Dean Jones reveals Arsenal’s transfer blunder that could cost them silverware

By on February 11, 2024

Dean Jones tells Give Me Sport that Arsenal made a clear transfer blunder by not signing a recognized full back in January, even if just signing one on a temporary basis.

Before we get into what Dean Jones said, why was it evident that Arsenal needed to sign a full-back this winter? Injuries and international call-ups have already shown how limited Arteta’s full-back options are.

Jurrien Timber was ideally signed to offer backup or even take over right back, but even before settling in the Premier League, he sustained a long-term injury (an ACL injury) 50 minutes into his PL debut (when Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 2-1), which has kept him out ever since; there is hope he can return before the season ends.

In addition to Timber, Oleksander Zinchenko has been an absentee due to injury, missing the last two games with another calf problem. Ben White also missed a 3-1 Premier League triumph over Burnley due to injury. Tomiyasu missed six games across all competitions for Arsenal in December due to injury and returned from the Asian Cup with a new issue.

So, with injuries and the need to freshen things up, with Zinchenko struggling at times and needing to be rested, and White also requiring a rest with vital Champions League matchups and the Premier League title fight reaching homestretch, it is evident Arsenal would have benefited from an extra full-back option.

What did Dean Jones say?

Dean Jones claims that while Arsenal expected a quiet winter transfer window, he was told they were looking into signing another full-back – even a short term loan.

However, Arsenal failed to get any deal over the line and Jones is concerned that mistake could end up costing the Gunners silverware this season.

“I’m surprised that Arsenal didn’t find a solution in the full-back area of the pitch in the winter window because I was told at the beginning of January that, while they weren’t planning to do any business, that full-back was something that they would look into, even if it was just a short-term thing so that they had the numbers in there. They didn’t do it. Now you consider that alongside the Premier League chase for the title, you’ll have them returning to the Champions League [so there will be a lot of matches],” said Jones.

Jones’ comments are concerning, but with Tomiyasu expected back soon and his ability to play both full-back positions, I believe Mikel Arteta simply needs to be cautious about the minutes he gives his default fullbacks, White and Zinchenko, and find a way to rotate them with Tomiyasu while competing for the league and Champions League.

As long as Arsenal don’t suffer any more serious injuries in defence, we should have enough resources to see us through to the end of the season.

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