Arsenal Analysis – Every single Arteta signing rated out of 10

Rating Arteta’s signings

There has been criticism in regards to transfers of the Arteta/Edu regime, and much of it over the top in my opinion. I would like to explore this topic in more detail, with this article focusing mainly on permanent signings.

Reviewing anything in life needs context. So before we look at the players, and Arteta, there are a number of caveats affecting this assessment that need acknowledging.

1 – Inheriting a bloated, overpaid, underskilled squad. Removing the mass of deadwood has had a direct impact on new signings, and when they could be signed. Selling average players on huge wages is almost an impossible task at the best of times, let alone adding financially crippling government restrictions in the mix over the last two years.

2 – ALL clubs/managers sign duds! Find me a club that doesn’t, you can’t!

3 – We can’t properly judge brand new signings for at least a year down the line, and even then, how often has that new signing been playing? And one cannot definitively judge a player until their time has finished at their respective club.

4 – Value for money? Did we spend too much, or find a gem at a knockdown price? A player may flop, but if they came on a free, it’s not as bad as it could have been.

5 – One of the most important factors when reviewing a signing, is the “why?”. Irrespective of talent, did we need to sign a specific player? Instead of looking at what the team actually needs, too often players are signed because the manager fancies them, or the agent is friends with someone at that specific club. Arsenal example – Entire budget was blown on Ozil, when we already had around 5 or 6 attacking midfielders on our books, including the great Santi, and were desperate for a DM and CF at the time. But Wenger always liked him, so that was that.

6 – From all the information I have read about Arteta, he seems to have a big say on who we sign, but one should remember that some managers do not get much say to who is signed.

7 – Was the player signed as potential or to deliver from day one?

Now, onto the permanent signings under Arteta. All prices are in Euros, and ratings out of ten (most of these signings are fairly new, but I wanted to rate them all for the purpose of this article):

Runarsson – 2 (Backup keeper was needed)

2 million

Only ever brought in as a backup, but not even good enough for that. Cost almost nothing, and rightly barely used.

Cedric – 4 (New RB was needed)


I get the impression he was only ever signed as a stop-gap until we got more deadwood off the books and found someone better. Which we did!

Willian – 2 (Experienced attacking midfielder was needed)


We have a terrible history with signing Chelsea players. One would think that we’d have learnt our lesson by now! Many questioned the signing, and rightly so, but it was his shocking performances that really stunned us – given his Premier League experience and quality.

Mari – 5 (New CB was needed)

6 million

I actually feel he did a decent job, considering he was in and out of the team a lot, with injuries playing a big part of that.

Gabriel – 9 (New CB was needed)

26 million

Absolute bargain for a quality CB, with bags of potential. Aggressive, dominant in the air, powerful, mobile, etc. Ticks so many boxes. Best defender I’ve seen at Arsenal since the Campbell, Adams, era.

Partey – 7 (A DM had been needed for a whopping 12 years prior!!!!!)

50 million

A fair amount of money for Partey, but still a relative bargain in the current market. We have been begging for a player of his ilk since Gilberto, and kudos to Arteta for recognising that. Despite showing glimpses of absolute brilliance, he hasn’t been as consistent as we would have liked, mainly due to fitness issues.

Odegaard – 8 (New playmaker was needed)

35 million

Yet another bargain in today’s market. Some Arsenal fans felt he didn’t do enough during his loan spell to earn a permanent move, but one could see the potential. Despite a slow start this season, he has now become a nailed on starter, and has become the central creative force we’ve been missing. Works really hard off the ball as well, which is surprising for a playmaker.

Ben White – 8 (Not everyone was convinced we should spend that kind of money on another CB)

58.5 million

Eyebrows were raised at the price tag, although we all know about the “British players tax”. With Saliba on our books, should we have spent big on another CB? It does seem Saliba may not have a future at Arsenal, so I guess White’s signing does make sense. Even if Saliba does come back, we’ll then we have three quality CB’s on our books, which is a great problem to have. I feel White is already living up to that price tag, and his ball playing ability nicely complements Gabriel’s raw, direct defending.

Ramsdale – 10 (New GK was needed)

28 million

Along with Willian, the signing of Ramsdale angered many Arsenal fans. Pointing out his relegations, and comparing him to Martinez, and questioning the price tag for a “backup keeper”. At that price, he was never signed as a backup. I feel this signing is where Arsenal fans really need to apologise to Arteta, because… wow! He has been perfect! Not only have his performances been top drawer, but he has shown great leadership, mentality, and his interaction with us, and the opposing fans has made him a fan favourite already.

Tomiyasu – 9 (New RB was needed)

18.5 million

I feel like I’m over using the word “bargain”, but what can you say? Every Arsenal fan I know loves this guy already! An absolute monstrous upgrade on Cedric and Bellerin, and fair play to Arteta for this signing, because I don’t think many Arsenal fans knew too much about this guy. Despite the frame of a CB, he has great pace, mobility, and just refuses to be beaten in one-on-one situations. Best RB we’ve had since Sagna.

Lokonga – 6 (New DM/CM was needed, but an experienced one)

17.6 million

The position ideally needed an experienced head, to compete/replace Xhaka. That said, we still needed strength in depth in central midfield whatever the player’s experience. His performances have been up and down, but he’s young, new to this league and playing way more than I think we expected him to do so. I have seen some decent potential from him though. Again, another cheap signing.

Tavares – 6 (Backup LB was needed)

8 million

Like Lokonga, Tavares has played more than we thought, but has shown real potential on occasion. Has had some clangers as well, and possible issues with his mentality/discipline, but overall, I like what I see.

Arteta – 9 (Rating based purely on incomings, NOT results, performances and sales)

In regards to incomings, I feel Arteta has done a fantastic job. Not only has he improved the first team, ability wise, he has also created a huge amount of value, with the age profile and potential of the squad. Almost every signing was for a position that needed strengthening, and pretty much every signing has been a bargain. One should also note the “type” of players signed. Arteta seems to put a lot of stock into the determination, and mentality of players, which again, is something desperately needed at Arsenal. We need players to go to war with. There’s only been 3 real flops (Runarsson, Willian, Cedric), which cost us next to nothing.

One can argue if Arteta is the right man to take us forward and get the best out of this squad, but one has to respect him for assembling this team. Arteta inherited an absolute mess, but if he were to leave tomorrow, he would leave our next manager with a ton of potential to work with.

No one can argue that he hasn’t massively improved the team.


Dan Smith – Do Arsenal need to buy a striker for a chance of the Top Four?

Tags Arteta signings


  1. Good article, we should look at the opportunity cost as part of the signing….what did we sacrifice by signing that player at that time?

    Like Ben White’s been decent despite having a wobbly moment in most games he’s played for us. Now his rating is fine in the article but that money could’ve been spend on a much needed proper DM to proper Partey….if you take that into the equation I’d drop BW down to a 5 or a 6. Player is good but the signing itself was relatively poor when considering Saliba was on the books.

    1. Sometimes I wonder how Arsenal fans react to things,

      How many top clubs have you seen entrusting the heart of their defense to an 18year old, besides the EPL is a different ball game,

      You can tell by the way players in Seria A avoid the EPL

      1. Why is Epl a different ball game. ( in the last 5 season, it’s only two clubs that had won the league just like every other league) If you are good enough you are old enough. Mbamppe and Cesc comes to mind. If the boy can do it in lig1 he is well ready to do it in our overhyped league.

        1. It’s a different ball game because football is played on a broken bottle while Italians play on a green grass

          1. Doing some research I have actually found out that 3 clubs had won epl in the last 5 season (man city 3, liverpool 1 and Chelsea 1) just like in laliga ( Barca 2 Real 2 & Atletico 1) and Ligue1 the so called farmer’s league ( PSG’s 3,Lille 1 & Monaco 1). Which means Ligue 1 is as competitive as epl and laliga being the most competitive.

            1. Tomiyasu came from the moon
              He didn’t play in Italian
              And your question on what big clubs entrust their defence to an 18/19 year old? Please also answer what big clubs win trophies with under 23 squad

            2. OVERHYPED LEAGUE? Are you kidding? Premier league is the most competitive league in Europe. You can see so many very good managers are wishing to come here. It’s the OVERHYPED PLAYERS who are afraid of the Premier league. Messi, Mbape, Lewandowski, Haaland just to name a few are afraid to test themselves in the Premier league. They were smart enough to know that they were not going to have a free ride. So, they chose those farmer’s leagues.

              1. Do you mean a league where players like sala is tearing it down year after year?
                Ageing Ronaldo still banging in goals too
                The reason why premier league seems to be better is because clubs in EPL can outspent most clubs in other leagues

                1. Except klopp to an extent most of this managers prefer EPL because they are guaranteed to spend 100’s of million’s to billions and you are not going to spend such money any where else else you are Real or Psg which. Every manager wants where he can spend freely and that is what EPL can offers them. A chance to buy the league and buy star team with EPL publicity

                2. Likewise other leagues, how many goals has Ronaldo banged in epl this season? Lukaku tore Seria A down but couldn’t replicate that in epl in 4 attempts…Chelsea, Everton, man UTD and Chelsea.

  2. Arteta 9. Silly and not factually true. Arteta in or Arteta out…… 9… untrue and deluded. What ever happened to truthfulness and reality. ‘Arteta Out’s’, probably 4 or 5, ‘Arteta In’s maybe 6 or 7.

  3. Surely the measure to how good a player or transfer is is where we are in the league ,if you are giving players 8-9-10s for getting us to 6th in the league and 8th the season before what does that say about the overpaid under skilled deadwood you started your article off with seeing those players got the previous manager to 5th and won The Matabore his FA cup .
    Apart from Ramsdale and maybe Tomi the jury is definitely still out on the rest as our dreadful football and league position would suggest .
    Seems like an Article trying to hard to Pat Arteta on the back and especially coming on a day when Arsenal look very unlikely to sign anyone to further your point to how good we have been in previous windows .

    1. Absolutely spot on Dan kit. The deadwood got us fa cup and community shield, Europa semi final and final. And if they are not rated at all why should Arteta’s signings who had us presently seated in 6th and finished 8th last season should be rated at all.

      1. The dead wood at their peak got us 6th. The older they get, the weaker they become. The argument is flawed, the deadwood became dead wood because they had become older, slower and form had dropped. That was what Arteta inherited.

    2. I wouldn’t agree more @Dan Kit and @Adiva. It’s unfortunate that has been hijacked by Arteta fans. No matter how wrong his decisions are, he gets applauded by these guys. I wonder what they’ll say when arsenal finish 8th in the league cos it’s obvious that’s where it’s gonna end.

      1. I know you are a new boy @Albright, but you obviously have NO idea of the consensus on JustArsenal, but whatever your personal belief, if you cannot tolerate fellow Arsenal fans having their own opinions, then feel free to leave at any time.

        And I would just say to finish “I wonder what you’ll say when arsenal finish 4th in the league, cos it’s obvious that’s where it’s gonna end.”

        You understand, they are both opinions – NOT FACTS…

        1. Well Pat, the only issue now is that I don’t bet, because I would have just bet you with my gross annual earnings that arsenal will not finish 4th. 6th place will even be a miracle and since that’s what the board and management wants, I’ll only play along.

          Lastly, I’ll like to correct your new boy shit. I have been following up everything here date back to the beginning of @Justarsenal. Just because I don’t involve myself in some dumb arguments doesn’t mean I didn’t witness them. So cut your BS and stop insulting people for their opinions.

  4. “No one can argue that he hasn’t massively improved the team”. Of course no one would deny that 🙂 You just have to read the comments on JA every day. They are all 100% behind Arteta 🙂
    White Tomi Ramsdale Odegaard all look decent so far. Tavares and Lokonga not sure yet. Partey 50 mill bargain is a bit generous. Gabriel good value for the price. Overall I would give the scouting team a 7 but considering all the other factors an 8 is fair.

  5. Well, we can read that you are a MA fan, but the ratings are OTT in my opinion.
    If these players are as good as you say they are and he has got rid of the “bloated overpaid, underskilled deadwood” as you put it, why are we still playing c@@p football?

    Why did he put Aubameyang on the same ludicrous financial contract that Ozil had – why was Willian also given such a ridiculous salary – why are we giving players away for zilch – why oh why oh why???

    The group of players you so eloquently dismissed as dross, enabled MA to win his two trophies, but since then, the players you rate so highly have finished 8th and went out of the fa cup in the 4th and 3rd rounds.

    MA inherited ESR and Saka, two of the most important players for years to come at The Arsenal and the 17 players he has brought in, at a cost of over £300,000,000 have achieved NOTHING, unlike the “bloated, overpaid etc etc that you dismiss so easily.

    Open your eyes, watch the” foitball” we are producing and then explain what MA’s signings have achieved to date?

    1. In hindsight, I maybe should have knocked Arteta’s score down to a 8.

      Arsenal fans are renowned for ignoring context, which I can see you have done, so remember that I am only basing my rating on incomings and nothing else. So ignore performances, results etc.

      And to dismiss your argument with a fair amount of ease, would you rather have the squad now or the one that won the FA Cup? I know which I’d prefer all day long!

      Remember that I did say that Arteta may not be the best man to get the best out of this team. Frustrating when people don’t read the full article before jumping the gun.

      1. Please Mr. Jonbo, how do you rate the in comings without their performance? I’m an engineer and I can tell you that the the efficiency of any machinery/engine is based on it’s power to fuel ratio, meaning generating more power with less fuel consumption. Other factors are user friendly, durability, cost effectiveness, environmentally friendly.

        Others raised some salient points concerning your ratings and you called them liars.

        I hope all of you on this blog singing Arteta praises will continue when arsenal finishes 8th.

        1. In answer to your question, I would want a squad of players that were actually winning something, wouldn’t you?
          You can label those players you dismiss so casually any way you feel fit, but they were the last set of players that actually won something – finishing fourth was not seen as “winning anything” in the past, so even if we do finish fourth, MA’s signings have not won anything.
          Here’s another thought… if these players ARE worth what you think they are, why hasn’t MA gelled them into a winning team?
          He certainly gelled the “dross” into a winning team, so why isn’t it happening eighteen months later?

          1. @ken1945

            So you have answered my question then. You would swap Mustafi for Gabriel. Tomi for Bellerin, etc. I wouldn’t.

            With any squad, you can win on occasion, but that doesn’t mean its a good team. E.g. Wigan beating City in the FA Cup final, but getting relegated in the same season.

            Our FA Cup winning team was never going to consistently perform at a high level. Our current team has the potential to do so. We are inconsistent because not enough experience, but also we may need another manager.

            It seems bizarre that seem to put so much stock into a players ability based on trophies won. Rubbish players win trophies, and that doesn’t make them any better.

            Like I keep saying, I think potential wise, we have a great starting XI (needs more depth), but maybe another manager can get the best out of them.

        2. No I only called one a liar, which he did do. So again, yet more spin! It’s like the mainstream media on here haha!! And yet again, when did I say I was Arteta in?

          You cannot compare a player to a machine, because sometimes players are not used correctly. E.g. Played in the wrong position.

          1. Just take AMN for example, do you think Jose Mourinho would have taken him if he was bad as Arteta make it seem? Look at Guendo and Saliba in Marseille, Toreira, bellerin etc.

            You have said it all when you said players can be used incorrectly. That’s exactly what Arteta is doing, he’s killing the players with his negative tactics.

  6. Joke of an article
    Devoid of reality’s
    Keep working hard to justify Arteta because he too is almost a deadwood breaking all the negative records one can think of with his so great players..

    1. What if it’s the manager and not the players though?

      And not once did I justify Arteta, in fact I question his tenure, which means you’re spreading disinformation.

      I take no issue with people disagreeing with me, in fact it should be encouraged, but I do take issue with lies.

      Please read the full article, then you can apologize.

      1. Please what measures did you use to rate this players because the bloated, overpaid, underskilled squad as you put it have done more in terms of results and performance than the super stars you were rating 8’s – 10’s like they are mbape and prime Ramos

        1. No issue with you disagreeing with my ratings, it was you lying about me justifying Arteta’s reign that bothered me.

  7. The fact that Bruno Guimaraes has signed for Newcastle shows how Arsenal/Edu/Arteta have lost their magic. Newcastle are relegation favourites yet Bruno Guimaraes chose them over us. What a sad state of affairs. At least Wenger (who I also wanted to leave at the end) had a numinous attraction for players. Arteta has got the worst out of Aubameyang, turfed Saliba out. Cant relate to players….Torreira, Ozil, Aubameyang, Guendouzi, Saliba. Where is the human side? Players are human beings. The team can’t really play for him. Insane OCD touchline micro-management. Crazy! Good players like Thomas Partey become ordinary and Arteta elevates a psychopathic snail like Xhaka. Arteta is a self-harmer football wise. Arteta 4. ‘The Process’. Expensive delusion.

    1. I’m tired of this guimarez or what’s his name’s argument. If arsenal wanted him as the first choice we would have gotten him. We went for a player who is better than him and also ahead of him in the Brazilian national team. If he was so good it wouldn’t have been Newcastle alone that was ready to pay that kind of crazy money. Arsenal was not desperate for him, so we let him pass. I am with the recruitment team on this. I’ll rather have us competing with the likes of Juventus, Barcelona etc for a player, which shows we are actually competing for top talents.

  8. From the response it seems if you don’t bash Arteta, you must be Arteta in! Arsenal fans are the kings of missing context, and zero critical thinking.

    One can praise a specific aspect of a person, without supporting them. Equally, one can heavily criticize a person without wanting them gone.

    I have no issues with people hating my article, and disagreeing with me, but don’t lie.

    1. Jonbo
      You speak of context. Today of all days! Context today will be infused with the dramatic fall of Arsenal in just a couple of weeks, and a ‘dead’ transfer window. I agree we have signed some good future orientated signings, not quite as good as you say….but definitely good. The trouble is the ‘fall’ is greater than the ‘rise’. I cannot get how you rate Arteta’s incomings so highly set against when Arsenal gave bizarre high contracts to three older players, Ozil and Aubamayang and deadwood Willian. This window counts too towards context. If Edu/Arteta f*** this window up too, they will have thrown the season. I’ve seen fighters throw boxing matches, but never a season suddenly thrown by a top football team.

      1. Only Tomiyasu and Gabriel can get at least 7/8 of ratings
        How can one give ratings based on potential?
        Jack wilshers and Ramson few of us are glamouring for where once potential world class player’s at a point and never attained those hights

        It’s good to be have potential but as long as you are playing for my arsenal then I see that you are good enough to be deemed fit to play for arsenal and I will be judging you on your performance not your potential.

    2. Jonbo, I speak as a firm MA supporter and as one who has had – across the many years I have been posting and writing articles on JA – EXACTLY THE SAME DISTORTIONS AND DELIBERATELY MISSING THE POINT, that you are now experiencing.

      You have my pity but I am not remotely surprised, given the nature of most fans on JA .
      Many are reactionary, hasty and not at all cerebral. If you want a majority, instead of a minority, of intelligent debate a football fan site is not for you.
      I really wish it were otherwise and I really wish you well and you have my sympathy,but as a long time regular I am used to the many lies on here.

      Frankly, you would be more comfortable leaving this often toxic site, unless like me, you can develop the hide of a rhino. Or can give the venom back in spades, as I DO. Asking people on JA not to lie about your article is akin to asking Xhaka not to foul opponents; it is a hopeless cause!

      1. Thank jon fox!

        Yeah I noticed it can get toxic on here. You have to be either Arteta in or out to be allowed to speak. One cannot just critically think anymore.

        I think stems from cancel culture. Where even if you speak facts on a subject, and even provide evidence, but you go against the narrative, you get cancelled and censored and attacked.

        Which has never been more obvious than what’s happened over the last two years. I am strong believer in the truth, and I always feel that it comes out in the end. Some people have had their lives destroyed over the last two years because of this false narrative, but great to see that the truth is FINALLY coming out.

        I think on here, it’s very tribal, and people stick to their camps, and do not budge. This started with Wenger I guess

  9. Good article Jonbo. Can I suggest a follow up? Rating Arteta’s handling of all the players he inherited – should get the juices flowing – Martinelli, Saliba, Ozil, Aubamayang, Esr, Saka etc

    The one I’m most interested in is the one that probably can’t be graded yet – Saliba. Depending on who you ask he’s either been harshly and unethically treated and will never play for Arsenal or he’s being nurtured along and has grown mentally and physically and will be an Arsenal legend thanks to the patience shown.

    Since I don’t have a crystal ball, nor a party to conversations between the player and manager, I’d give Arteta an incomplete on this one.

    1. @Voyageur

      Cheers, and I wanted to do an article on that exact subject, especially with Auba gone in double quick time, and the crazy Saliba situation as well.

  10. I appreciate the effort and time you put into this article but I won’t accept is you trying to put wool over my eyes Jonbo here…………”One should also note the “type” of players signed. Arteta seems to put a lot of stock into the determination, and mentality of players, which again, is something desperately needed at Arsenal. We need players to go to war with. There’s only been 3 real flops (Runarsson, Willian, Cedric), which cost us next to nothing”…….. where is everything you described here against Everton, Nottingham Forest, Burnley and liverpool at home in corabo cup. It has been hot-cold-cold-cold-cold-half hot-cold-cold——with Arteta’s style of football and don’t sell what is not to us. What has Ramsdale done this season that Leno hasn’t done before. The boy is beginning to look lost. He doesn’t know when to pass it long or short any more. The boy is good don’t get me wrong. If Arteta has trusted Saliba since he’s being here, the boy would have grown with him and know what is expected of him and football wise he is better footballer than White. I know this because I watch play regularly on tv. If he is trusting Patino and call back Azeez why didn’t he do the same with Saliba. I have seen enough of Arteta not to rate him at all. I can accept defeat but you have to give me playing a performance than shows you don’t just lie down and be done over. What is the essence of playing not to lose and you lost or not to concede and you conceded. I have watched clubs with lesser resources than ours perform better in matches and against big teams. Arteta’s job is shown by what is going on the match day and he has failed woefully and finishing higher in the table doesn’t justify anything.

  11. I want to criticize Jonbo for giving high ratings until I read the last sentence: “No one can argue that he hasn’t massively improved the team.”

  12. I’m tired of this guimarez or what’s his name’s argument. If arsenal wanted him as the first choice we would have gotten him. We went for a player who is better than him and also ahead of him in the Brazilian national team. If he was so good it wouldn’t have been Newcastle alone that was ready to pay that kind of crazy money. Arsenal was not desperate for him, so we let him pass. I am with the recruitment team on this. I’ll rather have us competing with the likes of Juventus, Barcelona etc for a player, which shows we are actually competing for top talents.

  13. With all the transfer gurus everywhere, no one saw Chambers going to Aston Villa coming. This has reconfirmed my belief that 90% of transfers linked to arsenal are all permutations, guess work and wishful thoughts.
    Only Arteta, the recruitment teams and the intending selling or buying clubs would know which transfer is active.
    I take all transfer speculations with a pinch of salt until I hear from the buying or selling club.
    Fans continue to bash Arteta and Edu for missing out on signing player they never bided for, I don’t understand. How many top clubs have brought in any big players into their teams this January?
    Big players don’t move mid-season unless there is a crazy sum involved or the player has issues. We only have the premier league matches to play for the rest of the season. We are still within reach of the top four, all the clubs we are competing with also have issues with their squads, let’s be calm, we are just half way into the season and the team has not done too bad. The premier league competition is so close that drawing a game and losing 2points alone can take you 3 or 4steps down, and winning a game could take 2steps up. Let’s give this team a chance. Every team drops a tempo or two in the cause of the season, then pickup again to finish strong. I believe Arsenal will finish in the top 6, with or without new players coming in January.

    1. But weeks before they signed, we all heard about Ramsdel, Ben White, Gabriel to name but a few from the press before they were made official by arsenal so it means you are talking 🚮

  14. I don’t understand how the writer thinks that Gabriel has already done a better job than what Koscielny, Toure and Vermaelen did during their prime time. Rating Odegaard 8, Gabriel 9, Partey 7, and Ramsdale 10 is too generous. Also remember Partey and Gabriel we Edus choices whom the club had already started negotiating before Arteta came in.

    1. Remember the caveats I talked about. One cannot really judge a player fully entire their time at that specific club is over.

      I also said, that despite some of them being new signings, I wanted to rate thus far for the purpose of the article.

      I rate the three CB’s you mentioned, although preferred Campbell over them.

  15. imagine having only 3 players scoring a 9 or higher yet somehow Arteta received a definitive 9…you should have put that at the very start of the article so we could judge the remaining information accordingly…more of a journal entry than a serious article

    1. In hindsight I should have gone with an 8, but remember the other factors. Our three flops cost next to nothing, and almost all our signings are relative bargains looking at the market.

      In regards to incomings only, almost zero money wasted so far, and he has created lots of value.

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