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Mikel Arteta Wants To Return To Europe With Big Money Transfer Ben White According To Arsenals Season Preview

Last season, they had some serious slumps in form in the beginning and second thirds of the season, before putting together a stronger finish once it was clear that they would lose out on Europe.
The massive contracts awarded to Willian (free transfer) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (extension) were not unmitigated successes, especially after a summer of high promises and attempts to make decent plays in the transfer market.
Yet, there were significant moments of promise.
Emile Smith Rowe’s rise, Kieran Tierney’s lasting quality when fit, and a strong run in Europe were all positives.
So far, the transfer window has been costly.
PS50 million for Ben White may be the average pay for an English defender, but he’s two-thirds of a Van Dijk, more than a Varane, and a lot more than a Konate.
It must, in essence, function this season and in the long run.
Albert Sambi Lokonga appears to be a highly intriguing addition, while Nuno Tavares, a youthful attacking left-back, could prove to be a bargain.
In any case, they’re valuable additions to the team.
Arsenal still wants a creative midfielder, but it will be pricey – they haven’t sold anyone yet, and they’ll need to earn more money than just selling Joe Willock if they want a much larger investment.
Manager Mikel Arteta has taken on a more traditional position as a’manager rather than just a head coach,’ and he has the responsibility and authority within the club to back it up.
It means he’ll get a lot of credit if the Gunners reclaim their old glory, but it also puts a lot of pressure on an inexperienced figure – not to mention Edu’s lack of expertise as technical director above Arteta.
Tactically, it’s been a mixed bag from the Spanish manager, who was initially adamant about doing without a No10 – and as a result, Mesut Ozil – but has since found himself with one, or two, in the team in a 4-2-3-1, via a back three and a variety of different systems.
There is a need for more consistency and improved decision-making.
Bukayo Saka is a key player.
Technically, technically, and tactically outstanding in multiple roles for the Gunners – but they may need to select which area he should be elite in and play him there consistently now.
Right flank or central midfield as an 8 looks to bring out the best in him, but only the former was where he routinely appeared in the second half of last season, as well as with England over the summer.
Saka is far from the Gunners’ only good player to keep an eye on, but he is the pillar on which they can develop and the finest matchwinner they have.
What does success entail?
Europa League football would be a step forward, but with the wealth, history, and expectations it the Gunners have, it’s difficult to call that a “success.”
A championship or a place in the top four would be fantastic and ensure a return to European competition, which will be strangely absent this season.
For Arteta and his campaign preparations, the start of the season is vital.
If they are hovering around mid-table at the turn of the year, the planning and implementation of that plan over the previous two years must be questioned.
August fixtures (a) vs Brentford, Friday 13 August, 8pm (h) vs Chelsea, Sunday 22 August, 4:30pm League Cup second round, Wednesday 25 August, tbc

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