Two winter and now two summer transfer windows. That’s what Edu and Arteta have now been through together. This squad must now be pretty much as Mikel Arteta wants it to be.
The big news yesterday surrounded AMN and Mikel Arteta. Whatever caused the Instagram post, the training on his own reported to have been his punishment, that’s now done and dusted. Apparently, both player and manager, perhaps even Edu too, held talks during the day and any problem there was, has been resolved. AMN has stayed at the club, at least for the time being. Interestingly, Big Sam told Sky Sports:
Based on what I have seen, yes (he can play in midfield for Arsenal). The problem for him is that there are a lot of younger players ahead of him, which is massively frustrating. I think he deserves an opportunity to play there.
Well, there aren’t many players in the Arsenal squad now who can play in midfield, not with Partey injured and Xhaka banned for the next three matches. If AMN does get selected for the Norwich game, he needs to prove he’s really to battle hard for the club.
Eddie Nketiah remains an Arsenal player too unless an overseas club where the transfer window remains open comes in for him. I think loans can be agreed for a few days yet too. Same applies to Sead Kolasinac who I still believe will leave.
Oh, and we signed a new right-back. Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu who arrived from Serie A side Bologna on a long-term contract. There are lots of YouTube clips of him and I’ll be honest, he looks good. He’s 22 years old, dual footed and can defend. The bonus is that he can play centre-back as well. How he’ll settle into Premier League football only time will tell but I’m sure he’ll be absolutely fine. She writes with all fingers and toes crossed!
Out of the door yesterday went Reiss Nelson, after signing a contract extension, Alex Runarsson and Hector Bellerin.
So we now know what Mikel Arteta’s squad looks like for now until at least the 1st of January when the whole saga begins again.
It’s clear to me that Arsenal are building a squad for the future rather than for the here and now as not one single ‘ready made’ or ageing signing has been made. Isn’t that what we all hoped for? I’d be a hypocrite to suggest I didn’t because for a long time now, I’ve been moaning about how the senior players have been the ones letting the team down, not the younger ones.
So far this season though, I think all of the players have looked all at sea on the pitch which has not only resulted in poor performances and results but extremely negative reactions to Mikel Arteta’s management ideas. Not only from fans either but the press, media, you name them, they’ve been highly critical of everything and anything related to Arsenal Football Club and it hurts to hear it and read it.
Perhaps through all of this, you, me, they have lost sight of the work that’s been done to move on some of the ‘deadwood’. Of course we’d all have loved to see a striker like Lukaku arrive, a centre-back like Varane but Arteta clearly believed that Ben White, albeit for a bit more money, was better suited to what he’s trying to do with the squad. Both of those players are for now and their sale on value will only decline whereas in theory, White’s should increase. Why bother at all is my question because floating around at right-back/centre-back in France is Arsenal’s William Saliba. Just as Matteo Guendouzi is and Lucas Torreira although I’m not quite sure where the latter is. Clearly, and for reasons I can’t understand, Mikel Arteta doesn’t fancy them in an Arsenal team.
Arsenal have spent big this summer but they’ve made the money go a long way. Six players all in all. More than half a team which I haven’t seen Arsenal do since that deadline panic. This summer wasn’t a panic though, it was planned.
Now we need to see improvement, rapid improvement on the pitch. Even if the results don’t go our way, we need to see a more organised, disciplined and committed execution of a plan which shows where Mikel Arteta’s teams are going and how they’re going to do it. We need to see a defensive shape which works, a midfield which links up with both the defence and attack with the latter more clinical in the final third of the pitch.
The Sunday League football impersonation has to go and sharpish too. There really are no excuses anymore as this Arsenal squad is Mikel Arteta’s. Even Aubameyang and Xhaka are his players now as he decided that extending their contracts was the right thing to do for the club and his team.
It’s up to him now. The Norwich game can’t come soon enough for me, although I might regret saying that in a couple of weeks time.
See you in the comments.