2014 Summer Transfer Review

After less dramatic ending to the transfer window this year than the last, Gunners fans might not be holding their heads as high up as they could. Nonetheless, if we look at everything over the course of the whole summer, not everything is as bad as they look. This week, we look at the new players that have come in and how we think their season will play out to be.

Mathieu Debuchy

The French team’s starting right back replaced his national team deputy. Enough said right? The French national team adopts a different style of play, which makes who’s ahead in the pecking order a little bit meaningless. Regardless, Debuchy has replaced Sagna very well in the system so far. If you consider how he performed in his first game at Arsenal and how far he has come (bar the sending off in Besiktas), Debuchy offers a replacement for a sold player that Arsenal usually never really gets.

On a defensive side, Sagna was very solid, and just as reliable when he needed to play his shift in the center back. Now, Debuchy is by no means a defensive liability, but he is not Sagna too. Consequently, with our squad somewhat light on the center back, Debuchy will need to cover up a lot more ground than he used to at Lille and Newcastle. Nonetheless, Debuchy is an exciting player when the team is on attack. Even from just a few games, he has shown that his crosses are not as meaningless as Sagna’s used to be, and he really gets in good positions inside the box (recall Ramsey’s late winner on opening day). Hence, I think it is a good prediction to state that Debuchy will surpass 5 goals during his Arsenal tenure in a relatively short amount of time.

Calum Chambers

Despite all the hype of the ‘marquee’ signig of the summer, Alexis Sanchez, in terms of importance, the young English player could be just as, if not even more important than the Chilean. The honest truth is, Chambers is still a very raw talent, but he has shown that he can be a quality back up CB choice to the Kos-Per partnership, while also deputize for Debuchy and maybe even slot into the DM position that he was originally held.

In the first few games that Chambers has played, the noticeable thing is that he does not play like a 19 year old. At the same time, he has also made one major mistake in every game he has played. But again, this is still a 19 year old kid that we are talking about. If Chambers can stay disciplined and work his body and improve his skills, he is going to be a massive player for Arsenal and England. Right now, it seems funny how Manchester United and Liverpool pretty much ripped apart Southampton, but forgot to take the diamond!

David Ospina

The only place I have seen Ospina so far is the World Cup for Colombia, but during this short stint, Ospina looked like a quality goalkeeper that can push Szczesny a bit forward. A like for like replacement for Fabianski? Fab was a great player and he is off to a great start in Swansea, which kind of makes me question why Wenger did not use him as much, because as he matured, the Flappyhandski business became a lot less. Regardless, from what Ospina showed in the World Cup, he seems to be a solid back up GK, maybe even get a few league games.

Alexis Sanchez

Not the epic last minute ‘marquee’ signing like Ozil, but surely a bit summer signing for the club. Snachez was without a doubt the best attacker for Barcelona whenever Messi wasn’t present, but he hasn’t shown that sharpness at Arsenal just yet. However, Sanchez running the left opposite to Walcott provides us a very speedy dynamic side. Especially against teams that try to push up high against us, Sanchez can really exploit the space behind the defenders by getting on the end of balls that Ozil can thread through.

Against teams that like to park the bus, Walcott was more effective than not, because while Theo is a fast player, he doesn’t exactly beat a man using his footwork, but more thorough his speed. Sanchez is a little different in that aspect, as Alexis can really bring a lot of trickery to the flank that this squad has really never had. Along with his exceptional ability to hold up the ball, Alexis brings a lot of different flavors to the final third.

Danny Welbeck

Danny isn’t a massive marquee signing like a Cavani or a Falcao that we had been hoping since last year. However, he just might be the most Arsenal-like forward that we had not been aware of because of all the big names being thrown around. Aside from Marco Reus, who I think would fit perfectly into this squad, I think that  Welbeck might have been the best choice among those that were even slightly available this summer. Danny brings a great combination of strength and pace, along with an ability to score in a variety of ways. His finishing is still a question, but with the plethora of chances that this club makes for the center forward player, Welbeck should easily be slotting a few in. Adebayor was the same when he used to get 20+ for us in the league. A lot of misses, but still a few here and there.

Welbeck seems to remind me a lot about the raw-Henry and raw-Adebayor put together. If my assumptions are correct, we are in for a gem, as Danny could easily do a Sturridge thing at the Emirates. The fact that him and Giroud are quite different type of players also excites me. Before his injury, Giroud was excellent coming off the bench and proved why he is the number one striker in this squad right now. When he comes back, the thought of Welbeck and Giroud competing for that spearhead role is mouthwatering.

<h3>So are we going to win the league?</h3>

Unlike the mass majority, I think it is a little premature to say that we cannot win the league with this squad. We are still a little bit thin on the defensive end, and we all know how friendly our club is particularly friendly with that thing called injuries. However, there is still the January transfer window, and as long as we can keep up the pace at the top (or lead the top), we should be able to pull a series of good runs in the second half of the season, while still staying competitive in the Champions League and the FA Cup.

This transfer window has been very good for the most of us, as we have not seen this club splash money around like this in a while (although most top clubs have done similarly this summer). That makes me very excited for this coming season and hopefully we can get back to winning ways after the two recent draws. #COYG

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