After the January Window closed for good, I graded Arsenal’s window a 6.75/10.
I had felt like the goal of the January period is to walk away with an improved side and that was something Arsenal had achieved.
Trossard is a really nice signing with plenty of intelligence backing it. Coming into the window, Arsenal needed depth on the wings to push Martinelli and relieve him, and the club landed a player in their prime that can cover both wings for the next few years at a cost that didn’t break the bank.
While the club had to fall back their last option, they landed an experienced player that Arteta and Edu have shown an appreciation for in the past. They believe in Jorginho’s ability to contribute to the team, even if many fans are far from convinced.
When it came to why I had docked points, it essentially boiled down to spending most the window chasing after marquee targets and coming up short on both of them. If you set the difficulty high and come up short, it feels underwhelming.
But desperation breeds ingenuity for the ambitious, or so they say.
If necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the father of brilliance!
No, I don’t think that’s a rule of thumb. I think there are plenty of times in which desperation has lead clubs, Arsenal not excluded, to make some very costly mistakes. But in the face of needing a solution, sometimes it prevents a club like Arsenal from hemming and hawing over details and simply landing their player.
In a season in which the team are not only contending for a title, but in the driver’s seat to achieve something the club hasn’t in nearly two decades, nobody wants to be the person that lets the team down. More so, no one wants to risk being the person everyone points at if the team falls short. Edu, Vinai, Richard Garlick, Josh, they are no different.
In their desperation, they turned to their plan B— pre-planned options or not — and landed on Trossard and Jorginho, and it’s hard to say they haven’t been smashing signings. It’s starting to feel as far as title-saving.
The complete judgement will have to wait until the end of season, but had Arsenal managed to sign Mudryk or Caicedo, it’s been suggested they would have lacked the funds for a second player. Already, the club has used both their signings effectively and in replacement of players that have been injured or in need of rest.
To go further, both Trossard and Jorginho have come up with big moments late in games to help take Arsenal from level or winning. It’s not clean science, but fair to attribute four points in Arsenal’s tally to their actions. Without those, they would currently sit two points behind City with a game in hand.
Yesterday, versus Leicester City, both players were fantastic once more, including Trossard filling in at striker and putting on an incredible display. He’s had one of the strikes of the season chalked off the board but what he supplied Arsenal in that false nine, forward role brought them a style of play closer to what Jesus offers them when it comes to breaking down a low block clogged with bodies.
In the midfield, Jorginho sparkled once again to hush the doubters and those that claimed his signing was a “sackable offense”. On multiple occasions he was seen calming the backline, pushing people up the field, and controlling the team’s composure and tempo. He has defied the preconceived notion many had about him being unable to play forward or through the lines. And while his defensive mobility is lacking at his age, he was able to tally 10 recoveries and make multiple defensive plays and interventions by being in the right place ahead of time.
Both players bring experience in their own way. Jorginho has true years of experience as both a professional in this league and has a winner of major hardware, while Trossard is one of the few players in his prime on the roster.
With 14 Premier League matches left and a Europa League competition to navigate and make a run after, there are a lot of minutes to navigate and Arsenal need to keep people fresh while maintaining quality on the bench. Jesus is coming back soon and Partey was a substitute late in the match. Mix these two Arsenal staples in and Arsenal’s depth feels as though it is primed for a late push to get across the finish line.
Plenty of reason to be excited and it’s hard not to feel like the work that was done in January is coming off like a stroke of Technical Director genius.
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