Player exits…Did Arteta get it right? by Jonbo
There are many areas where a manager can succeed or fail, and one of the major factors they have to get mostly right is transfers. I say “mostly”, because no manager or club has a 100% success rate with transfers.
And a lot of times, it’s out of a manager’s hands anyway. A player may push through a move against the wishes of the manager. A technical director may overrule a manager. A player may want to stay, the manager loves him, but financial trouble at a club may be the deciding factor.
So did Arteta get it right with player exits at Arsenal? This isn’t about transfer fees, or money, it’s purely about whether we should have kept players or not based on their Arsenal performances and what they and us have done since?
Mkhitaryan – YES
He was a flop for us, and I think he wanted to leave anyway. He has played a lot for Roma, and done fairly well from the little I have seen, but was terrible in England for us and Utd, so it was right to get rid of.
Emi Martinez – YES
This was a very difficult call, because he’s done really well for Villa, and has cemented his place as Argentina’s number one. He came in for the injured Leno, and was brilliant for us. The issue was that he wanted, and felt he was good enough for regular first team football, which was fair enough at his age. The main problems were that Leno had also been excellent for us, so it would have been harsh to replace him, and that it’s difficult for any manager to guarantee a starting spot to a player. I guess it’s easier to say that selling was the correct call since Ramsdale’s signing.
Mustafi – YES
Huge flop for us, and has done absolutely nothing since leaving, and barely played. Currently at Levente which is probably his level, no disrespect to them.
Ozil – YES
Easiest call out of all of them. Trouble maker, consistently poor performances, and terrible attitude. Ozil’s critics have been more than proven right, especially given what’s happened with him at Fenerbahce.
Willock – YES
A brilliant loan spell at Newcastle, which angered some Arsenal fans when we sold him. Willock never really hit it off at Arsenal, and hasn’t matched his loan performances since moving to Newcastle.
Kolasinac – YES
A fan favorite, albeit briefly, but not good for us overall. Hasn’t played a lot since leaving.
Sokratis – YES
I actually really liked this signing. An aggressive old school CB was exactly what we needed. Unfortunately he was asked to play out from the back, and looked terrible in the process. He wasn’t needed anymore, and is currently back in Greece.
Aubameyang – NO
I completely support Arteta’s decision to get rid of Auba because of disciplinary issues (and his form had also been awful for a very long time), because he could have lost control of the dressing otherwise. Despite my support on this issue, it was mid-season, and our backup options were not great in Laca and Nketiah. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen Arteta and Auba come to some sort of compromise that would have kept him at the club for the last 6 months, before moving him on in the summer.
Lacazette – YES
I have always felt a little sorry for Laca. We finally spent big on a quality striker, only to upgrade him just 6 months later with Auba. Has never really been given a chance in my opinion. Decent player, but definitely right to move him on.
Chambers – NO
Quality versatile squad player. I would have liked to have kept him, but he wanted to play more often. Letting him go wasn’t an issue, like with Auba, it was the timing. Always risky mid-season, and I feel it backfired with the injuries towards the end of the season. Should have let him go in the summer instead.
Willian – YES
Very poor signing, and moved on after one season. Barely played since, and hasn’t scored a single goal.
Luiz – YES
Just like Willian, has only played 9 games since returning to Brazil. We do not miss him. Had the ability to look world class, and Sunday league in the same game.
I have only listed players from the first team. Let me know if I missed anyone.
Out of the list, I think we can only really say that Mkhitaryan, Auba and Martinez have found better or the same form since leaving, in relation to the quality of the league they are playing in. That said, and as I explained, two out of those three were the right calls as Mhki had been dreadful in England, and I think he wanted to go. It was a difficult situation with Martinez and Leno, and Ramsdale is definitely the best option out of the three keepers.
On one hand, Arteta has done very well getting 10 out of 12 right, and one could easily argue 11 or 12 out of 12, but then again, it wasn’t exactly hard making the right calls, given that the vast majority of these players were considered deadwood.
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WATCH THE TRANSFER SHOW – Alfie and Rob ask “Who is Lisandro Martinez?”