So, the 2022 January transfer window has officially closed and Arsenal did not make a single signing.
Just prior to the start of last month, fans of the north London club were cautiously optimistic that big money would be spent to improve their chances of finishing in the top four and securing Champions League qualification.
But that certainly wasn’t the case, with Arsenal instead opting to offload a number of players rather than bring in fresh faces ahead of the Premier League’s resumption.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona), Calum Chambers (Aston Villa), Pablo Mari (Udinese), Sead Kolasinac (Marseille), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (AS Roma) and Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough) all left the Emirates Stadium in January on either permanent or loan deals.
Their departures leave Arsenal’s first-team squad looking rather bare, so much so that manager Mikel Arteta will likely be concerned.
And if you don’t think that’s the case, just take a look at the damning graphic from Squawka below…
Arsenal’s squad depth for the rest of the 2021/22 season
Okay, we know that players can operate in different positions, for example Emile Smith Rowe can cover Martin Odegaard while Takehiro Tomiyasu can operate as a centre-back if required.
But while that is the case, there’s no getting away from the fact that Arsenal’s squad isn’t exactly loaded with options. Remember, the graphic above is based on everyone being free from injury or Covid-19.
Perhaps the only saving grace for the Gunners is the fact that their small squad will not be overexerted in the remainder of the 2021/22 season due to the fact they only have league games left.
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Arsenal were eliminated from both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in January, while they failed to qualify for any European competition last season.
So the team will only have to contend with one match per week for the majority of what’s left of the 2021/22 campaign, which is actually a blessing for Arteta.
Of course, if Arsenal are able to keep the members of their threadbare squad fit and end up finishing in the top four, the decision to get rid of deadwood and save money on wages in January will be viewed a stroke of a genius.
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That’s a mighty big ‘if’, though, especially as the Gunners currently sit sixth in the Premier League table…