How Ruthless Arsenal won the transfer window, The Evening Standard‘s chief football correspondent looked back on a summer which saw the Gunners break their transfer record with the arrival of Nicolas Pepe, as well pull off the shock signing of David Luiz from rivals Chelsea.
Olley also explained how Arsenal were able to spend nearly £150m despite their limited budget, and revealed which Emirates boardroom figures deserve credit for the club’s summer business.
Are Arsenal winners of the transfer window?
I think there’s a strong case for saying they are, when you consider where they were after the Europa League final, missing out on Champions League football and having a modest transfer budget.
“Aaron Ramsey went to Juventus, Petr Cech retired, Danny Welbeck ran out of contract – there was an awful lot of work to do.
“If you’d given them the set of circumstances they’re in now the window’s closed, most Arsenal fans would have bitten your hand off.
“It obviously helped their image when they were in negotiations – “we’re Arsenal and we don’t have a lot of money”.
Compare that to Manchester United who habitually have to overpay for players because everyone knows the revenues they bring in – they have to pay what some agents call a ‘Manchester United tax’.
“Arsenal maybe had the opposite of that, so I think they’ve played it very well.
“But you only have to look at the outgoings to see how they’ve managed to offset the outlay. Krystian Bielik (to Derby), Alex Iwobi (to Everton) and Laurent Koscielny (to Bordeaux) – with just those three deals they’ve almost made £50m.
“With William Saliba, I don’t think they wanted to loan him back, but the fact they have means they were able to pay quite a low figure upfront.
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