Arsenal are the clear winners of the deadline day transfer market in England. Mikel Arteta, the chief protagonist of a dramatic "will he, won't he" day of negotiations, has finally put pen to paper on a four-year deal, as confirmed by the official Arsenal website.
Yossi Benayoun's year-long loan agreement has also been confirmed by arsenal.com, making it five experienced signings (Chu Young Park, Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos being the other three) in the past 36 hours.
Leading the list of players leaving the club is striker Nicklas Bendtner, who is off to Sunderland on a year-long loan. Two players have left for French first division side Lorient—Gilles Sunu on a permanent transfer, and Joel Campbell on a year's loan while his work permit gets sorted out. Henri Lansbury has joined Big Sam's West Ham revolution, along with another former Arsenal youngster David Bentley.
The best news of the day for all Gooners came at the 11th hour, with Mikel Arteta's signing being confirmed after the transfer window had slammed shut. Arteta will bring artistry, creativity, solidity and the added bonus of excellence at set-piece delivery. He and Robin van Persie will be a fantastic dead-ball double-act.
Most of all, he has immense Premier League experience, something this Arsenal side seemed to lack, never more so than last Sunday at Old Trafford. He will be great for the development of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.
Benayoun is also a fantastic addition to the squad. I expect he will be used primarily off the bench in the League and in Europe. He's another player with vast Premier League experience, and the manager's done well to bring him in.
All in all, it was a fantastic transfer window for Arsenal, when it really looked like doom and gloom two days ago. Arteta, Benayoun, Mertesacker, Santos, Park, Gervinho, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell and Ryo Miyaichi.
Experience and youth. Attack and defense.
Arsene Wenger, take a bow. You're still the man!
Eat your heart out, rest of the league.