Tactics Column: What Arsenal’s brilliant transfer window means for the team


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Arsenal have had an extremely busy summer time and it’s truthful to say the overwhelming majority of followers have been left feeling very glad certainly. Right here’s a take a look at the primary workforce incomings, from defence to assault.

David Luiz

Arsenal have signed a 32-year-old Champions League profitable centre-back with 56 Brazil caps and 160 Premier League appearances for a measly £8m. But, by some means, not everyone seems to be glad. Such is the facility of David Luiz.

To say he splits opinion can be placing it mildly however this seems like a superb deal for Arsenal. Luiz is definitely an impulsive defender, and that will not be precisely what’s wanted on the again, however he’s additionally impressively uncompromising. For years Arsenal have lacked somebody a bit imply and, frankly, expert in the dead of night arts. Now they've the rugged Sokratis and the marginally extra sly however no much less aggravating Luiz. Strikers gained’t have a simple time towards them. (And, to be truthful, nor might Arsenal followers given the introduction of VAR.)

Luiz’s all-action fashion will result in errors – they’re all however inevitable – however he ought to make life uncomfortable for opposition gamers and that’s one thing that isn’t all the time true of Arsenal defenders. Gaps might seem within the defence – particularly as Luiz focuses on the ball and never the area round him – however his so-called howlers in his recreation have diminished over current seasons.

Lastly, Luiz is incredible in possession. In true Brazilian trend, he's each daring and lethal with the ball at his ft, whilst a defender.


The power to play out from the again, to calmly management possession, and to slice groups open is a large increase, particularly when he's more likely to be paired with Sokratis, including an additional component to Arsenal’s recreation in possession.

Kieran Tierney

It’s all the time a bit exhausting to guage a participant popping out of one other league. It’s even more durable if you’re not fairly positive what degree that league is at. One factor’s for positive: Kieran Tierney is excellent at attacking.

The left-back will probably be anticipated to offer the identical impetus from defence as Sead Kolasinac final season, although he'll achieve this with a bit extra grace. Fleet-footed and supremely snug with the ball at his ft, Tierney is extraordinarily fast and, extra impressively, retains management of the ball when operating at velocity.


Encouragingly, he additionally has an eye fixed for a cross. If his time at Celtic is something to go by, the 22-year-old isn’t concerned with blinding operating to the byline earlier than flashing a hopeful ball throughout objective. That’s to not say he doesn’t cross the ball – he does, and he does so fairly often – however he's additionally joyful to look inside for a cross into the channel, one thing that ought to go well with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Dani Ceballos and Alexandre Lacazette, all of whom take pleasure in receiving the ball to ft.

The most important query marks are over Tierney’s capacity to defend. The indications from his time within the Scottish Premiership are that he's a reasonably strong defender, however the high quality of his opponents within the Premier League can be considerably greater (and the relative high quality of his personal staff a lot decrease). As soon as once more, his tempo is extraordinarily helpful in defensive conditions, permitting him to make up for any errors of judgement,

Dani Ceballos

If nothing else, Dani Ceballos ought to be lots of enjoyable. Early observers have in contrast his type to that of a sure Santi Cazorla and, truthfully, they don’t appear too far large of the mark. I dare opposition sides to press this man.


Ceballos isn’t, although, your typical attacking midfielder. He possesses wonderful dribbling capability and a strong shot from distance however don’t anticipate to see him bursting into the field and getting himself on the scoresheet.

As an alternative, Arsenal followers might be excited a few really gifted midfielder who will assist the aspect play out from the again and progress the ball excellently. Ceballos is a wise passer who does take dangers however it’s his fast ft that stand out most. Coupled with surprisingly spectacular defensive output, his addition brings up the potential of fielding a three-man midfield.

Ceballos might even slot in on the left-hand aspect although, once more, no one ought to then anticipate to see him contributing double figures when it comes to objectives. Determining methods to get him within the group alongside Arsenal’s different midfielders would be the tough half. He appears more likely to takes Mesut Ozil’s nominal quantity 10 position however might additionally push Granit Xhaka right down to the bench, a transfer that might see him companion Torreira in midfield.

Wherever he does find yourself enjoying (and whoever he finally ends up partnering), it must be enjoyable watching the Spaniard in purple and white this season.

Nicolas Pepe

Probably the most thrilling of the lot is, naturally, Arsenal’s document signing. Numerous focus has been on the defence in recent times, and it’s straightforward to see why, however signing an electrical extensive participant already would have been my primary precedence final summer time. This yr it was lastly addressed.

“He's excessive quantity, excessive danger,” Phil Costa wrote for Arseblog upon Pepe’s arrival. And he’s not mistaken. A large participant who recurrently makes an attempt to beat his man and frequently tries to get photographs away, Pepe drove Lille to a Champions League place together with his spectacular performances final season.

In addition to netting 22 Ligue 1 objectives (9 penalties included), he additionally bagged 11 assists. A participant who can create one thing out of nothing each for himself and for team-mates is extremely helpful and bodes nicely for Arsenal.

Pepe will virtually solely slot in on the fitting of Arsenal’s assault however that doesn’t imply he’ll be spending 90 minutes operating in straight strains and getting chalk on his boots. Quite the opposite, the Ivorian is more than likely to be seen amassing the ball within the half-space between the wing and the center of the pitch earlier than starting a darting run. From there he can go inside – on the lookout for objective – or outdoors, within the hope of his beating his man and discovering a team-mate contained in the field. The power and willingness to go each methods ought to add a degree of unpredictability Arsenal have been screaming out for in assault.

Perhaps there are query marks over how exhausting Pepe will work, particularly when he strains up alongside Mesut Ozil, however in any other case this deal provides Arsenal a lot extra verve going ahead that will probably be well worth the occasional carelessness and the considerably laid-back strategy to his defensive duties.

Gabriel Martinelli

No one is aware of woo a lot about Martinelli. This was true when he joined the membership and it’s nonetheless true now, however the early indicators have been very promising.

From his pre-season outings, Martinelli displayed a nostril for objectives and a willingness to make runs in harmful areas, a trait that may solely ever be constructive. He additionally seems to be comparatively fast, robust given his age, and greater than respectable dribbler.

The Brazilian solely turned 18 in June nevertheless it appears like he can be a member of the primary group squad this yr. What that really means when it comes to enjoying time stays to be seen.

What does this all imply for the best way Arsenal will arrange?

Firstly, it’s value noting that every of the brand new signings are athletically spectacular. David Luiz is usually a bodily dominant defender. Tierney and Pepe might seem slight however are extremely quick and may greater than maintain their very own. Ceballos is surprisingly robust together with his lengthy stride. Martinelli, nonetheless simply 18, is comparatively tall, fairly fast, and already appears giant for his age. All this could profit Arsenal of their makes an attempt to press the opposition.

Nicely, it means Unai Emery will actually need to discover a method to get Pepe on the pitch with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. That nearly definitely means Aubameyang strikes vast and Arsenal can anticipate to start out the season with him on the flank and both Ozil or Ceballos enjoying within the quantity 10 position.

That leaves the squad, assuming Mohamed Elneny leaves, wanting a bit of bit like this.

(Please word this isn't what I’m suggesting ought to occur, however what I see because the most certainly end result!)

The apparent skinny space is on the left the place, following the sale of Alex Iwobi, there isn't a apparent first selection participant. If Aubameyang leads the road, any of Reiss Nelson, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Gabriel Martinelli, Bakayo Saka or Emile Smith Rowe might play on the left flank. Although, for now, Emery is most probably to revert to seniority.

The subsequent apparent evolution of this Arsenal aspect can be a three-man midfield. It’s one thing we didn’t see final season, therefore it’s talked about second right here, however the squad is actually constructed for it now. The additional safety given to the defence would assist unshackle Arsenal’s frontline, whereas the addition of Ceballos and emergence of Joe Willock might give Arsenal a very balanced three-man midfield.

After which there's, in fact, the choice to return to a again three. This appears removed from Emery’s precedence for 2019/20 but when accidents strike in broad areas, don’t be too stunned to see the Gunners revert to one thing like this.

All in all, the switch market added just about every little thing any Arsenal fan might’ve needed when final season ended. The sale of Alex Iwobi does depart a gap on the left and will unbalance the assault however left-back and centre-back have been drawback areas and the membership have additionally managed so as to add a central midfielder and the intuitive, flashy broad participant the workforce has been screaming out for.