Well then, what do you make of that window, Arsenal fans? On a scale of one to 10 — one being as if you’d signed 48-year-old me as a striker for this coming season, and 10 as if you’d signed Cristiano Ronaldo — what would be your rating?
I wouldn’t blame you for being pretty underwhelmed. You’ve ended up as the top spenders in England. I make it just over £150million. For that you’ve got Ben White (£50m), Martin Odegaard (£31.5m), Aaron Ramsdale (£25m), Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m), Nuno Tavares (£7m) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (£19.8m).
They’re all decent players, don’t get me wrong. Tomiyasu, who joined on deadline day, is a nice signing. He’s only 22 and he can play at centre back, right back or right wing back, so he gives you options.
Arsenal have spent just over £150m this summer, on the likes of defender Ben White (above)
Arsenal also landed a deadline day deal for Bologna and Japan defender Takehiro Tomiyasu
But that list of names doesn’t give me that oomph — that sense that this is a game-changer. None of them are the finished product. Not even White who, at £50m, is a very big investment.
Part of the problem with Arsenal is how do you attract the best of the best when you finished eighth in the Premier League last season and you’re currently bottom?
Players like Ronaldo don’t go for that. They go for clubs who are proven to be competitive and that’s not Arsenal of late.
Joe Willock, Hector Bellerin, David Luiz and Willian, among others, have left. The board must trust Mikel Arteta. You imagine he’s given the nod to these comings and goings and he’ll want time to work with his new guys. But Arteta needs results fast, too.
The Gunners signed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for £25m amid their summer spending
One player who will need to work hard to get onside is Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The player’s social media post in which he made clear his desire to leave was unwise.
That was only ever going to anger his employers. But when I read that Maitland-Niles was training with the kids on Tuesday, I thought that was wrong. That doesn’t help anybody. It’s humiliating.
Arteta’s kept hold of him, apparently after clear-the-air talks. I’m sure Maitland-Niles was assured he’ll get his chance to impress. We’ll see. In a way, Arsenal keeping a player against his will sums up the underwhelming status of the club right now.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be staying with Arsenal this summer after talks with Mikel Arteta