Transfer business may pick up but where does it leave Arsenal this season?

With the current transfer window already notching up nearly 900 deals and counting, and with over £4 billion spent in the process, it’s time to take a look at how Arsenal’s business is panning out so far. 

Guardian Football’s most recent appraisal of Arsenal’s standings resonate fairly positively and will come as a surprise to many Arsenal fans. Praise for Arteta’s diplomatic handling of tough times during the prolonged covid period are set against a brisk bit of business done in the transfer market. 

Arsenal are currently operating at a deficit of around £75 million following four signings. Those incoming include two promising young defenders and a central midfielder. Is there room for more to be done?

Several UK betting sites seem to agree with the pundits with most having Arsenal reckoned at a fifth or sixth-place finish and at around between 6/1 to pick up the title currently. While it would count as an improvement on last season, sixth just won’t cut it for the Arsenal faithful. The Gunners are actually priced around 7/2 to finish in the top four which makes for interesting reading. 

Arteta is in the midst of a long process of wide-sweeping change at the Emirates. His first task has been to clear out unwanted characters and players he considers deadwood from the squad to free up funds for adequate replacements. 

The manager stood firm during the last transfer window to see the once messianic Mesut Özil shipped off to Fenerbahce. This was coupled with deadweight defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastasthopolous homeward bound for Schalke 04 and Olympiakos respectively. 

Brazilian defender David Luiz is the most recent casualty of the recent clearout as the Spanish manager prepares to bring in fresh talent. The signing of Kieran Tierney from Celtic last season foreshadowed Arteta’s intentions at replenishing his defensive unit with young blood.

Enter his most lavish summer signing at a whopping £50 million. Ben White put in some impressive shifts for the Seagulls last season, earning the former Brighton centre back a late call up to the England squad for the Euros following the departure of injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.

White will slot in nicely at the back alongside Tierney but it remains to be seen whether another recruit of the defensive revolution, 21 year old Nuno Tavares, will make the grade immediately. Signed from Benfica in a £6.8 million move this summer, Tavares at left back, further embodies Arteta’s shift towards youth in his defensive line. 

Shelling out a further £13 million has seen Arteta add Anderlecht academy graduate Albert Sambi Lokonga to his midfield setup. Alongside the acquisition of Thomas Partey last season and the recent news that Arsenal have rebuffed offers from Roma for Granit Xhaka leads Arsenal fans further encouragement at the present state of their central midfield engine room. 

The rumour mill is rife and the latest name on many lips is that of high profile Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez. The word on the street is that the Inter striker is on the market after the Italian champions are looking to balance the books. 

Martinez is of proven quality but how far the finances are available remains to be seen. It would likely leave one of Arsenal’s remaining forwards open to a move the other way to free up funds. Recent news coming out of Italy of a proposed move for Romelu Lukaku would likely hinder any potential deal therefrom. 

Things appear to be looking up for Arsenal and Arteta.  Heading into the opener against Brentford there is quiet optimism, although it still feels like there is unfinished business left to be taken care of in the transfer market.

Whatever movement may or may not happen, Arteta’s recruits will have to gel, and fast, if they are to challenge for the top four this season. A positive run towards the end of last season was certainly welcome but it’s a whole new playing field come Friday 13 August. 

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