When it comes to Arsenal, two things are constant – the presence of Arsene Wenger at the helm and disastrous dealings in the transfer window. The Frenchman continues to divide opinion, but it is their surprising agility in the January transfer window that caught every fan’s attention.
While on paper, the jury is divided if they have done the right piece of business, the optimism of a new dawn is there for everyone to see. Ask any Gunners’ supporter and you can see the glee, at a long-term blueprint being put in place.
What is the cause of this optimism? Why have the fans suddenly sprung to life and are enjoying the moves in the transfer market? Why are those who keep coming with football betting tips are ready to give Arsenal the time to succeed? Let’s deep dive into what’s driving the change at the Emirates!
A new era in the offing
Arsenal’s critics may differ, but there is a strong wind of change at the club. It all started with the signing of Sven Mislintat, formerly of Borussia Dortmund, as the chief scout. Not for nothing is he called as ‘Diamond Eye’ – thanks to his deals bringing exceptional players out of nowhere.
It is widely believed that it is the German who was influential in bringing Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the club, in the swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez. The Armenian is already proving to be a catch, starting his Arsenal career with a trio of assists against Everton.
Ditto with the signing of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who has shown glimpses of what he can do, in the demolition of Everton. It is a masterstroke to pair the duo, who had exceptional success in Dortmund, by Mislintat.
It is not just the German who is reshaping the Gunners’ recruitment, which is now led by the former Barcelona director of football Raul Sanllehi. It is a matter of conjecture as to why and how Barcelona could let go such a great artist of transfers! But, it is certainly a great piece of business by Arsenal to capture him.
He’s already shown his worth in converting a disastrous transfer window into an exceptional piece of business. It looked like another embarrassment-in-waiting for Arsenal as Sanchez threatened to leave for nothing and Mesut Ozil was closer to the exit door, than he was to extending his contract.
How all that changed within a matter of days is a wonderful case study! Not only did the Sanchez’s deal leave Arsenal in profit, it proved that Sanllehi can turn even a poor situation to his advantage.
Agreed, selling Sanchez to a direct rival is never a good decision. But, we are talking about a player who has lost interest in representing the club and could have left for nothing. Instead, Arsenal swapped him for Mkhitaryan, who has got so much to offer to the Premier League! According to the BBC Sport, this is a great business for both the clubs.
Add the deal for Aubameyang and the extension for Ozil, the optimism in an Arsenal fan at this moment, doesn’t look misplaced!
Planning for now and the future!
All these indicate that the times are indeed changing at the Emirates and the January transfer window, in a quirky way, could be a tantalising glimpse of what is about to come from Arsenal.
The Premier League needs a stronger Arsenal to challenge the financial might of the Manchester clubs and break their hegemony. The change in the backroom staff looks set to be the first step in the right direction.