Arsenal recorded a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over rivals Chelsea on Sunday morning to lift the FA Cup for a record 14th time.
I know it’s been a while since I wrote an article here, but I wanted to wait to until the start of the English Premier League season to chime in.
Everybody knows I’m a diehard Arsenal Fan, and after this season’s silly season I just have one thing to say: wow!
I’m not used to a transfer deadline days like the one we just experienced, with the likes of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney fixing Arsenal’s defensive woes, the key area that actually needed fixing.
So should Arsenal fans expect a top-four finish this season? We’ve brought in a new marque man, Nicolas Pepe, for £72 million (A$127.6 million), and Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on loan. Arsenal even sent a strong youth message in this transfer window, bringing in young guns Gabriel Martinelli and beating the Spurs to William Saliba.
I know, I know – Saliba is going back to Saint Etienne on loan. However, with the likes of ©coming back from injury and Joe Willock coming through Arsenal’s academy, the Gunners are sending out a strong youth message to the rest of the league.
There’s also been a move to clear out deadwood like Alex Iwobi, and while I know a lot Arsenal fans will be screaming their disagreement, hear me out.
For most of Iwobi’s Arsenal career he’s been average at best. When Arsene Wenger retired Iwobi kicked up a gear to try to impress Unai Emery to keep his spot in the squad, but overall he hasn’t lived up to his hype and even at his peak blew loads of chances.
Alex Iwobi was never going to be that Wilfried Zaha-style winger Arsenal needed. I know we love to keep our own at Arsenal, but why miss this golden opportunity to raise much-needed funds?
What some Arsenal fans refuse to see in this move is the future. The team’s got near £45 million (A$79.8 million) for Iwobi instead of £5 million in later years. We’re notorious for keeping deadwood until nobody wants them and they’re unable to be offloaded because they have no dollar value. – think Laurent Koscielny, who was sold for just £4 million.
This sends a message to every player from our youth academy to the first division that nobody is safe anymore and nothing is for granted. Arsenal have needed that attitude change for a long time.
This sale also adds speculation to the Wilfried Zaha situation and his future at Crystal Palace, and Palace fans must now ask how much longer Zaha will be at the club. Everton is out of the Zaha race since buying Iwobi, leaving Arsenal to now focus on bringing him in during the January or following summer transfer windows. Or could the Philippe Coutinho rumours be true?
Also, I wasn’t a big fan initially of the David Luiz move, but the more I watch Chelsea fans complain about it online, the more I find the move satisfying. Either way, the upcoming windows for Arsenal are going to be very interesting indeed.
As an Arsenal fan I am putting my money where my mouth is and putting a bet on the Gunners to make the top four this season. Arsenal will get that Champions League money and add the funds to get the likes of Dayot Upamecano to strengthen the squad or even settle for a Samuel Umtiti in upcoming transfer windows.
I know Gunners are notorious for mood swings, from an utterly depressed and dismal outlook at the start of this transfer season, I’m suddenly excited and hopeful again (thanks, Josh Kroenke). Could the singing of Nicolas Pepe be the catalyst that brings life back to London’s greatest football club to even challenge for the title in future seasons?
I can dream, can’t I?