Well, the transfer window has closed and it was an exciting 24 hours for Arsenal Football Club. Andres Santos, Per Mertesacker, Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta all joined the club today, along with Park Chu Young, who was acquired a few days ago.
The purchases may have come late, but they have come, which is what matters most for Arsenal Football Club. Before today, Arsene Wenger has been criticized for his lack of activity in the transfer window; after today, it seems that the critics are lambasting the Arsenal manager for not acquiring better players.
In the end, critics are critics, and they are very hard to please. Aside from the nonsense that comes out of that corner, however, we can look at the players that have been brought in one by one.
Park Chu Young joins the club from AS Monaco as the club's top scorer last season in Ligue 1 as well as the captain of his national team. The striker will provide good cover for the position, as Nicklas Bendtner has been loaned out to Sunderland and Marouane Chamack will be away for the African Cup of Nations later in the year.
A proven goal scorer, although not in the BPL, Chu is a good player and a good leader. His abilities are two-fold in that he can help establish some much needed leadership at the club, as well as come in when needed and provide a threat up top.
Andres Santos is a good left-back that will provide competition with Kieran Gibbs when the latter is fit. Santos is a Brazilian international with 22 caps to his name; he is a much better player than Armand Traore. In the end, Traore has not been able to cut it at the club, and Santos and Gibbs can now compete for a left-back spot that has some quality to it following Clichy's exit.
Santos is a better crosser of the ball compared to Clichy and he is a tough player. Although sometimes in foul trouble, he can be a good player for us throughout the next couple of years, providing some good experience in the squad that fans have wanted for some time.
Per Mertesacker is a defender that I rate very highly, as do many others in the footballing world. Captain of his club and country, the defender is another natural leader that will also add some more grit and experience to this Arsenal side.
Standing at 6'6", Per is not the toothless savage that some critics may have wanted Arsenal to add so as to infuse some "English grit." Rather, Mertesacker is an extremely intelligent defender who rarely needs to go sliding in to win the ball off of the opposition players.
His great disciplinary record is not an indication of his soft side, but rather his extraordinary intelligence and reading of the game. This means that more often than not, he isn't forced into a tackle after being beaten by an attacker. Mertesacker is an excellent defender and while some fans may have wanted Cahill or Samba, he will add some quality at the centre-back position and may form an excellent partnership with Thomas Vermaelen.
Yossi Benayoun is a proven Premier League wide player who is a very creative, attacking player. Barely getting a look in the first-team squad at Chelsea recently, Benayoun will certainly be hungry to prove his critics and his Chelsea boss that he still has what it takes to perform at the top level.
He is a player who can create and score goals, and for a side that has lacked both of those qualities, his loan is a welcome addition to the squad. With Premier League experience, and his hunger for more playing time, Benayoun may be one of the more exciting players for Arsenal this season if all goes right.
What better than to end with our final player, Mikel Arteta? A few years back, Arsenal was linked with the Spaniard—and for good reason. Arteta is a wonderfully creative player who knows how to thread passes much like his Spanish counterpart, Cesc Fabregas.
Arteta will provide a great spark in the midfield and a partnership between him and Jack Wilshere could be one that is very promising for Arsenal Football Club. Arteta provides more creativity in a side that has lacked it this season, and he also comes with vast Premier League experience, plying his trade with Everton for many previous seasons.
The signings that have been made today are a step in the right direction toward steering the club out of any dangerous situations. They are also a step in the right direction for Arsene Wenger.
Critics have labeled Wenger as unable to adapt to changing situations and stingy with bringing players into the squad. For today, at least, he has proven most of his critics wrong by bringing in five good players for the squad in the past 48 hours. It is a sign that he knows that Arsenal needs improving and that he is willing to bring in experienced players rather than just using his younger up-and-comers.
With the players now having signed and the international break taking place this weekend, I, for one, am extremely excited for our next game against Swansea. The match can be a turning point in our season, and it may all come down to the deals that were made today.
With all the noise coming these days from the "supporters" demanding Wenger be sacked immediately, today has provided some calm in the midst of the storm. Hopefully there will be clearer skies sooner rather than later.