Chelsea completed the signing of Saul Niguez on transfer deadline day, with the Atletico Madrid midfielder arriving in London on a season-long loan.
The Blues were determined to bring the 26-year-old to Stamford Bridge, facing a few problems with hours remaining until the 11pm deadline on Tuesday, but Marina Granovskaia managed to secure the loan deal late into the day.
Arsenal, meanwhile, also completed one signing on deadline day – with Takehiro Tomiyasu joining the north London club on a permanent basis. The Japan international became the Gunners’ sixth signing of the summer transfer window.
However, the centre of midfield was an area Mikel Arteta did not really address over the summer.
Arsenal did manage to sign Albert Sambi Lokonga, who looks a really promising talent, but that deal might prove to be one for the future rather than the present.
Granit Xhaka signed a new long-term contract at the Gunners after weeks of speculation over his future, and a move to AS Roma looking imminent at one point.
The new deal for Xhaka received some criticism from the north London club’s fan base and it has also been slated by Paul Merson.
The former Arsenal midfielder has been talking about Chelsea managing to sign Saul, and questioned why Arteta did not try and sign him beforehand.
“What a phenomenal signing that is. He is in his prime. He has just won La Liga. He plays in all the big games. And you get him on loan. That’s amazing.
“He is only going to cost £30million if they make it permanent as well. Where do you ever find players like that for that kind of money? Amazing.
“Chelsea already have three great midfielders in N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. He is the fourth.
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“And they are going to need him. They are going deep in every competition this season. They need players. I do not know why teams like Manchester United and Arsenal did not go in for him. Look at their midfields.
“United have Paul Pogba but he can’t play in a two and then it is Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic.
“And Arsenal ended up handing a new contract to Granit Xhaka… The difference in class is enormous.”