Where are they now? Arsenal’s last 24 January signings

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Pierre Emerick Aubameyang applauds the fans after Arsenal's win over Watford, Emirates Stadium, November 2021

The January transfer window is always a chaotic time to strengthen the squad, but Arsenal fans will be hoping for a boost in their top-four push.

The likes of Dusan Vlahovic and Arthur Melo have been linked with a move to the Emirates to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s threadbare squad, and a big signing could be the difference between success and failure heading into the second half of the season.

Arsenal’s previous January signings have had mixed results: some barely played, others became club heroes.

We’ve taken a look back at Arsenal’s previous 24 signings from the January transfer window. We can’t say it’s a list littered with success stories.

Emmanuel Adebayor

You probably shouldn’t mention his name around the Emirates these days, but Adebayor was an absolute steal in 2006, joining from Monaco as a 21-year-old for around £3million.

Come 2007-08, the striker stepped up to fill the void left by Thierry Henry by scoring 30 goals in all competitions and was practically unplayable at times before leaving under a cloud to join Manchester City.

Now 37, Adebayor left Kayserispor in December 2019 with the team bottom of the Turkish league, halfway through a one-year deal. He was last seen turning out for Paraguayan club Olimpia in April 2020 but only made four appearances.

READ: A rare celebration of peak Emmanuel Adebayor & his super spell at Arsenal

Theo Walcott

In 399 games for Arsenal, Walcott scored 108 goals and provided 78 assists, which is not to be sniffed at, but his legacy could have been far greater were he not desperately unlucky in a couple of big moments.

Still, all the years of service didn’t stop him celebrating at The Emirates, having scored against them for Southampton. He’s back at his boyhood club now after a not particularly memorable stint at Everton.

Theo Walcott

READ: How the football Gods conspired to deny Theo Walcott Arsenal hero status

Mart Poom

We assumed Poom would be Estonia’s No.1 goalkeeper for the rest of eternity. Turns out he retired in 2009, but it’s comforting to know he has been Estonia’s goalkeeping coach ever since.

Andrey Arshavin

He’ll always have that winner against Barcelona and the four goals at Anfield, but Arshavin’s Arsenal career ended in a whimper after being frozen out and released in 2013.

The Russian retired in 2018 after three years in the obscurity of the Kazakhstan Premier League. We can only hope he now devotes his time to updating Ask Arshavin.

READ: The best (and worst) of Ask Arshavin: Bears, Albert Einstein & ice cream

Sol Campbell

In a surprising move, Arsenal re-signed Campbell on a free transfer in January 2010 following the defender’s exit from Notts County after a couple of months in League Two.

The former England international made 11 appearances before spending the final season of his playing career at Newcastle United, and was last seen in charge of Southend United.

Samuel Galindo

No, we don’t remember him either, but that’s probably because the attacking midfielder was loaned out seven times by Arsenal and never actually appeared for the club.

More recently, the four-cap Bolivia international left the brilliantly-named Sport Boys for the equally brilliant The Strongest.

Ryo Miyaichi

Once considered an exciting prospect, Miyaichi never established himself in England after spending time on loan at Bolton and Wigan.

The winger moved to cult German outfit St Pauli, but his career has been consistently blighted by injuries.

Wellington Silva

A name familiar to plenty of Football Manager players but possibly no one else.

The attacker was loaned out six times, including a spell in the Championship with Bolton, but never appeared for the Gunners before returning to his native Brazil with Fluminense.

Thierry Henry

“My strike against Leeds when I came back to London in 2012 was my favourite goal for Arsenal,” Henry told The Sun in 2017. “That one was personal. It won’t go down in FA Cup history but it was the first time I scored as a fan.

“You know, I wasn’t meant to come back and I came back. I wasn’t meant to play, I played. I wasn’t meant to score, I scored. It was so emotional. It wasn’t about technique or about the score, it was what it meant to me.

“Usually when I scored I didn’t show much uncontrolled emotion. I was accused of being cold. Sometimes that was because I was annoyed because I’d missed a chance or because we were losing. But that day, we could have been 10-0 down and I would have still celebrated like that! I was a lunatic! I had scored as a fan! Everyone dreams of that.”

That goal alone made re-signing Henry, now in charge of MLS outfit CF Montreal, on loan completely worthwhile.

Thomas Eisfeld

The 2020 winter transfer window marks five years since Eisfeld left England to return to Germany, initially joining Bochum on loan before joining the club on a permanent basis for the 2015-16 season.

Eisfeld had joined Arsenal as a highly-rated prospect from Borussia Dortmund in 2012 and was compared to Robert Pires by Arsene Wenger after scoring in a League Cup tie against West Brom, yet he never appeared for the first team again before a similarly underwhelming spell at Fulham, with injuries hampering the midfielder’s career throughout.

Nacho Monreal

Arsenal supporters could be excused for not knowing a great deal about Monreal when he arrived in January 2013 after spells in Spain with Osasuna and Malaga, but the defender certainly left his mark on the club.

Upon leaving the club in 2019 to return to Spain with Real Sociedad, Monreal waved goodbye with over 250 appearances for the Gunners and three FA Cups to his name.

The Spain international added to his trophy cabinet, winning the Copa Del Rey with Real Sociedad, and overall has had a very respectable career, and is remembered fondly in North London.

Kim Kallstrom

A bonafide Football Manager legend, it’s probably fair to say Kallstrom finally moved to England a little past his best. A back injury was discovered during the then-31-year-old’s medical, and Arsene Wenger admitted he only went ahead with the signing as there was not enough time left in the window to pursue an alternative option.

The midfielder played just four times for Arsenal, although he notably came on in extra-time of the FA Cup against Wigan Athletic to score in the Gunners’ shoot-out victory, describing the occasion as “the greatest 15 minutes of my life”.

Where is he now? Well, he’s inspiring episodes of our podcast, The Broken Metatarsal.

Krystian Bielik

Derby County made Bielik their club-record signing in the summer of 2019, prising the Poland international away from Arsenal in a £9.5million move.

Bielik played twice for Arsenal after joining from Legia Warsaw in January 2015, but he needed to drop down to League One, impressing on loan at Charlton Athletic before catching Derby’s eye.

A bad injury kept him out for a while in 2019-20 before returning in the following season, but has failed to appear once for Wayne Rooney’s side this campaign.

Gabriel Paulista

Generally remembered for being terrorised by Diego Costa – a fate which befell plenty of other defenders in the Premier League – Gabriel was…fine, right?

The centre-back has grown in stature since joining Valencia in 2017, making over 100 appearances in three-and-a-half seasons and helping the side win the Copa del Rey in 2019. He remains there today, but it’s become something of a basket case club amid tensions behind the scenes.

Mohamed Elneny

Having spent a season on loan at Besiktas, the Egyptian midfielder returned to the club, where he remains a solid rotational option who occasionally scores screamers on European nights.

Elneny is out of contract in 2022 and has been linked with a move to Turkey.

With goals like this, who wouldn’t want him?

Cohen Bramall

Bramall was plucked from obscurity when he joined Arsenal from non-league outfit Hednesford Town in January 2017.

The left-back failed to make a senior appearance for the club and similarly struggled on loan at Birmingham City before joining League Two side Colchester United upon the expiry of his contract at the Emirates.

Now 25, he certainly hasn’t lost any ambition, telling Sky Sports in December 2019: “I want to be the best full-back in the world. I’m just a winner, I’m passionate and I just want to win and I want to get to the highest level as fast as possible.

“I’ve come to the game late and I look at my mates who are younger than me who are at a higher level, but I’m thinking, ‘I’m 23, it’s possible.’ I can get there now. I’ve been there, I’ve dropped, I’ve took a step back, but I’m ready to go again for the next challenge. Anything that comes at me, I’m ready.”

Konstantinos Mavropanos

After just seven league appearances for the club since signing in January 2018, Mavropanos has been loaned out to FC Nurnberg and now VFB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, where the club have an option to buy for £3million.

The 24-year-old centre back has been so impressive at Stuttgart that Borussia Dortmund and West Ham United are reportedly monitoring his situation with a view to a £15million move.

Another player Arsenal let go too early?

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan moved to Arsenal as part of the deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join Manchester United. It’s probably fair to say there were no winners from that transfer.

He’s now rebuilding his reputation at Roma, having joined permanently in the summer of 2020 after doing well on loan.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

A club-record signing when he arrived for £57million in January 2018, Aubameyang quickly became a popular figure within the club, winning the Premier League golden boot alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in his first full season, whilst scoring a hattrick in the Europa League semi-final against Valencia.

The Gabonese striker was then made club captain by Unai Emery after the role was stripped from Granit Xhaka, and later that season Aubameyang would lead Arsenal to the FA Cup, with a brace in the semi-final and final.

After much speculation over his future, the captain signed a bumper new contract, but this is where things started to go wrong.

The star received criticism after he scored just 10 league goals as Arsenal finished 8th, and was eventually dropped completely and stripped of the captaincy after a string of off-field incidents.

Aubameyang seems to be on the way out of the club, and after such a good few years, it is a shame for all involved that the relationship will end on a sour note.

Denis Suarez

A poor man’s Kim Kallstrom, Suarez played 67 minutes in the Premier League after joining Arsenal on loan from Barcelona but finally looks settled after joining Celta Vigo on a permanent basis in 2019.

Pablo Mari

The Spanish centre-half was initially signed on loan from Flamengo in Brazil, where he won the Copa Libertadores.

After just two league games, Mari picked up a long term injury, but nevertheless was signed on a four-year deal in the summer of 2020.

Hardly featuring this season after the arrival of Ben White, Mari looks set to leave the club on loan.

A pretty uninspiring deal from the start to the end.

Cedric Soares

Like Mari, many questioned the wisdom of Arsenal handing Cedric Soares a four-year deal in the summer, having barely featured in his half-season loan from Southampton.

These worries haven’t been alleviated despite Cedric scoring on his debut for the club, as his unconvincing performances have landed him a backup role to Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Not the most popular figure amongst Arsenal fans, the Portuguese defender has been linked with Atletico Madrid to replace Kieran Trippier.

READ: Arthur next? Arsenal’s 12 signings on loan since 2000 – & how they fared

Mat Ryan

The Australian keeper suddenly appeared at the Emirates with no forewarning, having signed a loan deal in January 2021 as cover for Bernd Leno.

Ryan, a boyhood Arsenal fan, made one appearance and played fairly well in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa when Leno was suspended, and joined Real Sociedad on a free transfer after his loan spell ended.

Martin Odegaard

Arsenal were desperately short of creativity when they brought the former boy wonder in on loan from Real Madrid in January 2021, and despite some fitness issues, Odegaard impressed the club enough to join permanently.

Signing for a fee of £35million in the summer, the Norway captain is finding his feet, and has been very impressive in his role behind the striker, as a long term replacement for Mesut Ozil.


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