Gary Neville says none of the players that Arsenal have brought in this summer fill him with any excitement.
The Gunners have spent a whopping £142m on six signings, including Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares, but Neville is not convinced that they will be able to turn around the club’s fortunes:
“There are no signings I look at and think, ‘they excite me’, but they do have a group that need to come together quickly and form a team. Sometimes it’s not the signings they bring in at Arsenal, it’s the senior players you look at and think, ‘what are they getting from them?’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka… they’ve got to get themselves right to create an atmosphere in that dressing room…”
“I’m not sure what Arsenal’s transfer strategy is. It seems a bit over the place. Maybe there is one, but it’s not clear. Sometimes you can see a left-field signing and think you can see where it comes from, but there’s quite a few of them at Arsenal.”
Neville’s verdict is pretty damning, considering the sizeable transfer expenditure. It must be said that all of the players are young and have something to prove. Yet, they are also not established stars and there are no guarantees any of the signings will work out.
That’s why Neville is right to point to the senior players in the squad. These new additions won’t be able to make the impact required unless there is a dressing room that is onside with the manager and pushing in the same direction.
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang claimed that the players need to take a hard look at themselves after the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City so, hopefully, something good comes out of it.