It really is all or nothing with Arsenal! After a dreadful start of the season, which further highlighted the team’s needs to strengthen (home loss to Liverpool due to thin defense, goal-less draw at Leicester due to lack of striker), the fans’ pressure seems to have paid off.
Arsenal have signed a centre back AND a striker! Yep. Here are my first thoughts on the new faces.
Great piece of business in my opinion. Arsenal have long been looking for a defender capable of partnering Koscielny at the back, and I think he might just be it. I’ve often criticised Wenger for taking gambles on unknown quality (Sanogo, Kallstrom, no time to list ’em all) which is plain unnecessary for a club of such reputation and resources.
What Arsenal need are confirmed players with European and international experience, capable of confidently coming in and hit the ground running straight away. These are the signings other big clubs make, which somehow we struggle to get over the line. Mustafi fits the bill.
Tactically, he’ll be very welcome. Capable of playing both in the centre or right hand side, his versatility will come handy once the inevitable injury crisis begins. Mustafi is also much faster than the declining Mertesacker, and made twice more interceptions than the BFG last campaign over a similar amount of game time.
The former Valencia captain will bring natural leadership and character to the squad, another key quality we’ve appeared to miss in recent years.
Alright, I won’t lie: like many, I never heard about this guy until last week. So obviously, he wouldn’t have been my first choice. Or in my top 3, or 10.
However, we’ve got a striker! Arsenal’s problems last season came from the lack of options when Giroud was out of form. With Perez, we have another body to keep the first team choices on their toes. Perez seems a reliable striker. He scored 17 goals last year for the struggling Deportivo, a great effort. One can only suspect he should do as well with the support of Ozil, Cazorla and the likes.
Perez is a versatile player capable of playing as a 9 or on the wing. Having played in Ukraine and Greece already, he’s already got experience playing abroad which is also good. Yes, the guy’s a random late bloomer and a one season wonder, so things could backfire. However, the same could be said about Jamie Vardy, our original target everyone raved about. Let’s give the guy the benefit of doubt.
With these last two signings adding to the evident quality of Xhaka and Holding, who already looks better than Per, Gabriel and Chambers put together, Arsenal’s squad now looks solid and balanced.
Only time will tell if we’ve done enough to compete with the title favourites from up north. But now the transfer crisis is finally over, I look forward to getting behind the team. Let the season properly kick off!