Arsenal transfer window review: A Mon-real edge in the race for fourth place?

Arsene Wenger loosened the purse-strings with a deadline day move for Malaga left back Nacho Monreal, will that give them an advantage over the other sides looking for 4th?

Here''s a look at the Gunners' transfer window...

Incomings: Arsene Wenger had looked set to carry out his threat of not singing anyone might up until the last days of the window, and in the end only the prospect of seeing Andre Santos in the side for the next few weeks managed to see him make a move in the market, with Malaga left back Nacho Monreal arriving for around £8 million.

Monreal fits the bill as a player who will clearly improve the first team, although it is worth noting he will be cup tied for the Champions League. A left back isn’t always the most glamorous of signings, but Arsenal fans can be pleased that an area that needed strengthening was decisively done so.

There might be some disappointment that rumoured moves for David Villa and Mohamed Diame never came to fruition, with the latter's £3.5 million release clause never being met. If/When Abou Diaby picks up a knock, that decision might be questioned, and a few fans might wonder why they didn't battle Newcastle for the signing of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who could have been an excellent buy, but overall they will be happy that at least one good move was made.

Outgoings: Shifting out Marouance Chamakh and Johan Djourou on loan should free up some money from the wage bill, and Emmanuel Frimpong could get valuable Premiership experience at Fulham. However the absence of any permanent moves means Arsenal are faced with the prospect of Chamakh, Djourou, Frimpong, Park Chu-Young and Nicklas Bendtner all likely to come to back to the club in the summer, when the Gunners will have to try and move them on once again.

Race for 4th: Tottenham Hotspur signed Lewis Holtby, but failed to strengthen their striking department, whilst Everton were frustrated by the collapse of their move for Leroy Fer. Liverpool have enjoyed a successful window bringing in Coutinho and Sturridge, but the arrival of Monreal should mean Arsenal have the strongest first team of all the sides chasing fourth, and if they stay injury free, the Gunners could end up clear of their rivals.

images: © Matt and Kim Rudge, © Ronnie Macdonald

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