As the clock struck 11pm in England on Monday, the summer transfer window and so-called silly season came to a close. A transfer window that had a lot of movement and broke several records culminating in the most money spent in one window, with a total of £630million. Teams smashed their own club records. Tottenham’s moves for Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela made them break their own transfer record three times. And of course, there was Gareth Bale’s world record move to Real Madrid.
Before the window started, everyone was expecting Arsenal and Manchester United to spend big. United craved new additions to their midfield but failed with bids for Cesc Fabregas, Thiago, Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira. All that left Manchester United with, at the end, was a last minute deal for Marouane Fellaini — a deal that could have happened in late July when the Belgian’s release clause could have given Manchester United an opportunity to sign the midfielder for £23million. Instead, United left the deal to the last minute and spent £27.5million.
At the Emirates, Arsenal fans were expecting a bumper summer of transfer signings. With the club continuing to make money and having paid off their stadium debt, Arsene Wenger finally had money to spend. A team that needed desperate improvement after a fabulous run at the end of the season only just saw them nick the final Champions League place from their fierce rivals Tottenham.
This was the summer that was going to see Arsenal spend big, sign world class players and have a squad that could finally challenge for major trophies once again. But since the transfer window opened on July 1, Arsenal had only signed Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Flamini, both on frees. Defeat against Aston Villa at home on the opening day of the season piled even more pressure on Wenger to spend. But the lack of signings was not without trying.
Failed moves for Luis Gustavo, Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez saw Arsenal still without a world class striker and a strong holding midfielder. But on deadline day, Wenger finally dipped into his transfer kitty and smashed the club transfer record by signing Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil for £42.4million.
Ozil is one of the best playmakers in the world. His stats say it all and he truly is a world-class player. The German has proven his qualities at Madrid and tore England apart in South Africa during the World Cup in 2010. With the arrival of Gareth Bale and Isco, Ozil was no longer needed at Madrid and was forced out.