Arsenal made a couple of notable moves during the January transfer window, with big names coming in as well as some big names leaving. What the club want to achieve is a top four spot, and right now that looks to be difficult. There are six clubs aiming for four sports, and Arsenal are arguably the worst of those six clubs. Do the deals they made during the January transfer window give them a better chance of making the top four?
The first thing Arsenal had to do was solve the problem of Alexis Sanchez. He was clearly unhappy at the club, wanted a move and with his contract expiring in the summer, that move had to happen during this window. Eventually, they agreed a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan join Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez joining Manchester United.
While Mkhitaryan is not at the same level as Sanchez, having a player who is happy playing for Arsenal will benefit them. It remains to be seen what kind of a role Mkhitaryan will have, but his chances of regular games are strengthened by the fact Theo Walcott also left during this window. Mkhitaryan will be looking to impress and stamp his mark on his new club, and that can only be good for Arsenal.
The big move this window came in the final couple of days, when Arsenal signed striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund. This was the biggest move of the window, and a record for Arsenal, showing that they mean business and they want to top four. There is no doubt that a player like Aubameyang will do well in the Premier League, but is he good enough to propel Arsenal into a top-four spot?
What he will have to do is bring goals to the team. Alongside Alexander Lacazette, he is one of a few attacking threats the club have now, a lot rests on their shoulder. The latest Premier League betting has Arsenal 6/1 to make the top four, and the only way that becomes a good bet is if Aubameyang and Lacazette click together, and start firing in the goals.
The players have the talent to do it, but at a crucial stage in the season for Arsenal, they need to stand up and be counted. Both players have been signed to score goals, and with Arsenal’s slightly suspect defense, they will have to score plenty of them.
The next few weeks are key to Arsenal’s chances of a top-four finish, but with two very good strikers on the pitch together, they have a chance of making up ground and challenging for the top four. They have made their January moves, made changes where they felt necessary and we now get to see whether or not those changes have made a difference. If they don’t make a difference, there will be some tough decisions to make at the club this coming summer, after missing out on the top four for another season.