Arsenal were able to end the 2019 summer transfer window with a flurry after bringing in David Luiz and Kieran Tierney. The two defensive reinforcements alter the dynamics of Arsenal’s squad quite drastically. At the start of the window, Arsenal fans were up in arms due to the lack of transfer activity. The club’s less-than-confident bid for Wilfried Zaha provided the worst fears for Arsenal supporters ahead of the new campaign, but how did the club end faring at the end of the window?
Key Departures: Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny
Key Arrivals: Nicolas Pepe, David Luiz, William Saliba, Kieran Tierney
The early departure of Ramsey and the late confusion surrounding Koscielny would have been sufficient to disrupt Arsenal’s campaign. Both have been very influential for Arsenal over the last couple of years, but the manner in which Arsenal have been able to quickly bring in the replacements is a positive factor.
Koscielny’s departure was swiftly overcome by a move for Chelsea defender David Luiz, who may come with a fair share of problems with his lackadaisical defending. However, there is little argument that the Brazilian is a leader on the pitch and his impressive vision can help pick out the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with regular consistency. It is a partnership that can be built upon by Unai Emery. At just £7 million, the value provided by the Brazilian is remarkable.
The Gunners’ patience also was rewarded at the end when the club managed to bring in Kieran Tierney from Celtic for just £25 million, which is a bargain in this day and age. The 22-year-old has a large amount of potential and can become the value pick of the summer.
The biggest talking point of Arsenal’s summer exploits is the arrival of Nicolas Pepe. The Lille winger has broken Arsenal’s transfer record for his £72 million arrival. It is the first time Arsenal have broken their transfer record since bringing in Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid back in 2013.
After a lot of promise shown by Ozil in the first few years, the German’s influence at the club has dwindled away. Arsenal supporters will be hoping for a better outcome from Pepe, who has been subjected to interest from almost every major club in Europe. However, Arsenal were able to make a swift move and bring in the player, who can potentially build a brilliant partnership with the pacey forward line-up.
However, Pepe still has not delivered consistently at the top level. Even though he may have come up with 22 goals and 11 assists last season, the prospect of producing half as much in the Premier League will be difficult. The Ivorian does solve the key issue of a lack of width, although Emery may not have the case by using Pepe in the right side, where he would cut in and maximise his left foot.
Arsenal had done a decent job in the market, but the arrivals of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney on deadline day makes the Gunners quite substantial contenders for the top four places.