Arsenal sign Jorginho from Chelsea
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Arsenal will feel that they have had a fairly successful window, despite missing out on their two top targets. Mikel Arteta headed into January with hopes of signing a player in each department, and sporting director Edu met those demands.
The Gunners are currently five points clear at the top of the table and Arteta was keen throughout January that his side’s league position should not prevent the club from making new arrivals. Instead, he insisted that further spending was required to guarantee a title charge.
An injury to Gabriel Jesus at the Qatar World Cup brought to light how short of depth Arsenal are in the final third. Shakhtar Donetsk star Mykhaylo Mudryk was identified as the ideal candidate to strengthen the Arsenal attack, though the north London outfit were not willing to fork out £89million for his services – providing Chelsea with the chance to swoop and secure his services.
Though it may have been a blessing in disguise for Arsenal, as it meant they were in the market for a forward at the same time that Leandro Trossard went public with how he was unhappy at Brighton. After just 48 hours of negotiations, the Belgian international was a Gunners star and will provide Arteta with experience and versatility.
Arteta also identified that he lacked cover on the left side of his central defence, with their not being a like-for-like alternative to Gabriel amongst his ranks. The Gunners addressed the issue by bringing in talented prospect Jakub Kiwior from Spezia on a long-term contract, having impressed in the Serie A previously.
Arsenal’s third and final signing of the month was bringing in Jorginho from Chelsea in a deal worth £10m (plus £2m in add-ons). The Italian will bring much-needed experience to the dressing room, though he was certainly not the top target in north London – Moises Caicedo was. Two bids were lodged to Brighton for the Ecuador international late in the window and a third club-record offer was considered, though it soon became clear that the Seagulls were going to stand by their ‘no sale stance’.
The Gunners were also able to use the January window to send some of their developing talents out on loan. Omar Rekik (Wigan), Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventy) and Marquinhos (Norwich) were the most notable short-term departures, with Arteta hoping that regular game time will provide him with different options next season.
Right-back Cedric was also allowed to leave the club on loan to join Fulham, with the Portuguese international falling down the pecking order at the Emirates due to how Ben White has thrived on the right side of defence. His departure will certainly free up some of Arsenal’s wage bill as well as prevent a player from growing frustrated at his lack of minutes.
Albert Sambi Lokonga has also been allowed to leave Arsenal on loan, joining Crystal Palace for the remainder of the season. The midfielder was growing frustrated at his lack of opportunities at the club and was last spotted storming down the tunnel at full time – so removing a potential ‘bad egg’ from the dressing room during a title charge is only a positive move from Arteta.
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