Transfer deadline day is without question one of the most entertaining 24 hours on the football calendar.
From Jim White and his immaculate yellow tie to Sky Sports reporters posted around all the major grounds hoping for something to happen, the drama surrounding the day is something we as football fans love to watch.
A moment in time: Arsenal’s mad 2011 deadline day
The only thing better than watch deadline day is watching your team partake in the manic day, but for Arsenal fans, they got to experience a deadline day like no other.
Following a summer that saw Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri leave the club, fans had been crying out for the Frenchman to replace these vital first-team players, and in typical Wenger fashion, he signed players that didn’t fill any of these roles.
Before deadline day Wenger had signed Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as Joel Campbell and Hector Bellerin. It only took an 8-2 implosion against Manchester United for the Arsenal boss to realise that more signings needed to be made, and the Frenchman went nuts.
In the span of 48 hours, Wenger had signed five first-team players for a collective fee of around £26 million, and to say some of these were panic buys would be an understatement.
Amongst the signings were South Korean international Park Chu-young from AS Monaco and left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, two players who have gone down in Arsenal folklore as some of the worst Wenger has ever made as Gunners boss.
As for the other three, they were a lot more successful in north London. The only loan-signing to be brought in on the final day was Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea. The Israeli captain, who’s still playing to this day, didn’t see much game time for the Gunners but scored one of the most important goals of the season for Arsenal during a 3-2 win against West Brom on the final day of the season, a goal that ultimately sent the Gunners into the Champions League.
The other two signings Arsenal made that day were Per Mertesacker from Werder Breman and Mikel Arteta from Everton, two players who would go on to captain the Gunners and end their careers at the club.
The Arteta deal, in particular, was frantic, as David Moyes reportedly rejected two transfer offers from the Gunners for their star midfielder before the Spaniard said he would take a pay cut if it meant joining Arsenal.
In the end, the day was a success for the Gunners. Wenger’s side recovered from their awful early season form to finish third in the Premier League as then captain Robin van Persie won the PFA Player of the Year award for his 30 goals.
And the day as a whole proved to be a big lesson for Wenger, and since then Arsenal has been a team to finish their transfer business early rather than 24 hours before the end of the window.
Arsenal fans, who was your favourite player Arsenal signed on the 2011 deadline day?
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