Arsenal enjoyed a busy summer transfer window. The Gunners made six signings in total, including the club-record £72 million capture of Nicolas Pepe. On top of that, Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney arrived from Celtic and Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos was brought in on loan. On transfer deadline day, the north London club rounded off their incoming business with the £8 million signing of centre-back David Luiz from Chelsea.
Unai Emery will surely be delighted with the business that was done and the shape of his new-look squad. Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn is certainly excited by the new arrivals. The former full-back told Sportingbet, “Tierney is a sensational signing and will have no problem settling in…Pépé is the perfect signing…Dani Ceballos is a great signing for Arsenal and will help fill the void left by Ramsey”.
On the subject of David Luiz, Winterburn added, “I’m really surprised that Chelsea allowed Luiz to leave to join a direct rival…He has been erratic at times but on the flip side, he’s very, very good on the ball, he can make forward passes, he’s athletic and is a very strong defender on his day”.
However, despite having assembled his squad, Emery still has some big decisions to make. Amongst these is to name the new Arsenal captain, or at least the new members of his ‘captaincy group’. Following Laurent Koscielny’s departure, the armband is up for grabs. Winterburn believes “Emery should make David Luiz his captain for this season. He has the ability to be that Tony Adams figure in Arsenal’s backline. I know he’s new, but that doesn’t worry me at all”.
Winterburn is right to be excited by his former club’s new recruits. The likes of Tierney, Pepe, Luiz and Ceballos all bring real quality to the Gunners’ ranks. However, the idea of naming Luiz as captain makes little sense. He is new to the club, and is not an automatic starter given the presence of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding.
The 32-year-old Brazilian can still be a leader at the back but should not be handed the armband on arrival.