Wenger’s signings last season, success or failures?
This time of the year can be very tedious for supporters throughout football. Rumours and gossip about potential transfer targets are rallied around whether they are serious or not. Manchester City seem to be getting linked with every footballer who has two feet and a desire to earn double they would at any other club.
Arsene Wenger added to his squad last summer and during the January transfer window. However, with many experienced players leaving last summer, were his signings good enough to replace and continue in their challenge for the Premiership title?
I’m taking a moment to look back on whether Arsene Wenger’s 2008/09 signings had a positive impact on their season.
Wenger demonstrated some shrewd business in signing Mikael Silvestre for under £1million, but it was obvious during the season why Manchester United released him so cheaply. Wenger needed cover at the back and in Silvestre he had cover at centre half and left back. However, he wasn’t as solid or reliable as he had been for Manchester United over the years.
We all know Wenger thrives on signing youth players and shaping them into world class players. The whole of English football took note when Cardiff were fielding a teenager in Aaron Ramsey who was turning in performances expected of players far his senior. Wenger managed to snap him up for roughly £5million in front of a whole host of clubs interested including Manchester United and Everton. He didn’t quite live up to expectations this year but Wenger has urged fans to be patient with his progress and hopefully this will bear fruit in the coming seasons.
Arsene Wenger’s best piece of business last summer has to be Samir Nasri. The ‘next Zidane’ as he had been labelled by his previous employers, came with a high reputation although he was still only 21. He made an immediate impact with a goal on his debut against West Bromwich Albion and with two goals against Manchester United in November; he was an instant hit with the Arsenal faithful. With a season under his belt he should come back even stronger next time.
A slight gamble by Wenger was to sign Amaury Bischoff from Werder Bremen. The youngster hasn’t really impacted the first team at all this season but is still viewed as ‘one for the future’. He made four substitute appearances for the first team this season and looked solid without being spectacular. The jury is still out on this signing, but time will tell.
Arsene Wenger’s January transfer needs no introduction. Andrei Arshavin finally signed for the Gunners a day after the transfer window had shut. The free scoring midfielder/striker went on a rampage against Liverpool and bagged four goals in an amazing encounter. He also created as many goals as he scored and we all hope that this continues throughout his Arsenal career.
The former Zenit St. Petersburg striker will be an influential member of the first team next season and will hopefully continue where he left off.
Arsene Wenger has always been reluctant to sign the ‘big players’ but with the signing of Arshavin it may have proved to him that it can work. With a couple of similar signings this summer Arsenal may be a top dog in the Premiership again next season.