It has been a Boris Johnson sized u-turn as Granit Xhaka has gone from out the door to signing a new contract in a matter of weeks.
With the Swiss midfielder now staying, it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will invest further into central midfield having already purchased Albert Sambi Lokonga for £17.5million from Anderlecht.
Lokonga’s performances in training and pre-season is likely to be one of the reasons Arsenal have stuck with Xhaka – alongside no club in Europe having much money to pay Arsenal’s asking price.
The Belgium midfielder came with the backing of Anderlecht manager Vincent Kompany and Thierry Henry – who is part of Roberto Martinez’s nation team set up.
But his performances thus far have come as a surprise and he is closer to being a regular first team player than perhaps Edu and his team realised.
It is the performances of Lokonga that has perhaps led to Arsenal sticking with Xhaka rather than spending £30m+ on an Yves Bissouma.
Why make that investment if the club now think that in 12 months Lokonga could be the main man?
So if we are going into next season with Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Lokonga and Mo Elneny, are we happy?
I have always liked the balance in Xhaka and Partey in the middle of the park.
Partey is the power, the one that presses, whilst Xhaka is more static and disciplined.
Xhaka is the man to get the ball from front to back fairly quick whilst Partey is more likely to travel forward with the ball at his feet through the midfield. It is a midfield that can work.
Backing those two up is then Elneny and Lokonga.
I like Elneny.
He is a simple player who does not try too much. Just a solid individual. Will never win you a game but rarely make a mistake t lose you it. Solid 7 out of 10 player. Sort of many you need in the squad.
And Lokonga is the unknown.
He could make a similar impact as Patrick Vieira all them years ago, burst on the scene and be pushing for a starting place as the season goes on.
I would imagine that Elneny would replace Xhaka and Lokonga will be the Thomas Partey understudy.
4 in the middle might feel light, but it has to be remembered we do not have European football next season.
The 5th option could be Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Joe Willock; however I expect both to leave us before the transfer window shuts.
You then have 18-year-old Miguel Azeez.
Azeez has come back from his summer break looking stronger. The boy is becoming a man.
Whilst he missed out on the senior squads trip to Scotland due to injury, he impressed against Watford with a well taken goal.
At the weekend he was left out of the Mind Series squad, instead playing with the U23’s at Ebbsfleet, again scoring a goal.
Young players need to play to continue developing.
Whilst some might be calling for him to be a regular of Mikel Arteta’s first team squad, would sitting on the bench week in week out as 5th choice midfielder be detrimental for his future development?
He would be best off left with the U23s. He is just 18 remember.
Play regular football with his age group, but also train regularly with the senior team.
That way he gets the game time he needs to develop, but can step up to the senior team if there are injuries.
So Partey, Xhaka, Lokonga, Elneny and Azeez. Happy?