Transfer Talk-Analysis of New Signees Part 1

After the horror show at Old Trafford that saw Arsenal suffer one of the worst losses in club history, Arsene Wenger and his team finally increased the club’s urgency in the transfer market. The result was five new signings in a three day period to bring the new signee total to nine for the summer. During this last flourish, the club also saw Armand Traore depart on a permanent deal to QPR and Nicklas Bendtner leave on a season long loan to Sunderland. I think Arsenal fans will be happy to see Traore leave, especially after his terrible performance against Manchester United, while Bendtner is a player that polarizes opinion. A large number of Arsenal supporters may be glad to see Bendtner and his over-sized ego depart but I believe that he is player with talent that could have been useful over a long season, especially if Arsene Wenger had played him as an out-and-out center forward rather than on the wing, where he saw much of his time last season. Rather than focus on those who have left the club I will look at those new players at Arsenal, and in part one of this analysis I will analyze the five new signings brought in to the club after the weekend game at Old Trafford.

1. Park Chu-Young-The 26-year old South Korean was signed for £3 million from French club Monaco, with the fee rising to £5 million if Park can earn an exemption from military service in South Korea. Park is the captain of the South Korean national team and a free-kick specialist who scored an excellent goal in last year’s World Cup against Nigeria (look it up on You Tube). He has a reputation a bit of a goal poacher as well and scored 12 goals in 33 games for Monaco last year in Ligue 1. This may not seem like a great record, but Monaco was an awful team last year that only scored 36 goals during the entire season so Park’s return of 12 goals was not bad. Park will likely provide squad depth as Robin van Persie remains the number one choice at striker but his versatility means Park will likely see significant game time (he can also play winger). I really like this move and believe that we will likely see Park become the number two striker at Arsenal, ahead of Chamakh who has been very poor since the beginning of the year.

2. Andre Santos-The 28-year old Brazilian was signed for £6.2 million from Turkish club Fenerbache. With the sale of Gael Clichy and now Traore, Arsenal was in need of cover at left-back and Santos provides that. Since Kieran Gibbs has not shown any ability to stay healthy for any long period of time, it is likely that Santos will likely see a lot of game time. Santos is a prototypical Brazilian fullback who is strong in the attack and sometimes suspect on defense but so was Gael Clichy. Santos has a better goal-scoring record than Clichy with ten goals scored in 52 games at Fenerbache versus Clichy’s two goals in his entire Arsenal career (which totaled more than 250 games). Mentored at Fenerbache by former Brazilian great Roberto Carlos, Santos has regained the starting left-back position for the Brazilian national team and is a strong addition to the Arsenal squad.

3. Per Mertesacker-The 26-year old German was signed for £8.7 million from Werder Bremen and fills a huge weakness in the Arsenal squad. The Arsenal defense was badly exposed against Manchester United, with Johan Djourou playing quite poorly, so a player or Mertesacker’s quality was a big signing by Arsene Wenger. The 6’6’’ Mertesacker has played for eight years in the Bundesliga for Werder Bremen and Hanover making 221 appearances. He has made 53 appearances in UEFA competitions and a further 75 appearances for the German national team. He brings experience from the UEFA Cup final in 2009 along with the defensive organizational skills that German’s are known for. With Djourou suffering from a long term loss of form, he hasn’t been the same since dislocating his shoulder in the FA Cup Quarterfinal at Old Trafford, and Koscielny currently injured Mertesacker was just the signing that Arsenal needed, and as bonus he came for half the price that Bolton wanted for Gary Cahill.

4. Yossi Benayoun-The 31-year old Israeli was signed on a season long loan from Chelsea and is the one acquisition that I felt might have been a bit of a panic signing by Arsenal. Benayoun is a creative attacking midfielder with attacking prowess but he has a tendency to get injured and only featured in eight matches for Chelsea during the last term. He does bring Premier League experience from stints at West Ham, Liverpool, and Chelsea and he definitely has something to prove this season. If Benayoun is a used as a squad player and impact sub I think he will be a good fit but I hope that Arsene Wenger doesn’t become too reliant on Benayoun because I feel that at 31 he is past the point where he can be a real top-quality player.

5. Mikel Arteta-The 29-year old Spaniard was the most important acquisition made by Arsenal and was one of the last transfers completed before the August 31st deadline. A £10 million buy from Everton, Arteta is an impact player who can immediately join the starting lineup and make a serious contribution. With six-years of Premier League experience at Everton, the Barcelona youth academy graduate has the creativity and invention that Arsenal have been lacking so far this season and doesn’t need time to settle in to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, like many of the other central midfield options that Arsenal looked at before signing Arteta. Like Park, Arteta is another set-piece specialist, he already scored a penalty for Everton this season, and he can provide composure from the penalty spot, which Robin van Persie lacked at Old Trafford. Some may say that Arteta is a poor man’s Fabregas and this is somewhat true since Fabregas was an absolutely phenomenal player but since the 2006/2007 season only five players have created more chances per 90 minutes than Mikel Arteta. They are Fabregas, Giggs, Malouda, Lampard, and Nani. Not bad company for a player like Arteta and considering the price I believe that Arteta will prove to be an inspired signing who helps Arsenal sustain challenges for their first trophy in six seasons.

In part 2 of my summer transfer analysis I will look at the four signings made earlier in the transfer window and assess the potential impact that those players can make for Arsenal during the 2011/2012 campaign.

Guest Post: Korey Carter
Follow @KoreyPCarter


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Here how great a signing Andre Santos is