The Gunners were much more active in the January sales than fans and pundits had expected, with six major signings in key areas.
Here we take a closer look at the major arrivals being welcomed at Emirates Stadium.
The rumoured £45m "war-chest" at Unai Emery's disposal turned out to be a highly inaccurate figure. Arsenal's chief transfer team of Raun Sanllehi and Edu bluffed their way through the market well, with a nett spend of roughly £100m. Here's a look at the ins and outs:
- 🇨🇮 Nicolas Pépé (Lille) £72m
- 🇧🇷 Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano) £6m
- 🇫🇷 William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) £27m
- 🇪🇸 Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) Loan
- 🏴 Kieran Tierney (Celtic) £25m
- 🇧🇷 David Luiz (Chelsea) £8m
The club-record signing of Nicolas Pépé is a massive statement of intent from Unai Emery and his negotiating team. The 24-year-old Ivorian was a wanted man this summer and he will immediately improve Arsenal in wide attacking areas, a part of the pitch where they have been lacking, especially from a creative point of view. Pépé got 22 goals & 11 assists in Ligue 1 last season. Gunners fans will hope he can have an immediate impact.
Real Madrid's talented central midfielder Dani Ceballos has arrived on a season-long loan and is deemed as the direct replacement for Juventus man Aaron Ramsey. Although they are different types of players, Emery will be expecting Ceballos to add drive and purpose to Arsenal's midfield play with his excellent dribbling and technical ability.
In defence, Arsenal finally secured the signing of Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney, a player they have been watching for some time. He adds depth, excellent crossing ability and defensive solidity on Arsenal's left side. After the departure of club captain Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal was in need of a high-calibre centre back and they got one in the shape of experienced Brazilian David Luiz. He will be expected to play a commanding role at the back from the outset until talented teenager William Saliba is ready for first-team action. By all accounts, Saliba is a top prospect who was being scouted by numerous elite European clubs.
In attack, young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli is an unknown quantity but he brings electric pace and skill from a wide attacking role. Youngsters Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson will be eyeing out first-team minutes in wide attacking areas too, after the big-money sale of Nigerian Alex Iwobi to Everton.
- Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) Free
- Petr Cech (Retired)
- Danny Welbeck (Released)
- Stephan Lichtsteiner (Released)
- David Ospina (Napoli) £3.1m
- William Saliba (Saint-Etienne) Loan
- Xavier Amaechi (Hamburg) £2.25m
- Krystian Bielik (Derby County) £9.5m
- Takuma Asano (Partizan Belgrade)
- Laurent Koscielny (Bordeaux) Undisclosed
- Carl Jenkinson (Nottingham Forest) £2m
- Dominic Thompson (Brentford) £3m
- Eddie Nketiah (Leeds) loan
- Alex Iwobi (Everton) £34m
The Gunners added a healthy blend of youth and experience in this transfer window, as well as star quality in the shape of Nicolas Pépé. Arsenal's issues were mainly of a defensive nature last season and they've addressed those in the market, numbers-wise at least. With Rob Holding close to a return, their options at the back are looking better then they did in 2018/2019.
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