Arsenal surprised many with their ambitious transfer activity this summer. Having missed out on Champions League football for a third successive season, the mood was grim at the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season. However, an exciting summer of transfers has restored some optimism at the north London club.
The Gunners welcomed six new arrivals this summer, including Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos, David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe. Unai Emery has had his squad overhauled and improved. It’s a new-look Arsenal this season and they will be confident of mounting a serious challenge for a top four finish.
A number of key figures were behind the club’s transfer business, including new technical director Edu Gaspar and head of football Raul Sanllehi. Josh Kroenke, son of the club’s owner Stan Kroenke, also seems to have played a role in directing the club’s strategy in the market.
Kroenke told the BBC, “I think we had a very strong summer. We addressed certain areas on the pitch for this season and in the years ahead. We had certain age profiles that we were after. Without Champions League football we weren’t exactly sure, but I encouraged our football operations department to be aggressive…when January does roll around we’re going to be proactive again”.
The executive hierarchy at Arsenal certainly deserve credit for their conduct this summer. However, spending the money is the easy bit. It remains to be seen whether Emery can successfully balance his squad and get the best out of his players.
Arsenal fans will be delighted to see the club showing such ambition again though. They will be especially pleased to hear Kroenke reference plans to improve further in January too. This summer cannot be a one-off. If Arsenal are serious about growing as a club, then every transfer window must be a successful one.
It is vital that the Gunners secure a return to the Champions League this season. The supporters understand the importance of achieving this objective. Arsenal have given themselves a good chance of reaching their target with their summer spending and Kroenke looks determined to bring the fractured fanbase back together too.