Where are they now? Arsenal’s last 25 January signings
The January transfer window is always a chaotic time to strengthen the squad, but Arsenal fans will be hoping for a boost in their title charge.
The likes of Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix have been linked with a move to the Emirates to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s 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 25 signings from the January transfer window. We can’t say it’s a list littered with success stories.
Note: we’ve included loanees, but senior signings only. We’ve not included academy signings like Lina Sousa.
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 38, Adebayor is turning out back in his home country of Togo for AC Semassi, following late-career stints in Turkey (Istanbul Basaksehir, Demirspor) and Paraguay (Olimpia).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nowadays he’s making his case on Twitter to be honoured. He’s got probably got a point, to be fair, though we’re not sure it’s the best idea to be arguing the toss himself.
I’ve seen a lot of people get MBE OBE Sir’s for services to sport I will put my name down reasons why!
First is the 56 games without losing is a record 2 invincible Arsenal team 49 games without losing a record 3 first black player to score in World Cup Final for England! pic.twitter.com/ekzQ7ejcm0
— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) January 2, 2023
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 has represented Sport Boys, The Strongest and Always Ready. You’ll struggle to find a footballer with a collection of better-named clubs on their CV.
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, and is now back in home country with Yokohama F. Marinos.
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. Like Miyaichi, he now plies his trade in Japan, turning out for Gamba Osaka.
“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 working as a pundit in Europe after a short-lived stint in charge of MLS outfit CF Montreal, on loan completely worthwhile.
#OTD in 2012, Thierry Henry made an emotional return, with 12 minutes remaining the game, he scored his 12th goal against Leeds in 12 appearances wearing the number 12 shirt. pic.twitter.com/hif0noBUmR
— Throwback Arsenal (@ThrowbackAFC) January 9, 2019
The 2022 winter transfer window marks seven 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.
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.
In 2020, the former Spain international added to his trophy cabinet, winning the Copa Del Rey with Real Sociedad. He eventually called time on his playing career in 2021.
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.
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 he couldn’t keep Wayne Rooney’s Rams from suffering relegation to League One. He’s now on loan at Birmingham and recently represented Poland at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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.
Having spent a season on loan at Besiktas, the Egyptian midfielder returned to the club in 2021, where he remains a solid rotational option who occasionally scores screamers on European nights.
Elneny’s contract was set to expire at the end of last season but he signed a one-year extension in the summer. The 30-year-old has been a relatively peripheral figure for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners this season, however, with just three starts in all competitions.
Mohamed Elneny was presented with an individual trophy today for his stunning goal against Dundalk in the Europa League last season. 🚀pic.twitter.com/T0qcfGT0X2
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) August 6, 2021
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.
That didn’t dent his ambitions, telling Sky Sports in 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.”
He might not be the best full-back in the world, but he’s carving out a respectable career, now turning out for Championship side Rotherham United.
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.
The club exercised the £3million option to sign him in the summer.
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 since rebuilt his reputation at Roma, making amends with Jose Mourinho and lifting the first-ever Europa Conference League trophy last term, and has since moved to Inter.
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 in 2020-21, and was eventually dropped completely and stripped of the captaincy after a string of off-field incidents.
A year’s passed since his contract was terminated by mutual consent, allowing him to join Barcelona on a free. He did well at the Camp Nou, scoring 13 goals in 24 appearances, but Aubameyang’s back in the Premier League, looking pretty glum at Chelsea.
That is a delightful finish, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang! 🤩
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 1, 2020
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. Or was – according to reports he’s about to join Villarreal.
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. He returned to fitness, but could never nail down a first-team spot, and is now out on loan at Italian outfit Monza.
In October, the 29-year-old suffered a horrific knife attack at a supermarket in Milan. Thankfully his injuries weren’t too severe and he’s recently returned to training.
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.
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. The 30-year-old is now at FC Copenhagen.
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.
That decision’s turned out to be a masterstroke. What a player.
A year ago, Arsenal were reportedly chasing Dusan Vlahovic to bolster their top-four push. They missed out on the big Serbian striker, who went to Juventus, and in the end they were pipped to fourth place by their north London rivals Tottenham.
The one signing they did make in the January 2022 window played no part in the campaign. American defender Auston Trusty signed from MLS outfit Colorado Rapids but was immediately loaned back. He’s yet to make his competitive Gunners debut and is currently out on loan at Birmingham City, turning out alongside former Arsenal man Bielik.