The 2020 summer transfer window posed many questions before it began, as people wondered how the Covid-19 pandemic would affect their clubs’ ability to get any deals over the line.
While some teams, such as Chelsea and Manchester City, have made signing expensive players look straight forward this window, Arsenal on the other hand haven’t had that same luxury.
It was well documented that the Gunners needed to sell before they could make any big money signings and, as a result, Arsenal’s business was left very late in the window as they tried to push numerous players out the door.
With the transfer window now shut and business complete until January, I thought I would do my final transfer round-up of the year and give my opinion on who I think was Arsenal’s best incoming and outgoing of the window, before then deciding whether I feel this summer has been a success or not for the Gunners.
Best signing: Thomas Partey
Despite being in the pipeline for months, Arsenal signed Thomas Partey on a frantic deadline day after deciding to pay the Ghanaian’s release clause, which amounts to £45m.
The former Atletico Madrid man is regarded as one of the best and most well-rounded midfielders in Europe, and given it could be argued that Arsenal’s main weakness has been their midfield during Mikel Arteta’s time at the club, Partey’s influence could be huge for the North London side.
Whilst defender Gabriel made a good case to be my Arsenal signing of the summer, given how well he has performed so far, Partey has the capabilities to transform his new team, bringing qualities, such as athleticism and defensive ability, that are hard to come by in the Gunners midfield.
Best outgoing: Emiliano Martinez
It’s safe to say this was a much easier decision to make than deciding the best incoming, because Martinez ended the window as Arsenal’s only permanent sale from the first team, after the Gunners failed to offload players such as Sead Kolasinac, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.
At the start of the window, I and many other Arsenal fans would’ve scolded at the idea of the Argentinian leaving, however the Aston Villa goalkeeper has been the Gunners’ only source of major transfer income from the senior team.
Given it was reported that Arsenal needed to sell to buy this transfer window, the Martinez sale seems a very important one for the club, however the fact that this was the Gunners’ only permanent sale from the first team is very disappointing, in my opinion.
Overall transfer window rating: 6/10
While this may be slightly harsh given the financial circumstances the club has found themselves in, as a result of the pandemic, I believe that a 6 rating is justifiable given a 7 is probably too high, in my opinion.
Arsenal have strengthened the defence and midfield well with Gabriel, Dani Ceballos and Partey, however my main criticism in terms of incomings is the failure to bring in another creative midfielder, as the Gunners have shown a weakness in this area so far under Arteta.
Willian could help in the creativity department if he is played centrally, however I still believe Arsenal needed another addition in this area, although it will be interesting to see if Mesut Ozil is reintegrated into the matchday squad to help combat this issue.
My final reason for giving the window a 6/10 is because of the failure to offload a lot of deadwood, such as Sokratis, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi. Furthermore, deals for Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi were loans without obligations to buy, meaning the Gunners received very little money in return.
Overall, I would say this has just about been a successful Arsenal transfer window. If the Gunners managed to sell more players on a permanent transfer, then that would have taken it up to a 7/10, and another midfield addition would have taken it further, however I am happy with the business we’ve done.
I believe Partey and Gabriel will prove to be excellent signings for the Gunners, as the latter is already doing so, and the contract extensions of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are a huge plus.
It’s a shame the North London side were not able to sell more, however with many of their transfer-listed players’ contracts running out next summer, this hopefully won’t be a problem for too much longer.