Arsenal have recovered from their terrible early season form, and now it’s easy to see a project coming together for the Gunners.
When they appointed Mikel Arteta, it was a show of faith in a long term project. The squad wasn’t well balanced, despite the presence of players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Now, with his first summer of recruitment, Mikel Arteta has brought in some excellent talent. Thomas Partey was the flagship signing. Coming from Atletico Madrid, he was the man to fix the balance of Arsenal’s midfield.
With his mobility and dribbling ability, he adds the legs in Arsenal’s midfield next to the slower Granit Xhaka. His injuries have hurt the Gunners, but when he plays the North London side looks far more imposing. Gabriel Magalhaes too has been an excellent buy. His recovery pace and passing ability have been invaluable next to David Luiz.
As well as buying good new players, Arteta has managed to get rid of expensive flops. Mesut Ozil, a player who earned over £350,000 per week on his former contract, has been sent to Fenerbache. Skhodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac have left for Schalke, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos has moved to Olympiakos. Losing these wages will free up yet more funds for recruitment.
However, it’s when you look at the setup he is creating with the squad’s age profile. In Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, they have two of the league’s very best young attackers. Meanwhile, further back, Emile Smith-Rowe has shown all the makings of becoming a top class creative midfielder for Arsenal for years to come. Outside of that, Kieran Tierney and Gabriel are 23 and could be part of Arsenal’s defence for the next 10 years.
With Arteta at the helm, an opportunity has presented itself for Arsenal to build for the long term. There will of course be teething issues. When this many young players are so integral to a squad, there will be poor results. However, if they can hold their nerve, the potential is there for Arsenal to build on strong foundations to take them back towards the summit of the Premier League.