How Arsenal’s seven summer signings have fared so far this season
Arsenal have recovered following their shocking start to the season – and their summer signings have played an important role in that recovery.
After a pair of disappointing seasons, Mikel Arteta spent the sum of £149million before the start of the 2021-22 campaign in an attempt to secure Champions League football for the first time since 2016.
And we’ve assessed how each of Arsenal’s summer signings has fared in their first few months at the club.
Tavares was first through the door this summer, signing from Benfica for a £7.2million fee, and impressed Arteta with his performance in a pre-season friendly at Rangers.
Things have only got better since. Injuries to Kieran Tierney have given the 21-year-old a run in the first team and Tavares has taken the Emirates by storm with his committed displays.
“One of the biggest qualities he has is that he is not fazed at all when he is playing,” Arteta said of the Portugal Under-21 international. “That’s something that we really liked about Nuno when we were looking at him.
“Credit must go to Edu and the scouting department when they were doing the process, because that is something that we discussed a lot: we want a certain character to play for Arsenal.
“We want them to be able to deal with pressure, to be able to perform straight away when you are needed and to go from not playing to playing straight away.
“And that is what Nuno did, so, credit to the boy.”
Albert Sambi Lokonga
Brought in from Anderlecht, Lokonga was the latest attempt by Arsenal to replace Patrick Vieira – something they’ve failed to achieve since their former captain’s departure in 2005.
And the midfielder has made a solid start to life in England, making 10 Premier League appearances as Arsenal have steadied the ship from their disastrous August.
“Sambi has shown a really quick adaptation, a lot of intelligence since he came and courage,” Arteta told Football.London in November 2021.
“He’s a player constantly trying to affect the game in the right way. It was a big task to ask him to play the number of minutes that he’s done in the league already in such a short space of time.
“But he’s showing he’s capable of doing and he’s handling the situation really impressively.”
Biereth was signed as an Academy player from Fulham and his main moment of glory so far was going in goal for the final 13 minutes of a PL2 match at Leicester.
Arsenal were three down when the striker donned the gloves and ended up with a 3-3 draw. Watch your back, Aaron Ramsdale.
Many pairs of eyebrows were raised heavenwards when Arsenal forked out £50million for White during the close season.
The centre-back had impressed at both Leeds and Brighton, and was a late inclusion in England’s Euro 2020 squad, but a wretched debut at Brentford didn’t exactly promise great things.
But White has more than found his feet since and he’s helped Arsenal keep five Premier League clean sheets since the start of September.
He’s cool as a cucumber in possession too…
Ben White 😁😁 pic.twitter.com/MZWcsk7soe
— Harry (@RunReissRun) November 9, 2021
Despite a productive loan spell last season, it looked unlikely that Odegaard would return to the Emirates this season.
But Arsenal and Real Madrid were able to thrash out a £30million deal that saw the Norway international make the permanent switch to north London in late August.
Odegaard quickly proved his worth by scoring a delightful free-kick during the 1-0 win at Burnley but has largely been used as a substitute because of Arsenal’s fine recent form.
He has been hindered by injuries, while it has also felt like he’s been the biggest victim of Arsenal playing a 4-4-2 formation.
Time will tell, and his talent endures, but Odegaard has arguably been Arsenal’s most underwhelming summer signing to date.
Great goalkeeper, even better shithouse.
Ramsdale, more than anybody else, personifies Arsenal’s new edge and is playing like a man who’s determined to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper at Qatar 2022.
And nobody’s laughing at the decision to pay Sheffield United £30million for a ‘back-up goalkeeper’ anymore.
Arsenal have needed a new right-back for years and, with Hector Bellerin clearing off to Spain, Tomiyasu was bought in from Bologna for £16million.
Already popular with the supporters after rejecting a move to Spurs, the Japan international has shone during his induction to Premier League football and already feels like a fixture in a revitalised Arsenal backline.
According to WhoScored, Tomiyasu has been the Gunners’ third-best player this season behind Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel with a rating of 6.97.
Arteta has called the defender a “joy to work with” and the added composure Tomiyasu has brought to the club means it’s no coincidence that Arsenal’s form has improved with his arrival.