5 last-minute transfers Arsenal have completed over the years

Mikel Arteta is one of several last-minute transfers Arsenal have completed over the years.
Mikel Arteta is one of several last-minute transfers Arsenal have completed over the years.
Sanstab Das

Arsenal have completed a significant portion of their transfer business in the early days of the 2021 summer transfer window, spending approximately £132.3 million to bring in five players. That includes the £52.65 million they paid for Ben White and £25.2 million for Aaron Ramsdale, which surprised a few fans and pundits.

Historically, Arsenal have tended to leave their business late in the transfer market, having made plenty of signings in the dying embers of the window. The Gunners are currently languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table, and may look to recruit some new faces ahead of deadline day.

On that note, here's a look at the five last-minute transfers Arsenal have completed over the years.

#5 Thomas Partey

Thomas Patey was signed by Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
Thomas Patey was signed by Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

Former Atletico Madrid man Thomas Partey is one of Arsenal’s latest last-minute signings, which came to fruition after a lengthy pursuit.

The Gunners lacked world-class talent in the middle of the park, and Partey was tipped to be the perfect fit at Arsenal. However, the North Londoners had already signed the likes of Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Willian in the 2020-21 season-opening transfer window, so more business seemed unlikely.

After a string of poor performances, Arsenal went all out to complete the transfer of the holding midfielder for £45 million. The deal was announced in the last few hours of deadline day on 5th October.

Thomas Partey has notched up 33 appearances in his relatively short career at the Emirates, managing a return of three assists.

#4 Andrey Arshavin

Andrey Arshavin's late transfer caused a dispute.
Andrey Arshavin's late transfer caused a dispute.

Andrey Arshavin is one of Arsenal’s better deadline-day signings, but is also one of the more controversial ones.

The deal was completed so late in the 2009 winter transfer window that a dispute arose regarding the timing of the submission of paperwork. However, nothing of that effect could be proven, and Arsenal had amongst themselves one of the best players of the then recently-concluded Euro 2008.

Arshavin made the £15 million move from hometown club Zenit St. Petersburg, but failed to live up to his enormous potential in North London. Despite sparks of brilliance and magic, Arshavin was unable to display any kind of consistency, and was loaned back to his boyhood club after just three years.

The former Russian international registered 144 appearances for the Gunners, generating a return of 31 goals and 46 assists. Arshavin made a move back to St. Petersburg permanently in 2013 as a free agent.

#3 Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was signed by Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang was signed by Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

Despite a number of formalities being completed beforehand, Arsenal officially announced the signing of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in the 2018 winter transfer window on the last day.

The Gabon international is one of Arsenal’s best deadline-day signings, having won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2018-19 season. Aubameyang racked up 31 goals across all competitions that campaign, including 22 in the league. He also found the back of the net 22 times in the 2019-20 Premier League, missing out on the Golden Boot by a solitary goal.

However, Aubameyang has been disappointing since the beginning of the 2020-21 season, and is a key reason why Arsenal have failed to score yet in the Premier League this season.

The 32-year-old has not had his goalscoring boots in recent times, which has shifted all the burden of scoring on the young shoulders of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. Nonetheless, on his day, Aubameyang remains one of the most lethal strikers in the game.

#2 Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil (right) is currently plying his trade at Fenerbahce.
Mesut Ozil (right) is currently plying his trade at Fenerbahce.

Mesut Ozil is considered by many to be Arsenal’s best deadline-day signing of all time, and he encapsulated the best and worst qualities of the club.

Ozil was brought to English shores in the very last minutes of the 2013 summer transfer window, and was announced on 2nd September - two days after the official closing of the transfer window.

The former Germany international was undoubtedly one of the most skilful players in Premier League history, with an impeccable passing range and vision. Ozil had a reputation for picking out flamboyant passes, and was incredibly important in creating goalscoring chances, something Arsenal have dearly missed in the past few seasons.

However, Ozil was not known for tracking back, so he earned the reputation of being lazy. That eventually led to his exit from Arsenal in the 2021 winter transfer window after an eight-season-long spell at the club.

In 254 appearances at the club, Mesut Ozil was directly involved in 121 goals (44 goals, 77 assists).

#1 Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta

After failing to land their primary target to replace Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal completed the signing of their current manager Mikel Arteta on deadline day.

The Frenchman was brought in from Everton on a £10.8 million deal in the 2011 summer transfer window. He was one of five signings brought in on deadline day after Arsenal’s 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United.

Arteta was extremely impressive in his first three years at the Emirates, emerging as a central figure at the heart of Arsenal’s midfield.

The now-39-year-old Spaniard emerged as a leader in the squad, and would go on to make 150 appearances for the Gunners. Arteta played a direct role in 27 goals (16 goals, 11 assists) for Arsenal before hanging up his boots slightly prematurely at the age of 34.

The Frenchman transitioned into management almost immediately, serving as an assistant manager to Pep Guardiola for over three years. Arteta then took over as manager of his former club in December 2019, and is currently under pressure following a string of poor performances.

Edited by Bhargav
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