Tierney, Luiz In, Iwobi Out: How Was The Transfer Window For You?

That’s phase one over. English football’s determination to shoot itself in the foot means there are no more signings incoming at Arsenal. The squad is what is until January at the earliest; let English football and VAR do their worst.

Kiernan Tierney arrived to a social media fanfare but by the time David Luiz completed his move, there was an air of fatigue about it all. The pixies and elves who man the club’s Twitter, Instagram and God knows what else accounts couldn’t rest; there was still the sale of Alex Iwobi to announce.

Tierney and Luiz strengthen our defence. Yes, you read that correctly. An injured player and Sideshow Bob make us better.

In fairness to the Scot, the scaremongering over an eight-week layoff subsided. Neil Lennon took his life into his own hands and brought his red head into the daylight to quash those rumours. Tierney is a couple of weeks from being fit. That is until our medical team get their hands on him and squirrel him away in some black hole for months.

Luiz? Well, I made my views clear yesterday. Perhaps I can crystallise them better with: if David Luiz is the answer, how bad must your defence be?

The Brazilian brings experience, is a decent passer of the football and has a Masters degree in Football Sh*thousery. We need all those things. What we don’t need are his lax positional play and error-strewn performances. If he brings them, we’ve basically bought a curly-haired Mustafi. Granit Xhaka may be relieved though; Luiz is likely to cede possession more frequently.

I think he’s a poor signing and will prove to be Silvestre and Squillaci’s soulmate. But he’s here and in any case, there are two grounds for optimism.

Do Tell, Do Tell…

Firstly, Rob Holding is back next month. Secondly, he and Sokratis will spend half-a-season each on the sidelines after VAR pick up their dark arts. So long as they aren’t missing at the same time; anything, anyone but Mustafi.

Which brings us to the day’s departures. Some will be coming back, such as Eddie Nketiah. Going to Leeds can surely only be beneficial. Marcelo Bielsa is a tactically astute coach and they have a set of players burning with desire to win promotion.

Nketiah will also benefit from the competitive nature of the Championship. But crucially, he should be used more often than he would at Arsenal. That is the big thing; he needs playing time.

Which is something Alex Iwobi might reasonably expect to get at Everton. I wish him well. For whatever reason, he plateaued over the last year or two. Was it a natural break in progress or just his ceiling being reached? We’ll find out.

Whatever the case, I wouldn’t fault him for effort. He always tried – sometimes too hard – to make things work but the arrival of Nicolas Pepe pretty much spelt the end for him. With Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka emerging, opportunities were obviously limited for Iwobi.

The fee of £38m seems fair. Reports started it at £45m but with every hour it dropped.

Ignoring Saliba (as the club is), it took our net spend to around £42m this summer; closer than some want to admit to the £45m bandied around…

Who cares how we’ve made the budget work? Surely no-one, beyond those who believe football finances to be nothing more than wizardry and chicanery which puts convicted fraudsters to shame. Oh, and the media.

Which Brings Us To The Big Question…

Was it a good transfer window. From the shadows of chaos and destruction, emerged a shining light.

The signing of Nicolas Pepe kickstarted it all. I know Saliba was signed before, so too Ceballos. I’m struggling to get excited by the Saliba deal; it’s next year’s thing and there is nine months of this season to go.

I will, however, try to watch Saint-Etienne vs Bordeaux, just to see him soar salmon-like about Koscielny to score a last-minute winner. If it secures European football at Bordeaux’s expense or relegates them, so much the better. That won’t happen; the games are in October and March – I just looked.

I know; it’s scary to think any research goes into this drivel.

But looking at the squad, it’s hard to think that we’re not better off. Luiz might be a similar model to Koscielny but he’s marginally younger and more streetwise. Ceballos isn’t a replacement for Ramsey per se; his goals quota won’t match the Welshman’s hence the signing of Pepe. That takes care of Ramsey and Welbeck’s.

Pepe is a strange one. The #wecaredoyou letter sparked the club into action. It didn’t demand Viv Nicholson be given the keys to the safe but Raul unleashed his inner Viv on the world. The ferocity of the reaction surprised the Kroenkes, as Junior’s lame-arse interviews showed.

Arsenal unfettered chased Wilfried Zaha. We tried to get him on the cheap; old habits die hard. £40m, then £40m plus wastrels we no longer wanted. Palace didn’t bite on either.

Surprisingly, we never went back, despite Pepe proving we had the money. Maybe we talked with the Eagles hierarchy about a similar-style of payments but they told Raul to bugger off.

So we did and arguably, got a better player out of it.

We shall see.

Come On, Get To It!

A few weeks of the window remain with time for some players to be sold. Eyes are focused on Mesut Ozil; Team Mesut is talking MLS, specifically DC United. If Derby can fund Rooney’s wages via sponsors, so too can DC for Mesut.

There were times during the pre-season when I thought he was reinvigorated, alive to another season. Then on other occasions, it was 2018/19 Mesut. The half-arsed effort and slipping to the periphery of games. If he doesn’t go to DC this summer, next year is definitely on the cards. The retirement home is calling…

Which brings us to an overall view of the English transfer window. We kept hold of star players, e.g. Aubameyang and Lacazette, while the youngsters emerged from the shadows to shine in the daylight.

Joe Willock looked completely at home, so too Robbie Burton. Saka was lively in his appearances while Reiss Nelson improved with every game.

Overall, the window gets a solid 7/10. Had we signed an Upamecano or Rugani defender, one for the long-term but ready for the coming season, I’d have said 8/10. Sell Mustafi and it’s higher than that.

But those things never happened. We fixed a problem with a short-term solution – and Luiz’s two-year deal is short-term – so we’re as good as we could have expected for 2019/20. Probably better.

And I, for one, feel reinvigorated about the new season ahead. Until we lose to a last-minute Andy Carroll goal on Sunday, that is.

’til Tomorrow.

53 thoughts on “Tierney, Luiz In, Iwobi Out: How Was The Transfer Window For You?

  1. JonJon says:

    good post
    not far off my views on the situation.

  2. JonJon says:

    I would have rather had iwobi stay and seen the backs of the likes of miki and ozil to be honest.

    but 35mil for a squad player with no end product is really good business and it allows us to invest in other areas we really need

    our front line is bursting with quality pros and quality up and comers.

    something tells me depending on who we shift in the next three weeks we’ll be back for the CB in january.

  3. Michael says:

    I think on balance it was a good window, not perfect but they never are.
    I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised to see Özil leave, DC probably have some creative accountants and a few mirrors, just need some smoke and he is gone…..pff. They is also a chance that we can sell at least 1 more to Europe somewhere. So yes have to be happy, for now.
    Really looking forward to Sunday, haven’t been so excited for the start of the season for a while now. It may be a bumpy start to begin with but once we have a proper 1st team together, they could surprise a lot of doubters.

  4. Birdkamp says:

    “We shall see” being crucial. A lot of change, so let’s hope it’s change for the better. Dani Ceballos looks like he’s up my street. And even if Pepe doesn’t work out right away, he will make space for the rest of the team just by being fast and tricky.

    This isn’t to be weird, but this season I’m really looking forward to seeing how last year’s signings progress. Especially excited about Torreira taking over in midfield, and hope the game-time we’ve invested in Guendouzi bear fruit (I’m optimistic it will).

  5. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Great summing-up of the mixed feelings, YW.
    I think you’d have to say they did well for the money but it won’t help us a great deal in the short term, especially with all the injuries. For my money, we’re still a ball-winning central midfielder and a solid central defender away from consistency and the clean underwear it brings.

  6. JonJon says:

    oh and by the way

    ladies and gentleman….be advised – from the ashes of the old era and culture of the club…will arise a new breed of ‘doomer’

    you know – the people who loved the club unconditionally….as long as a certain person was in charge… called everyone cunts for having a different opinion and stuff.

    i imagine they are crying in their cornflakes over on forums like the funshine bus…hate the way the club is being run, the management, the staff…

    too funny

    if i had one wish today it would be for yogi to let a few of them out of the bin just so i can write.


    the upper hand is well and truly on the other foot 🙂

  7. JonJon says:

    Woolwich Freddie

    rome wasnt built in a day. i think everyone understood it was going to take several attempts to ‘repair’ the neglect the squad had succumbed to in the previous management.

    we’d already dropped out of top 4 and had a lot of catching up to do.

    theres plenty of scope for improvement, another GK ,a new CB, another RB, another CM.

    we cant do it all in one window. it was always going to be a long term thing to change the culture of the club…multiple windows to overhaul the squad, multiple years back in CL to build momentum then challenge the for the big shiney things.

    2-3 years i’d have said and this summer was promising. showed intent to the direction we are taking.

  8. Michael says:

    Jon Jon
    That prompted a read of it, bitter or what?
    YW, don’t be tempted.

  9. Birdkamp says:

    I’d hope there’s nobody holding onto this nonsense. It’s been six years, right?

    Seven whole years since my overwrought columns tanked YW’s hit count every Friday!

    As someone who’s guilty of perpetuating internet beef down the years: Life’s too short – support you how want.

  10. JonJon says:

    of course i jest
    as one era ends and another one dawns, the banter era never ceases.

    just like to point out the irony in it all.

    how can you go from belittling fans who want change and not really enjoying the way things are to someone who wants change and not enjoying the way things are while still belittling everyone else?

    going 180 while still claiming to be the all singing all dancing uber fan is fucking wierd. but hey ho – each to their own – just wanted to point it out that yesterdays superfans are todays doomers.

    football eh.

  11. Pete says:

    Great Post Yogi! Building the mood ahead of Sunday… but was that last line about Andy Carrol really necessary?!!

  12. C says:

    Excellent post Yogi.

    I also think that Gabriel played his part in helping Iwobi out the door because his pace and skill that he has shown is as good as any of our youngsters. When you look at the wide attacking options in Pepe, Nelson, Aubameyang, Saka, Gabriel plus potentially Sead, your looking at some players that can press and attack with pace and quickness. Ozil, they have given you the players, time for you to show me some consistency.

    Raul most certainly went to work and the deals all just made sense and even the departures he did well. 4m from Leeds for Nketiah was brilliant stuff for sure.

    Tierney and Luiz have the potential to be absolutely brilliant for different reasons. Luiz is a winner, a leader and a player who can play but loves the dark arts. Everything that I have read and seen about Tierney, he has it all. There are some who say he has the potential to be better than Robertson as a LB. Bellerin on the right and Tierney on the left…..o that’s mouth watering.

  13. C says:

    Also worth noting that Aubameyang and Lacazette signed new contracts.

  14. Wavey says:

    And Martinelli didn’t even get a mention.

  15. Woolwich Freddie says:


    Can’t argue with that. It’s just that it often feels we’ve been put under a curse whereby competent defensive players are always just out of reach. Perversely the potentially world-beating attack just seems to mock you when you know the potential for the panto behind them to take the wind out of their sails. But shit. Press high up the pitch and go all out attack and we’ll have some fun this season at least.

  16. YW says:


    Y’see, you made me do it. And I couldn’t finish because I read a paragraph about pseudo super fans and couldn’t stop laughing at the lack of irony.

  17. YW says:

    Nope, Wavey. Not sure how much we’ll see of him. Might be a year domestic cups and Europa League, which is the modern equivalent of a season in the stiffs.

  18. Birdkamp says:


    Hi, yeah, forgot about him. No reason why Leno shouldn’t grow too. We may need to be careful throwing all these new players in, but Tierney being out for another month might actually help to create a unit in the meantime.

    The turnover in two years has been mental. Really, it’s only Xhaka and Bellerin left in a first choice XI, and I probably wouldn’t pick Xhaka. And that’s before you count the ongoing transformation off the pitch.

    It was all necessary, but it’s not ideal if you want a cohesive team, so I hope people aren’t expecting too much.

  19. nicky says:

    I hope that at 18, Martinelli will be given a fair chance in the first team. If he’s good enough, he’s old enough. Remember Guendouzi who wasn’t signed and sent out on loan………wisely so. 😎

  20. Bill says:

    The squad that was left over 2 years ago was just a poorly constructed squad and needed to be completely rebuilt and that was going to take time. The idea that 2 years ago we had a a group of really great players and they just needed to be “coached up” was absurd. A manager can help to mold a team but the idea that he can improve players may be true in occasional cases but the ability of a manager to radically improve an individual player is just not realistic. He does not have time to work with individual players on a daily basis. With a rare exception its the players who make the manager

  21. Jojo says:

    Good lord! What an utterly misery guts you are! You are the half-glass empty kind of guy, at best swimming in melancholy and angst. In the dark arts, of the transfer window, best outcome is be stronger than you went in, within the context of the available resources. Rejuvenating a stale and an unbalanced squad was always going to require short to medium term planning amidst short term wins and losses. I have a lot more confidence in the club’s actions so far and happy to ignore your characteristic and incessant negativity.

  22. HenryNorrisDialSquare says:

    Woolwich Freddie:
    Great summing-up of the mixed feelings, YW.
    I think you’d have to say they did well for the money but it won’t help us a great deal in the short term, especially with all the injuries. For my money, we’re still a ball-winning central midfielder and a solid central defender away from consistency and the clean underwear it brings.

    Agree with this statement fully. We are missing that Antonio Rudiger, Van Dijk mould central defender and a N’Golo Kante, Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucouré type midfielder who relentlessly wins the ball back. Before we can challenge for top four again.

  23. Birdkamp says:


    nobody of sound mind would claim that any AFC squad in the last few years has been on the cusp of greatness. But, on moulding things, a team that has undergone so much change, on and off the pitch, will not be more than the sum of its parts at such an early phase of the project.

    Since we haven’t got a of queen bee to shit out a batch of footballing drones we’re going to need to be patient while all these strangers from disparate footballing backgrounds mesh together.

    Everything that has happened needed to be done, but it’s been absolutely seismic. If I supported another team, I’d point to the big turnover and whole raft of unknown quantities as a reason why we won’t challenge this season.

  24. philmar says:

    Football is no different that many other aspects of life – ability can get you far, but only so far. Ambition and desire is what drives the ability. Both Ozil and Miki are supremely talented and worked their socks off to get to a point where million dollar contracts were attached to their names. IMO they no longer have the hunger and desire needed to be part of an elite title winning team. Find a way to get them farmed out and have their place taken by a hungry and motivated player. Even if we have to subsidize half their wage. Sadly neither would command much of a transfer fee as a result. That’s why we had to sell Iwobi instead.
    The new Arsenal loks a bit like the old one…despite an abundance of overpaid attacking talent we decided to throw money at yet more attacking stars, neglecting the defence. Yes Yogi, Luiz is the new Squilacci, Silvestre. We’ve gone out to buy new shiny hub caps when we should have replaced the worn out tires and added new spark plugs.
    We bought great value for the money we spent but we’ve bought things that weren’t exactly our biggest needs.

  25. C says:


    Tend to agree about Tierney and I think it will also give him time to bed into the club too.

    Leno will grow and I’m actually of the mindset that Xhaka should’t start and we move forward with Torriera, Guendouzi and Ceballos. Bellerin coming back with Holding will be brilliant.

    I do think the fact that they are all at different stages of fitness works in Emery’s favor in bedding them into the team. Pepe, Ceballos and Luiz(especially having worked under Emery at PSG) will bed in first over the coming weeks. Then Tierney probably over the international break.

  26. Birdkamp says:


    I agree that Xhaka shouldn’t start, and would have cashed in on him over Iwobi. Aren’t we struggling for homegrown players now for our EL squad?

    Guendouzi answers the need for some athleticism in mf, and I think we know there’s more to come from Torreira. I like the idea of three CMs and three forwards; my reference point would be when Barcelona had Henry, Messi and Eto’o up front.

    For me, Tierney’s got the biggest transition to make and may need time on top of his injury. It’s really like bringing someone in from League 1.

  27. Pistolfish says:

    G’day Ya’ll.
    I must admit pretty excited about our transfer business. I may even start following football again after a two year sabbatical. Not sure what to make of David Luis, I’d rather we had gotten someone for the long haul but I think he is better than anything we had.
    The rest are all really exiting players.

  28. Woolwich Freddie says:


    Agreed 4-3-3 is our strongest ( as long as we stay on the front foot). Xhaka and Kolasinac were, to me, even more sale able assets than Iwobi in that they could still have commanded decent fees but are of negligible usefulness to us. I have some affection and admiration for all three but none of them are anything like complete players in their respective positions.

  29. Birdkamp says:

    Woolwich Freddie,

    I’m guessing Kolasinac is going to become an option further forward, for better or worse, especially in Iwobi’s absence.

    I thought there was more to come from Iwobi, plus he’s homegrown. As has been said I think he’d still be here had we been able to shift Mkhitaryan. Of the three you mentioned I think most would say that Iwobi has the highest ceiling.

    You can sort of see how Xhaka could be perform in a well-oiled machine. But if in the next few weeks he has to improvise too much or take defensive responsibility it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I’m convinced he’s going to be starting, for the sake of continuity and because he’s a captain.

  30. Pete the Thirst says:

    I’d go 8/10 for the transfer window. We all know Luiz’s limitations but he fills a Kos shaped hole.

    With Jenkinson and Iwobi going the longest serving player must be Bellerin. The turnaround in players the past few seasons has been amazing.

  31. Blue Yonder says:

    Raul and the boys are to be congratulated for their moves this window. Now it’s up to Emery to mold them all and the players to perform on the field. It always is.
    I believe Ozil will get every chance to show what he can do in this new environment but I don’t believe Mkitharyan will be so fortunate. You can’t teach enthusiasm and the latter has shown he has little of that.
    I expect Arsenal to compete with Spurs for third place with MU and Chelsea vying for fifth.

  32. C says:


    I like Xhaka but in Emery’s system he doesn’t always work but I agree about selling Xhaka over Iwobi. No we should be good since Iwobi is leaving and Nelson is being added, 1 for 1.

    Agrew a out Guendouzi but really excited for Ceballos because he can be brilliant for us especially next to Torriera. A midfield of say Torrier, Guendouzi, Ceballos for some matches would be superb. Having 3 forwards could work at times for us because the fact that BOTH Aubameyang and Lacazette started as wingers and werw transformed into CF’s. I also think this is the platform with these players that Ozil should flourish.

    Tierney will be onteresting because talent wise, he has it all and your right about the step up in leagues. The good thing is that he can be bedded in thanks to us having Nacho and Sead (One of them I think will be sold). I do think though that Tierney has the ability and mentality to flourish in the PL and with Bellerin on the otherside, I would pit those two against any other pair.

  33. C says:

    Ozil and Sead both out after more security incidents happen to them and their family. Club issued a statement:

    Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle United following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police.

    The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives. We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support.

    We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible. We will not be making any further comment on the matter.

  34. andy1886 says:

    BREAKING NEWS (via the BBC):

    Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of Arsenal’s squad for Sunday’s Premier League game at Newcastle because of “further security incidents”.

    The incidents are being investigated by police.

    WTF is going on??

  35. Bufallo says:

    Extremely odd….could this see the departure of the pair.
    I’m not sure i’d want to get on the wrong side of Ozil’s best man, whoever these guys are.
    Give our transfer window a 9/10 given expectations.
    Optimistic for the new season but this is football..

  36. C says:


    It is very odd but the sad thing is that its actually happening to them and their families.

    Makes you wonder why all of this is happening.

  37. Paulie Walnuts says:


    Sign of the times.

    On the ‘window’ , I haven’t a clue how it will turn out. As Big Al says, it’s a lot of players to chuck together & hope for the best.

    My gut feeling is the Tierney signing will turn out to be the best bit of business, but he’s unproven in the EPL & will soon realise it’s a lot different to piddling about at Rugby Park etc.

    I don’t know enough about Ceballos but he sounds exciting , as does Pepe who I believe has been signed as an investment. Gabriel is clearly one for the future, as is Saliba but David Luis is certainly one for NOW. We all know he’s not the best , but he’ll bring something which we need , & that’s a winning mentality. My main concern with him (& Sokratis) is the amount of pens they’ll concede with VAR !

  38. Bill says:


    You were not around much but there was certainly a lot of talk before last season about the belief that players like Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Iwobe, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles-Niles etc etc were really good players and all they needed was a new manager who would “coach them up” and they would suddenly blossom into top players.

    I agree with your assessment because I think it will take some time for the squad to blend together =. Unless they come together very quickly we may struggle to finish 4th and we have to hope that ManU and Chelsea really do melt down. Even with all of the attacking talent we might finish 6th if we concede >50 goals again. That said I think there is now hope for this year and the future whereas before there was none because now we have seen an upgrade in overall talent level in the squad.

    Perhaps the biggest reason for excitement is before this year we all believed that the Kronke regime did not care about the club and was happy to see us flounder forever. However, now it suddenly looks like there is a plan. In the last 2 years we have rebuilt the front office and the squad and none of that could have happened without the Kronke’s sanctioning the moves so we now have at least indirect evidence they really do want to see us improve.

  39. Bill says:


    We need to hope that Pepe turns out to be the best bit of business. He is a $72M player for a reason and if come close to living up to his fee those are the players you build big teams around and they are the key to winning PL titles and making deep runs in the CL.

  40. MesutsLeftFoot says:


    did it not happen after Ozils spurs taunt after they tried to mock him?

  41. Blue Yonder says:

    Originally, I thought the attempted car-jacking was more or less random but now I’m wondering whether something darker is going on. If so, how can they be safe anywhere?
    It occurs to me that we fought a world war so people would be safe and now we seem to be knee-deep in riffraff.

  42. Bill says:

    Your star players are the ones you build the team around. I am not discounting the important of good role players but you can’t don’t compete with a team full of nothing but roll players. Much as I love Dennis Bergkamp and for as great as he was, he had become a roll player by 2003. . The 03/04 title team were invincible with or without Dennis. However, take away one of the star players like Henry, Pires, Vierra or Sol Campbell and they would not have been the same team. Obviously the hope for Pepe and the reason we paid $72M is we hope for him to become one of our stars.

  43. C says:

    Blue Yonder,

    Given some of the decisions and decision makers currently leading big countries, shit like that was bound to happen unfortunately. Still a shame though.

  44. nicky says:


    I should imagine that something unsavoury has happened as a follow-up to the failed hijack and the police are investigating. With the team being up in Newcastle from Saturday, it makes sense that the two players involved would not be properly focused so far from their families and therefore they have been left behind. Makes sense but a poor comment on the life and times in which we live. 😎

  45. Las says:

    +1 Yogi
    as it turned out it become quite a good window. Definitely better then expected. My only regret that Ozil&Mustafi stayed. And secretly also hoped Xhaka is leaving us but we are not that lucky. But the future is bright at least until Sunday.
    Oh and Yogi, your picture selection is also improving. First the Simpsons and the now the Elephant Man. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  46. The Arse Sores says:

    You sound jaded YW.

    Have you done this all before by any chance?

    I haven’t, or not since about 2007. Pepe must spell a complete change of direction and in the way I want to see.

    Last season we had to be dragged kicking and screaming to play the 2 strikers together, well now we are going to have 3. Not Abam and Ozil, 1 and a half, but 3…. on the pitch.

    We still have a dearth of midfielders, are they good enough? Maybe, that is the future question. We are not short and there is plenty of promise.

    You cannot dismiss the signing of next years back, when McGuire sells for 70 million one for the future is genius. Luis is a stop gap, from the sinking ship that is Chel-all-at-sea, maybe he is only needed till Christmas. In fact we have enough, one for the future, one for cover and one returning. The future is bright.

    I am going for a 9 this window. 10 if Ozil goes, because it sets up the next one.

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