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Arsenal’s signings in 2018/19. How did they do?

By Tony Attwood

With the media awash with nonsense rumours about who Arsenal are going to sign I thought it might be worth looking back at the players we signed last summer and in January.  Here is the table, with the values taken from Transfer Market, although quite how they calculate the market value of the player I am not sure.

Player Age Market value Left Fee
Defensive Midfield
22 £27.00m
26 £18.00m
30 £18.00m
Central Midfield
19 £2.25m
Central Midfield
25 £10.80m
34 £1.35m

So how did these players do?

Torreira I have nothing but praise for.  He is only 22, he works constantly, and all that we saw of him was based on just two seasons playing in the Italian league.  I can only believe he will get better and better, now he is acclimatised to the league, and the way things work here.

Leno I also rate, although I have seem some people dismiss him as just another shot-stopper.  To me, he is far far more than that – at 26 he looks like a keeper who has learned and learned his way through the season.  I’ve already mentioned his fine performance away to Leicester when everything around him seemed to be falling apart, and he can only get better and better.

Plus of course that as a keeper he has quite a few years ahead of him.  I hope he plays quite a few of them out at Arsenal.

Sokratis is one of those players who came with a worry – or at least I was worried – because he had multiple ownership arrangements about him, which were (I thought) not only illegal but (in this case) quite insane.  For three men each owned half his registration rights (honest, that is what the reference sites say).  Gianmarco Zigoni (half of his registration rights, valued at €3.75 million), Nnamdi Oduamadi (half of his rights, valued at €3.5 million) and Rodney Strasser (half of his rights, valued at €2.25 million).  Make of that what you can.

In a whole series of complicated arrangements he went from Genoa to Milan to Genoa, ultimately meaning that Milan had only borrowed the player.  But having gone back to Genoa he didn’t play for them – oh no -he went to Werder Bremen on loan before going to Borussia Dortmund where finally he settled and clocked up 130 league games before coming to Arsenal.

My hope is that all the mess and muddle in his transfer arrangements before this were nothing to do with him, and that he has in effect been the innocent by-stander.   But if he was part of the deals, or is still tied up with the agent who arranged them, then we might well see him going.

He was named as a member of the Europa League’s team of the week twice in the season, and the goal he scored against Wolverhampton was no mean achievement.  I think he’ll grow further into the part he is being asked to play, and may well respond to being settled at a club.

And then we come to Mattéo Guendouzi – the one player this past season I took a look at and immediately said, “Oh wow!”   He was, you may recall, part of the team that thumped PSG.

Here is a guy who had played 21 games in the French second division the previous season, and joined us at the age of 19, and from the moment he started playing in the pre-season games he looked extraordinarily promising.
He works and works, he wants the ball, and what he does with it rarely disappoints.

The transfer fee was said to be £7m plus some extras.  The transfer had all the hall-marks of Mr Wenger – but of course happened after he had left – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Wenger inspired transfer.  He got 31 league games with us and nine Europa games.  Not bad indeed for a youngster from the second division in France.

I don’t think we have to linger too much over Denis Suárez – a loan that simply didn’t work out as the player was injured and there were doubts as to how fit he was.  Loans – and indeed transfers – sometimes work sometimes not.  The aim is not to make them all work, but rather to make most of them work, and this was one that didn’t.

The same can be said of Lichsteiner.  Having cover at right back was not a bad idea especially as Maitland Niles was not deemed ready at the start of the season.  But when Bellerin was injured Lichsteiner did not take over the position as his own  He didn’t seem to look comfortable when he did play, and quite often didn’t.

But it was only a one year contract, so with that out of the way he is no longer on Arsenal’s books.

So three winners in my book.   In the near future I will have a look at some of the youngsters and loanees.

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