Arsenal lost the Champions League at the last breath. The ‘gunners’ defeats against Tottenham (3-0) and Newcastle (2-0) in the penultimate and in the penultimate matchday deprived Mikel Arteta’s men of playing a top continental competition that they haven’t stepped on since 2016-17.
“We know where we have to go and we are not going to stop. We fell short and that feeling of guilt for not reaching that level is painful,” confessed a Spanish coach who returned Arsenal to Europe after a 2021-22 without traveling through the old continent… but without reaching the Champions League. After 19 consecutive seasons in UCL with Arsène Wenger (1998-2017), the ‘gunners’ will chain their sixth campaign away from the elite. However, they are already working to return to the ‘best’. “We have to jump to the next level. This summer is more important than the previous one,” Arteta explained. He has a plan to strengthen his new Arsenal.
Betting on youth
Before the start of his third full season at the London club (he landed in December 2019), the Spaniard, along with Edu (sporting director) and Vinai Venkatesham (executive director), have already defined their goals. “We want to fill our squad with some of the most exciting young talent in Europe, with players from both our academy and elsewhere.who can grow and develop together with Mikel to take us where we want to go,” Venkatesham said in 2020.
“We want an Arsenal with a young, exciting squad and a very, very bright future because, as I said last summer, the idea is to have a young team. We want to give them the opportunity to play together for two, three, four, five or six seasons.”, highlighted Edu recently. Since the former Brazilian player is ‘in charge’ of the signings at the club (2019), the ‘gunners’ have taken over Martinelli, Saliba, Pépé, Tierney, Gabriel, Odegaard, Lokonga, Tavares, Tomiyasu, White, Ramsdale, Taveres … All under 25 when they arrived at the Emirates.
We want an Arsenal with a young, exciting squad and a very, very bright future because, as I said last summer, the idea is to have a young team
A trend that this summer has continued with Fabio Vieira (22 Porto midfielder), Marquinhos (Sao Paulo 18 winger) and Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City 25 forward). The line to follow is more than clear in the market… and in the quarry. Smith Rowe, Saka and Nketiah (newly renovated) are important to Arteta after leaving Hale End.
The construction of the Emirates penalized Wenger’s last stage at Arsenal. The ‘gunners’ paid for a work of 450 million euros for years that prevented them from competing in the market. A situation that has changed. “We have been able to balance the template. Financially, we are in a much more stable position. Now is the time to raise the quality,” said Arteta. And Stan Kroenke has spent two years ‘scratching’ his pocket.
“This summer is just the consequence of what we have worked to try to find the best players. We really identified what we need and we are prepared,” said Edu. In 2021-22, Arsenal was the team that spent the most money in the Premier and in Europe on transfers (167.42 ‘kilos’) according to ‘Transfermarkt’. White (58.5), Odegaard (35), Ramsdale (28), Tomiyasu (18.6), Lokonga (17.5), Tavares (8) and Trusty (1.82) arrived..
More spending on transfers in 2021-22
- Arsenal: €167.42 million
- Manchester United: €140 million
- Manchester City: €134.5 million
- Newcastle: €131.5 million
- Aston Villa: €129.82 million
More spending on transfers in 2022-23
- Arsenal: €96.86 million*
- Liverpool: €85.79 million
- Real Madrid: 80 million euros
- Manchester City: €60 million
- Leeds: €57.84 million
*When Gabriel Jesus becomes official
And now, before Gabriel Jesus is made official for 52 million, they have already spent 44.86 on Fabio Vieira (35), Turner (6.36) and Marquinhos (3.5). As soon as the former City player lands in North London, they will lead the investment ranking (96.86). And more could arrive since Arsenal, according to ‘Mirror’, have detected “five goals” among which Lisandro Martínez (Ajax), Tielemans (Leicester) stand out…
Arsenal’s departures and their new ‘9’
In the last two years, Arsenal have shaken off some of their old guard. Aubameyang (Barcelona), Lacazette (Olympique Lyon), Guendouzi (Olympique Marseille), Mavropanos (Stuttgart), Willock (Newcastle), Chambers (Aston Villa), Willian (Corinthians), Kolasinac (OM)… have recently left the Emirates. And two of them (‘Auba’ and ‘Laca’) were the two great ‘9’ ‘gunners’ of the last five years and the team captains.
A situation that has made them miss a ‘killer’. The season just finished, without going any further, Saka was the team’s top scorer with 12 goals. Gabriel Jesus will now be the reference of a very Brazilian Arsenal. His compatriots Martinelli and Marquinhos will accompany him in an avant-garde with many attacking players like Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Fabio Vieira, Nketiah, Pépé… Arteta will have a lot to choose from to attack the Champions League.