Will Arsenal Leave Transfers Late Again?
Arsène Wenger recently said he doesn’t expect Arsenal to start any transfer business until after the World Cup ends and that led to quite a few jovial but ultimately still disparaging remarks on social media about how he is a #SpecialistInLeavingItLate or we won’t sign anyone until August 31st because Wenger only signs players on transfer deadline day.
Over the past 5 years I can think of only 6 players who we have signed permanently on the last day of the transfer window so I wondered what gives people this impression we leave it late compared to other clubs.
This summer we probably will see a few late additions if Wenger believes we won’t be able to hold significant discussions until after the World Cup ends and if that is the case then the last six weeks of the transfer window will be frenetic.
I’ll probably be spending most of the summer with family whose internet isn’t as good as mine so thankfully I’ll have my trusty free Fanzo app to keep up to date with the latest Arsenal happenings with second by second updates. (You can download it here http://bit.ly/QB5YXv).
However, what Wenger says and what he does when it comes to transfers is often the complete opposite. In previous tournament years he has done his business relatively early.
Let’s take a look at the Arsenal transfers over the past 5 season and see how many times we’ve actually left it late.
The only summer signing was Thomas Vermaelen who joined from Ajax for a reported £10m on June 19th.
Arsenal also picked up a youth player and Sol Campbell on a short term deal on 15th and 16th January respectively.
Arsenal made three first team signings, Laurent Koscielny, Sebastien Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh. Current Pulis-acolyte Chamakh joined on a free transfer from Bordeaux on 21st May 2010. Lorient defender and relative unknown Koscielny joined on 7th July for a rumoured £8.5m fee. Laurent was followed into the Arsenal defence by Squillaci who joined on the 26th August. Arguably, as 4th choice defender, Squillaci’s date of arrival was unimportant but despite arriving 5 days before the window closed he was not a deadline day signing.
Three first team players in the shape of Jenkinson, Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain joined on 8th June, 11th July and 8th August respectively. All before the season started. Arsenal then had two days of signings on 30th and 31st August that I believe led to the myth Wenger only does business on the last day. During this transfer frenzy Arsenal signed Mertesacker, Arteta, Santos and Chu-Young as well as Benayoun on loan.
In summer 2012, a tournament year, Arsenal signed three first team players – Podolski on April 30th (announced), Giroud on 26th June and Cazorla on 6th August.
In January Wenger signed Monreal on the final day of the window.
Sanogo was confirmed on July 1st. Flamini was officially announced on 29th August (although he had been at the club all summer so technically had a pre-season with us even if it was just training). Özil was signed on transfer deadline day along with the loan signing of Viviano.
In January, Kallstrom joined on loan on transfer deadline day.
In total from 17 permanent signings and 3 loan players we have signed a total of 9 deadline day signings. That means 11 players have been signed pre-deadline day, 9 of which were signed before the season started. It’s not exactly compelling evidence to the contrary of the opinion Wenger only does his business late but it does show that a fair amount of our business is done very early.
What about other clubs? Well in the past 5 years this is what has happened at other clubs.
United = 20 signings, 2 on TDD (both by Moyes) = 10%
Liverpool = 25 signings, 3 on TDD = 12%
City = 34 signings (wow), 8 on TDD = 23.5%
Chelsea = 33 signings (wow), 7 on TDD = 21.2%
Spuds = 29 signings, 7 on TDD = 24%
Arsenal is 17 signings (loans not included) and 6 on TDD (35%). As a percentage Arsenal do seem to sign more players at the end of the window but the vast majority have been signed before the final day and these figures do not include the reams of players Liverpool and particularly Tottenham have signed in the final 2-3 days.
Interestingly, United have only signed two players on TDD in the past 5 years and both were signed by Moyes.
Of the six players Arsenal signed on transfer deadline day four are still first-team players so that’s a positive sign. Arsenal may leave it late this year but if they do there’s a huge chance we’ll be signing the right sort of player. Özil.
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