Arsenal had to be smart in their transfer pursuits in this latest window.
Big spending in the last two years has led to stringent regulations being placed on further spending. Those rules are part of Financial Fair Play and it meant that any targets that our club would have had, would have to be scaled down until we could swallow the expenditure with our income.
Thankfully, we employed well and our two new signings have plugged glaring gaps in our squad that any further injury would have brutally exposed.
Cedric Soares is approaching his peak years, is a seasoned pro with his international side and has bags of Premier League experience. He has also had experience of playing on both wide defence positions too, which means he was the perfect candidate to come into the side. Given the frequency of injuries that befall both Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin – both our first choice full-backs – Cedric can cover us when we need it most.
Pablo Mari was a big part of the revolution that saw Flamengo have their most successful season in decades. Their veteran coach Jorge Jesus employed a European way of playing, with a high press and a high line in defence. Most defenders plying their trade in Brazil are not comfortable with so much space behind them, but Pablo Mari led from the front and ensured Flamengo took to their new orders well.
The team orders that led Flamengo to so much success are familiar to all us Gooners and it means Pablo Mari can slot in and know exactly what he is doing.
So we get both of these players and all for a net spend of precisely….nothing.
Of course, we are paying their wages, but they are both on loan until the end of the season and we get the perfect opportunity to see if the promise they have actually flourishes into two useful squad players that can help us manage injuries and perhaps boost the first team.
Does Pablo Mari get in ahead of Luiz or Sokratis? Does Cedric have a chance of nailing down a full-back spot?
Either way, we have two players ready to help us fight back up the table, and are absolute steals.