Mikel Arteta’s new-look Arsenal are perfecting the Art of winning

Written by Bossvibe

Mikel Arteta’s new-look Arsenal are perfecting the Art of winning

August angst has given way to September serenity at Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta’s new-look side is finally starting to take shape and back-to-back Premier League wins have lifted the mood in the red half of North London.

The Gunners spent heavily in the summer, recruiting around £150million of talent in a bid to get back among the Premier League’s elite.

Ahead of today’s North London derby with Tottenham, we look at how six new arrivals have elevated the club’s chances of success this season.

Goalkeeping matters
It was not long ago that Bernd Leno was one of Arsenal’s crown jewels — but a number of erratic performances and a curious reluctance to play out from the back have damaged his standing in recent months.

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With rumours circulating that the German stopper will not renew his contract at the Emirates, it was vital they brought some stability to the goalkeeping position.

England custodian Aaron Ramsdale arrived from Sheffield United for £25m and has hit the ground running, keeping clean sheets in each of his three appearances in all competitions.

The 23-year-old was particularly impressive in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Burnley, raising expectations that he could be the answer to Arsenal’s goalkeeping problems for years to come.

Right-back resolution
The North Londoners went into the season with four right-backs on their books — none of whom were fit for purpose.

Wantaway defender Hector Bellerin, now on loan at Real Betis, did not make an appearance before his departure, while Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers have looked badly out of their depth when named in the starting XI.

With Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ future also unclear, Bologna full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, 22, was recruited on deadline day for just under £17m.

The defence-first Japan international appears perfectly suited to Arteta’s lopsided back four, where the right-sided defender stays back and covers when the left-back bombs forward in possession.

A new back line
Arsenal’s defence against Norwich and Burnley was unrecognisable from the back line cut to shreds by Manchester City before the international break.

Only Kieran Tierney survived that debacle, with £50m man Ben White and the returning Gabriel joining Tomiyasu and Ramsdale.

Gabriel’s impact should not be underestimated and Arteta was full of praise for the Brazilian star after he completed more clearances (10) than any other player against the Clarets.

He said: “We know he is a player with an incredible future who has already given us a lot.

“It doesn’t get much harder than playing here in the Premier League and he was terrific today.”

Mastering the midfield
Arsenal’s new transfer policy of building for the future is encapsulated by the signing of 21-year-old Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht.

The £15m summer recruit is a player the club hope they can improve and potentially sell on for a higher fee in the future — but he has already had an impact in the first team.

With midfield wrecking ball Thomas Partey back in action and ready to marshal proceedings in the centre of the park, Lokonga has the perfect player to develop alongside as he hones his craft at the Emirates.

Strength in depth
When left-back Tierney missed seven games in the second half of last season, Arsenal’s campaign began to crumble.

It was while he was absent that the Gunners crashed out of the FA Cup to Southampton and lost consecutive league games to Wolves and Aston Villa.

They were also eliminated from the Europa League by Villarreal after the Scotland international missed the first leg of that tie.

Technical director Edu has sought to rectify that reliance on Tierney by signing a similar profile of player as a back-up option — Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares.

That should allow Arteta to continue using the same system, even when their left-sided star is out of action.

With greater strength in depth and increased quality to call upon, the future is looking far brighter for Arsenal than their calamitous start suggested.

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