arsenal’s website accidentally posted a video showing Arsene Wenger hailing the Gabon international’s signing as ‘good news’.
“Aubameyang is an Arsenal player, you must be delighted to get the deal done?”, Wenger was asked after the 3-1 defeat.
“Yes, it’s good news. We need people who can give us more offensive power…he will bring us that”, said Wenger in a video which was removed from the club’s official site shortly after.
— Tom Clarke (@TomCIarke) January 31, 2018
Mesut Ozil Boost
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival will trigger another departure from the Emirates as Olivier Giroud prepares to pack his bags for Stamford Bridge in an £18 million deal but the optimism is high within the Arsenal camp with latest news confirming that Mesut Ozil has agreed to sign a contract extension with the Gunners.
The 29-year-old World Cup-winning playmaker is under a contract which is running down at the end of the season and was widely expected to follow in Alexis Sanchez’s footsteps. However, Ozil is said to have been reaffirmed of Arsenal’s ambition with the arrival of Aubameyang.
The German international wants to link up with Aubameyang, according to reports from Bild, and will be signing a new deal that would keep him at the Emirates beyond 2021.
Such a news is a major coup in its own merit as Mesut Ozil remains a key figure at the Emirates despite his somewhat inconsistent performances of late.
The Sven Mislintat Effect
It was back in November 2017 when Arsenal announced the appointment of a new chief scout – Sven Mislintat – arriving from Borussia Dortmund on the back of a decade’s worth spell with the Bundesliga heavyweights.
As a German sport scientist responsible for the signatures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ousmane Dembele – among others – Mislintat was welcomed to London with a couple of eyebrows raised.
Arsene Wenger grudgingly accepted the new changes – which almost coincided with the arrival of the new director of football Raul Sanllehi from Barcelona – claiming that such moves were uncalled for but he’ll be happy to have received valuable support in the backoffice.
After all, the early results are more than visible on the frontend with Mislintat bringing in his former Borussia Dortmund protegees to the Emirates to boost the team’s chances of making it into top four at the end of the season.
The value of Aubameyang coup gains even a greater significance knowing that Mislintat managed to convince a world-class striker with no shortage of options to join a team playing in the Europa League and currently sitting in sixth, huge eight points behind Liverpool in fourth.
Gunners can be found at 8/1 betting odds to finish the current season within the Champions League slots.
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