Arsenal’s January transfer window was marked by a huge deal of disappointment. Mikel Arteta had not openly announced his wish to sign players before the deadline. However, it may not have seemed as if that was the case. Arsenal was looking out for two specific reinforcements: a midfielder and a striker, to name a few.
Arsenal’s attempts to recruit both Dusan Vlahovic and Arthur failed to materialise. No known active targets were looked at. The failure to sign them meant the club failed to boost the team. This did not further help, after the departure of some of the deadwood.
Six players from the senior squad have left the club on a variety of terms. This did not help the morale of the fans, who wanted signings. The terms ranged from loan agreements to contract terminations to permanent moves. There was a slew of additional loans sanctioned for academy players further down the hierarchy. Two of whom did not follow through on their commitments.
Both Miguel Azeez and Omar Rekik were two transfers that Arsenal was unable to complete before the January deadline due to the failure of the deals to materialise
When Miguel Azeez was recalled in January, he had spent the first half of the season on loan at League One club Portsmouth. He had battled to secure a regular starting position. The number of appearances had begun to accumulate. But they were not sufficient to allow him to continue to reside on the south coast.
Returning to north London amid a midfield crisis sparked speculation about a possible role in the first team. However, there were still rumours that he will leave on another loan to a Premier League club. Despite that, no such change materialised. He has, to his surprise, remained in his current position.
Is this an indication that the first team may be involved? Not altogether, given the presence of four centre midfielders and the presence of Charlie Patino as the next in line behind them. In addition, he should no longer be playing Under-23 football for the sake of his growth. As a result, for whatever reason, the club has not come to the correct decision.
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What next for the Gunners; will they finish in a European-football spot?
Omar Rekik was one player who seemed to be on the verge of a transfer away from the club. There was an original plan for him to go on loan in January. But his participation with Tunisia at the African Cup Of Nations added a wrinkle to the situation. Nonetheless, after his country’s loss, a deal for him to join Championship club Stoke City was being negotiated up until the deadline day.
However, unlike Azeez, Rekik may now be the fourth choice option under Arteta for his position as a centre-back. That is, even though the agreement with Azeez failed to materialise. Takehiro Tomiyasu can step in at centre-back. However if one of Rob Holding, Gabriel, or Benjamin White is missing, a slot in the matchday squad becomes available for Rekik to fill.
Arsenal did try to send him out on loan. There was no real interest in him and a move did not happen. That is a possibility that it could change at the end of the season possibly.
Even though neither is hammering on the door of the senior team at the moment, they are much superior to Under-23 football. If the circumstances of the window allow them to do so, they may have an opportunity to do so.