The Arsenal fans have been in buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern in recent days after their side enjoyed an extremely productive January transfer window.
Arsene Wenger had one of his most active mid-season windows in recent years last month as he bolstered his first-team squad with the acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the relatively unknown Greek centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos. Arsenal brought Mkhitaryan to the club as part of the deal for Alexis Sanchez, who they reluctantly allowed to make a dramatic switch to Manchester United following a well-documented battle with their local rivals for his signature.
The resident Gunners propping up the bar in the tavern were naturally saddened by Sanchez’s departure, but they accepted it was the right decision to make considering the former Barcelona talent was set to become a free agent in the summer. The blow of losing Sanchez was softened by the arrival of Mkhitaryan who has surely not shown the Premier League his full potential during his career in the English top-flight so far.
Arguably the most positive piece of business concluded by The Gunners during the window was the contract extension signed by Mesut Ozil on deadline day, as he put pen to paper to commit his future until 2021. However, Arsenal reportedly attempted to make another deadline day deal for West Bromwich Albion’s captain Jonny Evans according to Sky Sports.
Although there is no doubt that Evans is a solid Premier League defender (as his £13.5m valuation by Transfermarkt eludes to), a move for his services would have represented something of a sideways step in comparison to the other deals Arsenal completed in January.
Now that Arsenal are 8 points adrift of 4th place Liverpool and looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League for the second consecutive season this year, the club need to be focusing their transfer targets on players who can help them return to Europe’s most prestigious competition next season.
At 30-years-old, Jonny Evans does not represent a forward-thinking signing for the future despite his obvious credentials and past experience in the Champions League. With all due respect to Evans, the former Man United prospect is not of the standard needed to help Arsenal achieve their objectives in the seasons to come, so Arsenal’s failed late bid represented something of a blessing in disguise for Arsene Wenger.