The transfer deadline day came and went, and as expected Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger decided to keep his powder dry and was not tempted into any last minute deals. The Gunners were not expected to do any business on deadline day, after Wenger stated that he was not expecting to sign anybody prior to the deadline.
The Gunners went into the January transfer window needing a centre-back and a defensive midfielder. In the end the Gunners ended up with both, but maybe not the ones that people expected.
Polish youngster Krystian Bielik arrived in north London from Legia Warsaw. The youngster is highly-rated and has reportedly been a transfer target for a while for Arsene Wenger. The 17-year-old cost the Gunners a fee in the region of £2.5million, plus add-ons.
The other transfer window arrival was of course Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista, who arrived from La Liga side Villarreal, costing the Gunners a fee of around £11.3million. Gabriel has been impressive for the Yellow Submarine since moving to Spain in 2013 from Vitoria in his homeland.
The Gunners were vulnerable to a centre-back shortage and Wenger looks to have addressed that vulnerability by signing the Brazilian star. By all accounts he could prove to be a shrewd capture by Wenger.
Bielik is a central midfielder, but is unlikely to be ready for first team action at this point of his development. However, a possible solution to the Gunners defensive midfield problem has emerged from within in the shape of French midfielder Francis Coquelin.
Coquelin has been in fine form of late and established himself as first choice in the defensive midfield role. He produced another effective performance against Aston Villa in the Gunners 5-0 victory.
As Gunners great Thierry Henry stated, Coquelin’s form may have negated the need for a defensive midfield signing in January. If Coquelin had not been in such good form Wenger may have been tempted to strengthen in his position.
Despite Coquelin’s good form, Arsenal may still make a move for a defensive midfielder in the summer, with French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin still mooted as a possible target. If Coquelin can continue his decent run of form he may just make it harder for Wenger to replace him.
I have to admit I believe that Arsene Wenger probably did the right thing by not signing anybody on transfer deadline day.
There was not much movement amongst the top clubs and the veteran Gunners boss knows that January is a notoriously difficult time to sign quality players, so I do not believe Arsenal fans will be too disappointed by the lack of movement on deadline day.
Should Arsenal have strengthened further on deadline day?