Date:4th February 2021 at 12:38pm
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How Mikel Arteta offloaded players in January to improve his Arsenal squad this season

January’s transfer window was a difficult and challenging time for most Premier League clubs. It resulted in little activity across the whole month, with only a few major signings joining the Premier League.

However, for Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta it was a great success.

They manage to acquire the signatures of Norweigan sensation Martin Odegaard, on loan from Real Madrid, whose nation missed out on qualification and as such if you decide to bet on Euro 2020 on and get promotions! The Gunners also secured goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, on a short-term loan from Brighton.

But in addition to that, they were able to offload players that were either sky rocketing their wage bill, causing controversy within the club or those that just needed time to develop.

The Gunners saw the departures of 10 players, who either left on loan or were released from their contracts.

The biggest situation that Arteta dealt with, was the Mesut Ozil saga. After being omitted from their Premier League squad this season, there was a massive question mark over the German international’s future.

However it was decided in the end that it was his time to leave, as he eventually signed for Turkish side Fenerbahce on a free transfer.

Other major players that departed included; Shkrodan Mustafi to Schalke (free), William Saliba to Nice (loan), Sead Kolasinac to Schalke (loan), Sokratis (released), Ainsley Maitland-Niles to West Brom (loan) and Joe Willock to Newcastle (loan).

While most people would judge a club’s transfer window on the player’s they sign, in this situation it is the opposite side of business that Arsenal has succeeded in.

They knew that in this market, due to the global pandemic, it would be hard to make major signings – so they concentrated on offloading players instead.

Now they have freed up more space and funds to sign players in the summer and got rid of any needless idividuals that are still earning wages for Arsenal but not playing. The likes of Ozil, Sokratis and Mustafi are examples of this.

After experiencing three transfer windows now as the Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta is beginning to mould a squad that he would like to work with.

“If you see the amount of transactions that we’ve done in this window it’s incredible” Arteta said in his pre-match conference on Thursday.

“Credit to the club, credit to Edu [Gaspar] for the work that he’s done because it’s not easy to get the amount of things done that we done.

“I know that most of them it was to get some players out and create some space around the team. But still not an easy thing to do in this window and this market.”

Following their poor start to the campaign, Arsenal’s resurgence in the Premier League continues with a match against Aston Villa on Saturday.

They were unbeaten in their last seven league games before a disappointing defeat to Wolves in mid-week, which saw both David Luiz and Bernd Leno get sent off during the match.

Nevertheless, they have a bright and talented team with a good future ahead of them, proving that now is the time for their ‘young guns’, like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, to shine through.

January’s transfer window has helped them say goodbye to past players, so that Mikel Arteta and his squad can focus solely on the task at hand – winning football matches.