For Arsenal so far this season, the good times have been rolling
The Arsenal have won their opening four Premier League games for the first time since 2004/05. That side would finish second to Manchester United in the final standings, and while Mikel Arteta’s outfit has a long way to go before the current campaign’s finale, I’m sure that they will not finish second behind the Red Devils this year.
The Gunners are good, and while they may not win the league this season, they’ve established themselves as way too early title contenders. It’s a long old season, though, and the impact of having a World Cup chucked into the middle of it is yet to be revealed. Arsenal will need the luck to go their way if they’re to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League crown, with many now projecting the Gunners to finish in the top four. Further investment from the Kroenke’s before the summer deadline, meanwhile, wouldn’t go amiss.
It is true, of course, that Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules must be observed and abided by, and should the club be believed, they’ve managed to do just that. They remain dedicated to ridding wages from the books that aren’t necessary, and with the addition of Europa League competition once again this year, two to three more players would do the squad good if they can be swung.
Who are these names? It seems most likely that they are a combination of players, most often involving Pedro Neto and Youri Tielemans, but sometimes including others such as Sergej Milincovic-Savic, Yeremy Pino, Marco Asensio, Seko Fofana, Wilfried Zaha and Moussa Diaby. Links at this stage appear to be tenuous, however.
The Mikel Arteta Revolution at Arsenal is pretty specific, actually
The Gunners of Mikel Arteta boasts some similarities to the earlier iterations of Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. The Spanish boss wants young, vibrant talents; those who are willing to rush forward and hold another team’s feet to the flames for 90 minutes every week.
Everyone is held to a very high standard, and Arteta has done a fantastic job of ingraining his values and principles into his players. The manager is very particular about the players he wants to sign and the club will not spend big money on those that fail to meet the Spaniard’s demands.
Wilfried Zaha, for example, has once again been linked with a move to the Emirates. But, despite his talent, he couldn’t be further from a Mikel Arteta player. The boss wants young players who can grow into the team, and so those names like Diaby, Neto, and even Asensio seem to make more sense.
In the middle of the pitch, the same argument can be made. While the three that I mentioned sit between 25 and 27 years old, only two of those men have Premier League experience, and those particular two – Tielemans and Fofana – each has a lower price tag than the oldest and most expensive man, Milincovic-Savic. Securing a combination of Neto, Asensio, Tielemans and Fofana would round out this very expensive transfer window about as positively as could be wished for by Arsenal supporters and could lead to a more competitive season in both England and Europe.
With how much Neto is projected to cost Arsenal, it might be difficult to imagine getting anyone else before the window shuts with the club happy to wait until next summer to secure the services of Tielemans on a free transfer.
That leaves Seko Fofana and Marco Asensio as two names that I could see coming to Arsenal if the Pedro Neto deal falls through. Even if Neto does sign, I suspect that another deep-lying midfield option is something that the boss would like to ensure he’s not overly reliant on Mohamed Elneny when Thomas Partey is unavailable.
While it appears that the Kroenke’s are holding their vast moneybag wide open for Edu and Arteta, FFP regulations mean that the Gunners will have to continue to shed salaries to make transfer purchases and signings. While the summer window is several months long, it seems like at least one month’s worth of dealings are always accommodated during the final several days or even hours of the window.
There is so much still to do before the summer window closes for Arsenal – if it can all be managed without inciting the anger of FIFA and the FA. Arsenal know that the year will not be as simple as the first month of the season has so far been. Still, reinforcements will only help make it less of a trial should players get injured, penalised or are otherwise unable to contribute to the team for any period of time.