Had you said to me that Arsenal missing out on Champions League qualification last summer would have potentially resulted in the best transfer window in the club’s history I would have disregarded it fairly swiftly. Even in spite of the improved recruitment, I had not expected this level of aggression in the market.
It is important to point out that despite links to Gabriel Jesus, Raphinha and Lisandro Martinez being strong, these are not yet done deals. However, should Arsenal sign the trio and add them to the arrivals of Matt Turner, Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos plus the return of William Saliba, then it would be difficult to argue that 2022 has the potential to be the club’s best-ever window.
2021 saw the club spend more than any other previous summer. Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga all arrived for an approximate £150 million total.
The six players played their part in elevating a side that finished eighth the season before to a top-four challenge that was only narrowly and disappointingly missed out on. Were it not for injuries to the likes of Tomiyasu in addition to Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney at the business end, they might have just done it.
The closest Arsenal have come to that spending was Unai Emery’s summer when Nicolas Pepe, Tierney, David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli, William Saliba and Dani Ceballos (loan) all came in. A mega spend but in hindsight, the record acquisition of Pepe hasn’t worked out.
Tierney, Martinelli and potentially Saliba however could all end up being major long-term success stories for the club. That summer also saw the big-money sale of Alex Iwobi to Everton which is certainly one of the craziest fees paid to the club for a player in its history.
The summers of 2013 and 2014 are highlights because of the deals for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Moves which of course were great moments for the club and the fans, but around these the other deals failed to help progress the club as this pair did at the time.
The 1998 arrivals of Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit for less than £10 million before being sold for four times the amount two years later is another highlight. However other summers weren’t peppered with star names and most of the time they became the stars whilst with the club, but the modern era of spending sees multiple high calibre players arrive at once.
The idea that Arsenal could complete a window with the aforementioned names linked in 2022 is exciting. It continues to show the pull the club has and the ambition of the current regime to put it back to the upper echelons of the English game.