Arsenal’s rebuild has been ongoing for a few years before signs of obvious progress emerged last season.
Expected to challenge for the top six or top eight, the London club did well to be in the mix for the Champions League places. Buoyed by the qualities of their young stars, their run came to an unfortunate end with poor stretches destroying their chances at top four.
Several developments have been clear to see. There is an increase in player quality, and the starting XI is largely settled, providing much-needed continuity. Mikel Arteta has reinforced a coherent style of play, while the relationship with the fans has also improved tremendously, with supporters at the Emirates elevating the performances on the pitch.
3 intangibles qualities Arsenal’s transfer targets would bring to the club
Yet arguably even more important than the showings on the pitch are the intangible qualities the players bring. Arteta’s transfer targets offer these aspects to the club. Here are three intangible qualities that the current transfer targets would bring to Arsenal.
This one is perhaps the most difficult to define out of the three intangible qualities. The physicality of the sport has and always will be important, but the mental side of the game is increasing in significance.
The strain of an extremely long campaign, the pressure of fans and the expectation of a hefty price tag can all way on a player’s shoulders. Stressors off the pitch can influence performances on it. More players have come forward, expressing how the derision and abuse from fans can lead to a negative loop of bad games leading to more abuse and so on.
Arsenal’s dressing room has often been accused of being soft, especially since the move to the Emirates. Technically gifted players were outmuscled and outworked while the team as a whole crumbled under pressure when everything was on the line.
Arteta has worked relentlessly to change the culture at the club and the players being targeted would continue to bring in that much-needed grit. That ability to grind out results in difficult away fixtures or when the team is going through a rough patch.
Raphinha fought tooth and nail to keep his side in the Premier League with senior players dropping like flies to injury. Gabriel Jesus plied his trade in South America when he was just a teenager playing in some of the world’s most raucous stadiums. Lisandro Martinez went to bed hungry more times than he can count. In the face of these difficulties, the stress of a game against Bournemouth seems to evaporate.
Continued on the next slide…