Arsenal may have been the summer’s biggest spenders and Josh Kroenke may have publicly committed to further deep dives into the market during a recent meeting with supporters but the January transfer window is a completely different beast.
Mikel Arteta, currently detached from the first-team squad owing to a second bout of coronavirus, has led a young and defensively resilient team to fourth in the table at the end of the calendar year.
But now the dilemma is whether to go back into the market and bolster their hopes of a Champions League return or try to get over the line with the current group.
With a number of players heading to the Africa Cup of Nations this week, potentially until the middle of February, there is a strong case to add to the midfield and attack.
And there are no concerns around financial fair play, with more than £200million of room to play with.
So what can be learnt from the club’s previous winter business and should fans expect similar or a change in direction?
For the most part January has been a grind in north London, with one notable exception that can give fans hope.
In two of the past 10 years there have been no arrivals whatsoever, loans only in three other campaigns and more than £10million spent on just two occasions.
Yet optimists can point to the splurge on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in early 2018 for a then club-record fee of £57million, even if it came as a consequence of Alexis Sanchez’s acrimonious departure.
Now Aubameyang’s own future is in doubt after falling out with Arteta, while he is also heading for the Africa Cup of Nations. Is that enough to force their hand? Supporters must wait and see but here is what the past decade has brought…
The past 10 years
2021 Omar Rekik (£500,000)
The centre back joined the club’s Under-23s from Hertha Berlin
2020 Pablo Mari, Cedric Soares (loans)
Defenders arrived on temporary deals in the final days of the window with a view to make them permanent fixtures built in.
2019 No first-team arrivals
2018 Konstantinos Mavropanos (£1.8million), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (swap), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£57million)
After a quiet summer three first-team read players arrived with the latter the most notable for a huge fee only since outdone by the £72million dropped on Nicolas Pepe. Mkhitaryan’s acquisition was part of the deal that saw Alexis Sanchez depart to Manchester United, while Mavropanos came for a more modest cost.
2017 No first-team arrivals
2016 Mohamed Elneny (£7.5million)
Midfielder was signed from Basel midway through the month after a very quiet summer
2015 Krystian Bielik (£2.4million), Gabriel Paulista (£11.3million)
Teenage Poland midfielder came with a view to progressing into the first team with time while Brazilian defender arrived to plenty of hype than never translated into reality
2014 Kim Kallstrom (loan)
Veteran Sweden international joined from Spartak Moscow to provide cover
2013 Nacho Monreal (£8.5million)
Dependable, unflashy defender joined on deadline day from Malaga, the club who provided Santi Cazorla a few months earlier.
2012 Thierry Henry (loan)
Club legend returned for six weeks in a deal with New York Red Bulls.
Source by Football London