Using Arsenal Report Transfer Center, I went back and looked through every signing Arsene Wenger has made since 1996. I wanted to see how many players Wenger has signed between August 1st and 14th. Why the 1st to the 14th? That’s the time when Wenger is most busy setting his team up for the new season and I suspected that Wenger simply doesn’t sign players during that time.
Here is what I found.
Arsenal have signed 197 players in Wenger’s tenure. This includes free transfers and the low-cost prospects that Wenger often signs just for the business purposes of selling them on for a profit later.
Of those 197, only 15 were signed during the period identified.
Of the 15 of 4 were automatic first team starters: Cazorla, Henry, Wreh, and Vieira.
Here is the full list:
Hugo Keto HJK Helsinki Goalkeeper £55,000 01 Aug 2014
Santi Cazorla Malaga Midfielder £11,900,000 07 Aug 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Southampton Midfielder £7,000,000 08 Aug 2011
Armand Traoré Monaco Defender £250,000 01 Aug 2005
Mart Poom Sunderland Goalkeeper Free 06 Aug 2005
Arturo Lupoli Parma Forward £200,000 01 Aug 2004
Gaël Clichy Cannes Defender £250,000 04 Aug 2003
Johan Djourou Étoile Carouge Defender Free 01 Aug 2003
Thierry Henry Juventus Forward £10,500,000 03 Aug 1999
Davor Šuker Real Madrid Forward Free 02 Aug 1999
Narada Bernard Tottenham Defender Free 07 Aug 1999
Nelson Vivas AC Lugano Defender £1,600,000 05 Aug 1998
Christopher Wreh Monaco Forward £300,000 07 Aug 1997
Patrick Vieira AC Milan Midfielder £3,500,000 14 Aug 1996
Rémi Garde Strasbourg Midfielder Free 14 Aug 1996
Clearly, Arsene Wenger likes to get the business done before and after the build up to the season. So, I wouldn’t expect a signing between now and the start of this season. That echoes Wenger’s own comments after the win over the MLS All Stars when he said,
“I’m more focused now on preparing for the season, because we are at July 29 and start on August 14. We have a very short time to prepare now, so my focus is on my players.”
Despite his focus on work, if he finds the right player at the right price history shows he will take a few minutes away from team preparations to whip out a pen and paper. Just don’t expect him to be “working day and night” on transfers for the next two weeks.