Arsenal in the summer 2017: the signing of Lacazette

The Arsenal in the Summer series looks at what has happened to the club during the summer months, year on year.  Over 60 seasons have been covered in this series, and there is a full index here.

It is extraordinary how Arsenal’s summers have changed and evolved over time and I do hope you find the series interesting.   In the next post we’ll be bringing the series up to 2018.

In 2016/17 Arsenal had finished the season with six straight wins, including beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final – despite all the pundits suggesting the result would be the other way around.

However Arsenal also finished outside of the top four for the first time since 1995/6.  In that season Arsenal had accumulated 63 points.  In 2016/17 Arsenal got 75 points – but were still outside of the magic top four.    In 1996 75 points would have been enough to have come third.

Here is the table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 38 30 3 5 85 33 52 93
2 Tottenham Hotspur 38 26 8 4 86 26 60 86
3 Manchester City 38 23 9 6 80 39 41 78
4 Liverpool 38 22 10 6 78 42 36 76
5 Arsenal 38 23 6 9 77 44 33 75

And this is what happened in the summer…

In May 2017, it was reported that an arrangement had been reached for Lacazette to join Atlético Madrid.  However on 1 June the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Atlético’s ban on registering players for two transfer windows, imposed for breaching rules over the signing of minors.

6 June 2017: Arsenal announced the signing of Sead Kolašinac, on a free transfer from Schalke 04 with whom his contract had expired.

9 June 2017: Arsenal released Yaya Sanogo, Stefan O’Connor, Kostas Pilea and Kristopher Da Graca. Sanogo had been dogged by injury during his four-year stay and only played 11 league games.  The other players never appeared for Arsenal.

22 June 2017: Arsenal announced that Asano’s loan to Stuttgart had been extended for another season.

30 June 2017: Arsenal’s loan of Calum Chambers to Middlesbrough and Jack Wilshere to Bournemouth officially came to an end and the players joined the first team squad at Arsenal.

30 June 2017: Chris Willock joined Benfica upon the expiry of his contract, signing a five-year deal.  His brother Joe however did not leave and on 13 July he had his reward…

5 July 2017, Lacazette signed a five-year deal with Arsenal for a club record fee of an initial €53 million plus up to €7 million in potential bonuses.  The fee surpassed the previous Arsenal record of €50 million paid for Mesut Özil in 2013.

13 July 2017:  Arsenal’s squad for Australia included seven under-23s, including Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, plus both new signings Sead Kolašinac and Alexandre Lacazette. Arsenal opened their Australian tour with a 2–0 win over Sydney FC, with Mertesacker opening his final season as a player with an overhead kick to score the first goal.

15 July 2017: Arsenal played the second game of their Australian tour, against  Western Sydney Wanderers, in front of 83,000 people. Arsenal won 3–1 after first-half goals from Olivier Giroud, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny.

17 July 2017: Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-2 on penalties in a pre-season friendly in Shanghai, after a 1-1 draw, Iwobi scoring in the fourth minute of added on time.

22 July 2017: Arsenal lost 0-3 to Chelsea in China.  The match included a bizarre situation in which the Chinese officials refused to allow Arsenal to make a substitution because the correct paperwork had not been completed.

29 July 2017: Arsenal beat Benfica 5-2 in the Emirates Cup with two goals from Walcott, one each from Giroud and Iwobi.  The game marked an early appearance from Reiss Nelson

30 July 2017: Arsenal lost to Sevilla 2-1 in the Emirates Cup, with a goal from Lacazette.

6 August 2017: Arsenal drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the Community Shield, and won 4-1 on penalties.  It was Lacazette’s first game for Arsenal.

11 August 2017: Arsenal beat Leicester 4-3 at Arsenal Stadium in the first match of the season.  Lacazette, Welbeck, Ramsey and Giroud scored.  Lacazette scored his debut goal for Arsenal on 93 seconds.

31 August 2017: Sead Kolasinac voted Arsenal player of the month with 50% of the vote.


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