BREAKING: Danilo and Mudryk deals completed, Zaha signs – Arsenal’s best and worst transfer deadline day
Mikel Arteta and Edu have enough time to complete some last-minute deals, but what would be Arsenal’s best and worst-case scenario on transfer deadline day?
Here we go! It’s transfer deadline day and all signs are pointing towards Arsenal being active one way or another.
But the key question is what will the general mood be amongst Gunners supporters come 11pm when the summer window officially slams shut and they are reflecting on the business manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu will have completed in totality this summer?
So far the Arsenal pair have been widely praised for signing Marquinhos, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko for a combined £115m, but they have only recouped around £20m from selling Matteo Guendouzi, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira permanently.
With that said, getting those five deals signed, sealed and delivered before the first game of the season has translated on the pitch as the north London outfit beat Aston Villa 2-1 last night to remain top of the Premier League table and keep their 100 percent winning record intact.
Despite a strong start to the campaign, however, there’s every chance that the Arsenal squad could look a little different when they arrive at Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday afternoon as Arteta has admitted that he is hopeful of replacing Nicolas Pepe before the window closes.
“If we can implement the plan that we have, we will try to do [it]. In that plan, that [Pepe leaving] was something that could happen,” the Spaniard said. “Now it is a reality and we have been preparing the last two months in order to achieve what we want. Whether that is possible or not, we will see.”
History suggests there will be some movement at the Emirates Stadium today, whether that be incomings, outgoings, or both, so, Arsenal fans brace yourself for a hectic transfer deadline day as we take you through what would be the best and worst-case scenario.
Arteta and Edu’s plan at the beginning of the summer was to sign a striker, bring in cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back, prepare for Leno’s expected exit and improve the depth of the first-team squad. In Gabriel Jesus, Zinchenko, Turner and Vieira, it’s already mission complete whilst Marquinhos could turn out to be a bargain at £3m.
But there are still areas that need to be addressed. The first of which is in midfield as Thomas Partey is still not the most reliable in terms of availability, his backup Mohamed Elneny faces an anxious wait over how serious his injury is and an upgrade on Granit Xhaka should still be pursued.
Meanwhile, there is room for another addition to the forward line to help ease the burden on Gabriel Jesus, especially following Pepe’s exit as the Gunners probably can’t afford to rely on Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe for an entire season again.
Luckily for Arteta and Edu, there are several potential dream signings to be made that would delight many Arsenal fans. Links to Brazilian midfielder Danilo have emerged in recent hours and the fact he can operate as a ‘6’ and an ‘8’ means he would be an ideal midfield signing, whilst Wilfried Zaha would transform the attack.
There’s also the argument for wrapping up a deal for Youri Tielemans today rather than waiting another 11 months to bolster the midfield even more whilst Mykhaylo Mudryk, Cody Gakpo and Pedro Neto fit the transfer policy of trying to sign players under 25 more so than Zaha.
Three more signings might be wishful thinking, but two deals – for example, Zaha and Danilo or Mudryk and Tielemans – would certainly get fans excited. That in addition to trimming the squad with Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles leaving to free up some space on the wage bill would represent a good transfer deadline day.
Picture a scenario, albeit an unrealistic one, where Arsenal were forced to sell Saka, Martinelli or William Saliba, for example, on transfer deadline day. It’s almost certain this situation would trigger an almighty meltdown amongst supporters, but luckily that won’t be happening.
With that said, if the Gunners do not get any business done before the 11pm deadline then it’s likely to be seen as an opportunity missed and there will be flashbacks to the January window where the club decided to not do any business which ultimately ended up costing them Champions League qualification.
Just like how Arsenal’s priority today should be to sign a midfielder and winger, back in January it was just as clear that they needed reinforcements in similar areas and they were heavily linked with Dusan Vlahovic, Arthur Melo and Bruno Guimaraes throughout the month.
Newcastle United signed the latter ahead of deadline day and the midfielder drove the final nail into the Gunners’ top-four coffin with a goal in a 2-0 win for the hosts at St James’ Park four months later...TAP.TO.READ MORE.
Looking at players linked with Arsenal but could join other clubs and have a similar impact, Zaha immediately springs to mind. The Crystal Palace winger has enjoyed a fine start to the season and if he was to sign for Chelsea he might prove to be the difference maker in this season’s top-four battle.