How have the 2022 summer signings helped improve Arsenal so far? This year’s summer transfer window marked one of the best for Arsenal in recent years. The Gunners spent £117.2 million to recruit 5 new players into their squad. 12 players also left the Emirates; 4 on transfers, and 6 on loan while Hector Bellerin and Alexandre Lacazette departed as free agents.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta integrated the 2022 summer signings into his system in a very effective pre-season, as the Gunners won all five of their games. The Gunners seem to have carried their form into the new season, losing just one game in their first six. They have also made a winning start to their Europa League campaign, beating FC Zurich 2-1 away from home.
So let’s see what impact have the new signings had on the North London side so far.
1. William Saliba
Albeit not a new signing, William Saliba is playing his first full season for the Gunners since signing in 2019. The French defender enjoyed successful loan stints with OGC Nice and Olympique Marseille before returning to the Emirates.
The Frenchman has started all six of Arsenal’s league games so far. Alongside Gabriel, the 21-year-old has looked composed and assured in his role as the ball-playing defender. Without the ball too, Saliba has been a rock. His tackling and reading of the game have been instrumental in cutting off many opposition attacks.
Mikel Arteta has slotted William Saliba into the central defence by moving Ben White into the right-back slot. This allows the Frenchman to play his natural game from the heart of the backline. White has also looked comfortable driving the ball forward or tucking in as part of the backline.
Arsenal’s first signing of the summer was Brazilian winger Marquinhos. The Gunners spent a fee of €3.5 million for the transfer. The 19-year-old has been mostly involved with the U-21 team, with 3 goals and 1 assist in 3 games so far. The former Sao Paulo attacker also scored one and assisted another in Arsenal’s 2-1 triumph in the Europa League.
The Brazilian forward exhibited great intent in his only first-team start against Zurich. However, Arteta already has the options of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Emile Smith Rowe to utilise on the flanks. Hence, it is a sensible move to allow Marquinhos to mature with the U-21 side first, and be called up to the first-team as and when required.
3. Matt Turner
Arsenal signed American shot-stopper Matt Turner from New England Revolution. The 28-year-old was roped in to serve as a backup to Aaron Ramsdale, facilitating Bernd Leno’s departure. Turner started for Arsenal in the Europa League encounter, only being beaten by a penalty. He also affected 2 saves and stopped a cross.
The American has addressed how he has found life at the Emirates, in an interview with Football.London:
“Playing out from the back has been very different but I feel I’ve adapted quite well,”
“When I’m on the pitch everyone wants the ball and that makes it a bit easier for me. I can identify a pass and make it happen.
The biggest change is the start positions are a lot higher. They want me closer to the centre backs to keep the ball circulating faster. It’s a little more running, which is a good thing to keep me in shape.”
4. Fabio Vieira
Arsenal announced Fabio Vieira as their third summer signing. The Portuguese playmaker arrived from FC Porto for a fee of £34 million including add-ons. However, the 22-year-old missed out on Arsenal’s pre-season campaign and the beginning of the league, nursing a bone injury.
Vieira made his Arsenal debut as a late substitute in the 3-1 loss against Manchester United. He was given his first start against FC Zurich and played an impressive game. The Portuguese pulled the strings from the midfield, connecting well with his teammates and looking to create chances continuously. His pass to Eddie Nketiah set up the game’s first goal too.
Fabio Vieira has been signed to add squad depth for the Gunners. Last season, Mikel Arteta had limited options in the midfield, with Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe the only available play-makers. Vieira gives the Spaniard more versatility as he can be deployed as a forward, midfielder or winger.
Given Odegaard’s splendid form this season, the 22-year-old midfielder may have to be content with a bench role for now. However, the Portuguese could look to gain prominence as the season progresses, and clamp down on a place in the starting XI.
5. Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal’s biggest signing of the summer came from league rivals Manchester City. The Gunners paid a fee of £45 million to complete the signing of Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus. He started off well for the Gunners, scoring 7 times in 5 pre-season games. The 25-year-old carried his form into the Premier League too, and has 3 goals and 3 assists from the first six games.
Gabriel Jesus has added a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack. He is adept at dropping between the lines to link up with his midfielders, picking up the ball and beating his man, or making runs behind the opposition defence. The former Palmeiras man can also be utilised as a winger.
6. Oleksandr Zinchenko
Arsenal made yet another signing from Manchester City in the form of Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko. The versatile 25-year-old was brought in as a back-up for the injury-prone Kieran Tierney, as Nuno Tavares was loaned out to Marseille.
Additionally, Zinchenko can also function as a midfielder, which was his natural position before joining Manchester City. He has been a great addition to Arteta’s roster. He has started 4 league games so far and came on as a substitute in the Europa League encounter.
He has held the entire left flank very well, inverting or overlapping as and when needed. The 25-year-old has demonstrated good understanding with Granit Xhaka and Martinelli on the left, which lends Arsenal with a lot of flexibility in terms of movements and positioning.
- The Top Players who Joined Arsenal This Summer That the Fans Should be Most Excited About
- Arsenal Strong Contenders to Sign Shakhtar Donetsk Winger Mykhaylo Mudryk Soon
- Via Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal Negotiating New Bumper Deals With Three All Important First Team Stars; Announcement Soon?
Arsenal have made some superb additions to their squad this season. The willingness of the board to back Arteta indicates their faith in the Spaniard’s project. This is Arsenal’s second 100 million-plus window in as many years, and as a result, the entire squad has been given a facelift.
Now, it is important for Arteta to convert the promising spark from last season into tangible results. The Gunners have made a strong start to their 2022-23 campaign, and will be looking to sustain that form throughout the season.
What are your thoughts on the 2022 summer signings of Arsenal? Which player has improved the team the most? Let us know in the comments.
Follow AD for the Latest Transfer Updates for Arsenal.