Arsenal has recovered from a slow start to the season and now has its sights set on challenging for a Champions League place, thanks in no small part to the success of the team’s summer signings. Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Ødegaard are among the new recruits that have settled in quickly for Mikel Arteta’s side, but have all the new arrivals hit the ground running?
Eyebrows were raised when Ben White joined from Brighton for £50m, but the center back has justified that outlay after a brief, rocky start. Although the 24-year-old was dominated by Ivan Toney in the 2-0 defeat to Brentford, White has bounced back quickly and become part of a settled backline that has kept numerous clean sheets since September. His passing ability has also been impressive, which is ideal for Arteta’s patient, possession-based approach.
After a productive loan at the Gunners last season, Martin Ødegaard made a permanent switch from Real Madrid over the summer for £30m. Arsenal has lacked a true creative outlet in the final third since the departure of Mesut Özil, and Ødegaard has shown in brief spurts that he can link play and be productive. In his 14 appearances in the Premier League so far, the Norwegian has scored five goals and chipped in with two assists. Arsenal fans will be hoping Ødegaard can be a true attacking force during the remainder of the season.
One of the best summer signings not only at Arsenal but in the Premier League overall, Aaron Ramsdale has surprised critics with a string of eye-catching displays since his £30m transfer from Sheffield United. The 23-year-old’s shot stopping has been excellent, but his “sweeping” and leadership skills have arguably been more crucial to Arsenal’s march up the table. It is no surprise to see Ramsdale’s name touted as a potential number one for England at the Qatar World Cup.
With a busy fixture list over Christmas, a period that will give football fans the chance to catch up on the latest news and results at Crunch Sports, Arsenal will need the energy and willingness of Takehiro Tomiyasu. A “budget” buy at only £16m from Bologna, Tomiyasu has slotted in seamlessly in the right positions and has put in more consistent performances than Hector Bellerin, who joined Real Betis on loan this summer. The Japanese international currently has the third-highest rating for Arsenal on WhoScored, ranking behind only Ramsdale and Emile Smith Rowe.
Another successful signing, Nuno Tavares has caught the attention of Premier League suitors such as Manchester City since his £7.2m transfer from Benfica. The 21-year-old has featured 11 times in the Premier League and has impressed Arteta with his ability to “perform straight away.” Injuries to Kieran Tierney have given Tavares the chance to shine in the left back role, and the youngster looks set for a very bright future at the Emirates.
Albert Sambi Lokonga
Belgian 22-year-old Albert Sambi Lokonga joined from Anderlecht in an £18m deal in July. The midfielder was one of the most progressive dribblers during his time in Belgium, and his mobility and ability to beat the press has been vital to Arsenal’s upturn in form.