I have never seen someone get so much stick from Arsenal fans prior to joining. Well maybe Willian.
There were some fans who just did not understand why we were signing a young English keeper from recently relegated Sheffield United.
But those in the know – the Sheffield United fans – told us what to expect.
Most were expecting Ramsdale to play second fiddle to Bernd Leno this season and take the number 1 jersey from him next. But he has quickly established himself as first choice.
Commanding in the air and great with the ball at his feet. Two things Leno is poor at. His shot stopping is also excellent.
We may well have found our number 1 for the next decade.
Coming with a huge price tag, and a name that rhymes with a naughty word which means “not very good”, Ben White was always going to be in for some criticism.
He started poorly against Brentford and was then ruled out of the Manchester City and Chelsea hammerings due to Covid.
Missing those games probably worked in his favour as White would have taken the brunt of the criticism had he played – even if he had not done much wrong.
He returned against Norwich and then performed brilliantly under the high ball against Burnley.
Against Spurs he raised his game another level.
Alongside Gabriel you can see a real partnership beginning to flourish
It will take a while for people to stop talking about his price tag; but the more top performances he puts in the less frequent those snide comments will become.
Man of the match against Tottenham.
The Japanese right backs performances have been key to Arsenal looking a lot more solid in recent weeks.
He has yet to be dribbled past this season, is strong in the air and is a fantastic reader of the game.
We have gone from the right hand side being a weakness to it becoming impenetrable.
The scary thing is at 22, Tomiyasu is still young enough to get even better.
Having been on loan last season, we know the sort of player we were getting in Odegaard.
He really knits the front 4 together with his versatility and movement. Always ready to receive the ball across the 3 behind the striker.
What he also brings is a tremendous work rate which is key for Arteta’s pressing plan.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang can chase down defenders and the keeper knowing Odegaard will be behind him backing up. Filling the space.
He does need to add more goals and assists to his game; but that will hopefully happen as Arsenal pick up momentum.
A good signing.
Albert Sambi Lokonga
The young central midfielder has certainly been impressive in his fleeting displays this season.
One of the few shining lights during those first 3 games of the season without a win – starting against both Brentford and Chelsea.
He was very impressive against AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup and it will be good to see him get another run out against Leeds United.
Lokonga has been a good option to come of the bench in games adding power in the middle of the park as well as extra height when defending corners.
Still just 21-years-old; he will become a top player.
We have not seen much of the young left back – 2 starts in the League Cup and a couple late of substitute appearances in the Premier League. But what we have seen has shown he is an able deputy to Kieran Tierney.
Bringing him on against Tottenham to play in front of Tierney was a good managerial move by Arteta; and one we will probably see more times this season.
A review I totally agree with and one of the reasons I rated this window 8/10 from a realistic point of view. The missing points are because we didn’t sell players who are not part of the way forward. What I really like is that we have an established back 5 who average 22-23 years and first choice MØ8, ESR10 and BS7 who average 21-22 years. That’s 8! starters 23 or younger👏👏👏 Add to that Lokonga, Tavares, Saliba and Martinelli and we can field an entire XI with players 23 and younger. Partey and Pepe still have 5-8 good years ahead of them. The strengthening next summer needs to focus on strikers. I am not a big fan of Nketiah and the jury is still out on Martinelli after his injury set him back.
Plus we wrote Willian off the books and extended Smith Rowe’s contract. And got got money for Joe Willock.
I rated our transfer window 8/10.* While I believed “someday” it is going to be fruitful, I actually need to pinch myself seeing the devidends grow so early.
*It can be 10/10 if we added a young striker with proven quality to the squad. Considering Auba on wrong side of 30 and expired term of Lacazette, maybe Edu and co. will go big for striker’s position the next season. For now, we can rely on Auba, Laca, and Martinelli/Balogun to some extent
Sometimes I worry if our old-arsenal habbit came. Very brilliant at peak moment sometimes, then comes the average, and uninvited horrible mistakes.
But I think it is different now. Our players (especially our backline) look focus, always deliver the best, show a never-die attitude. Surely we are not a better team than current top four, but I do not see we will have slippery-horrible episode against other than ManU, ManC, Chel, and Liv.
The “B team”, I chose to call them the “Apprentices”, show themselves as good as the main XI. We miss Xhaka, but we know Sambi and Niles will take the baton responsibly.
Our high scoring Arsenal may gone, but the newly solid and reliable Arsenal are at raise. I expect more performance like 1-0 against Burnley will come for next running games instead 3-1 against the Tot.
Speaking about Xhaka, lets wish him a speedy recovery. Best for him and his lovely family.