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Rating the impact of Arsenal’s four summer signings

Arsenal’s title challenge collapsed in the final weeks of last season as the table-topping Gunners ran out of steam across the run-in.

Mikel Arteta’s team set an unwanted record after leading the league for 248 days throughout this campaign, the highest number of days without being crowned champions in English top-flight history.

Arteta and his recruitment team attacked the summer transfer window to strengthen the spine of the side, spending more than £200m on four new additions to improve the squad.

Right in the mix for the Premier League title again, we’ve rated the impact of Arsenal’s summer signings on the side this season.

Rating the impact of Arsenal’s four summer signings:

Kai Havertz – Chelsea (£65m)

Arsenal sprang a surprise with their first signing of the summer, after agreeing a deal to sign Kai Havertz from London rivals Chelsea. Havertz had struggled to fulfil his potential across three underwhelming campaigns in west London, with inconsistency blighting his time in blue despite some memorable moments.

The Gunners decided to take a chance on Havertz, who had arrived at Chelsea regarded as one of Europe’s most promising talents. After featuring predominantly at centre-forward for Chelsea, Arteta outlined his plan to use the German in a midfield role, following the departure of Granit Xhaka to Bayer Leverkusen.

Havertz has faced scrutiny on his performances at Arsenal and scored only once in his first 12 league appearances. The 24-year-old has a modest return of five goals and an assist in 33 appearances in all competitions, with the questions regarding his best role continuing from his time at Chelsea.

Havertz has had moments in an Arsenal shirt and brings energy to the side, but the uncertainty surrounding his best position and role in Arteta’s side remains. At £65m, and with bigger issues to address elsewhere in the squad, the jury is out.

Rating: 5/10

Jurrien Timber – Ajax (£38m)

Arsenal completed a deal to sign Jurrien Timber from Ajax, reaching an agreement on a deal worth £38m. The Dutch defender had been linked with Manchester United a year earlier, before completing a transfer to north London.

Timber had progressed through the Ajax academy to make 160 senior appearances for the club, establishing himself as one of the Eredivisie’s brightest talents. The 22-year-old was named Eredivisie Player of the Year as Ajax won the title in 2021/22 and has won 15 caps for the Netherlands national team.

After an impressive pre-season campaign in which Timber shone in a number of roles across the backline, the progressive centre-back suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury against Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the season.

 

Timber is now closing in on a first-team return and has been included in Arsenal’s Champions League squad for the knockout rounds.

“These months will definitely make me stronger,” he told the club’s official website this month. “It’s an opportunity for me to do well. So even though I’m not playing, I can take this moment to become stronger mentally, physically, and also to feel at home with this group of boys. It’s an opportunity I’ve taken with both hands. I’ve had some more time to watch the team, see how we play, how I can fit in when I get on the pitch, so looking at the positives, I think there have been many.”

Rating: N/A

Declan Rice – West Ham (£105m)

Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Declan Rice from West Ham, beating competition from Manchester City to sign the midfielder.

Rice had long been linked with a move to one of the Premier League’s elite and Arsenal’s progress last season positioned the Gunners in a strong position for his signature. Having captained West Ham to Europa Conference League success – a first major trophy in 43 years – last season, Rice has become an immediate leader in Arteta’s new-look Arsenal.

He ranks among the Premier League’s leading players for passes into the final third (3rd), progressive passes (3rd), interceptions (8th), touches (9th) and progressive carrying distance (7th), while adding authority to an Arsenal midfield that has lacked presence in recent campaigns.

The 24-year-old has already delivered several big moments, including a crucial goal at Chelsea and late winners against Manchester United and Luton. Recent games have also seen Rice take over set-piece duties, with Arsenal the leading scorers in Europe from dead balls this season. Arguably a contender for the Player of the Season award, Rice’s argument will be a strong one if Arsenal can get over the line in the title race.

Rating: 9/10

David Raya – Brentford (Loan)

Another addition which caused some surprise, few predicted Aaron Ramsdale’s place as number one was under threat in the summer. The North Londoners brought in competition in the form of David Raya, who signed on loan from Brentford with an option to make the move permanent for a fee of £30m.

Raya led the Premier League for saves, save percentage (77.7%) and touches per game (45.32) last season, while his distribution was evident with the highest number of completed long passes (9.13) among goalkeepers per 90 minutes.

 

The Spanish shot-stopper replaced Ramsdale after the opening four games, though endured an unconvincing start to his career with the club. A series of high-profile errors have seen Arteta’s wisdom questioned, though the Arsenal boss has remained staunch in his defence of his compatriot.

Raya’s save percentage (65.3%) ranks him significantly behind league leader Alisson (75.3%), though he does lead the Premier League for percentage of crosses into the penalty area stopped. Improvement has been evident in recent weeks but Raya will need to maintain – and improve – those levels to be deemed a success at the Emirates.

Rating: 5/10


Article also featured on Goonernews.com


Read – Iconic Performances: Henry inspires Arsenal to Liverpool comeback

See more – Iconic Duos: Arsenal’s monstrous midfield partnership, Petit and Vieira

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