Every Arsenal summer signing reviewed and rated

The transfer window is now closed in terms of players arriving at Arsenal and we can now draw a judgement on the business done by the club.

At the start of the window, the mood was one of despondency, mainly because of the reported transfer budget, however, by the time the window shut I think it is safe to say that the mood had changed completely.

Anyway, here are the players that Arsenal signed and how I rate them.

Gabriel Martinelli – 7/10

A young exciting prospect who did enough in pre-season to show that he can be a top forward for years to come. Definitely one for the future.

William Saliba 7/10

We will not see Saliba for another 12 months but that is fine, he is highly regarded and another season in Ligue 1 means that he will join us a better player and one that could be central to our defence for a decade to come.

Dani Ceballos 8/10

Only a loan signing but he does excite me, he is electric with great vision and can pass the ball through the eye of a needle. Ceballos could turn out to be the most significant signing this transfer window. Put it this way, he may be the Aaron Ramsey replacement we have been looking for.

Nicolas Pepe 8/10

Brilliant signing, he set the French league alight last season and if he can transfer that form to the Premier League then the Arsenal forward line will be as strong as any other in the Premier League. The signing of Pepe came out of the blue and is arguably the best piece of business done by any club in this transfer window.

Kieran Tierney 8/10

Massive signing for Arsenal, he is highly talented and from what I have seen most pundits believe he will be a huge star for years to come. There is no doubt that the left side of the defence has greatly been strengthened and at just £25 Million could turn out to be the biggest bargain this transfer window.

David Luiz 6/10

The Brazilian does split opinion and I am very doubtful that he will strengthen Arsenal in defence, he is too error-prone in my opinion, however, he is a leader and he is capable of making a difference. For me, the jury is out on this one.


I was tempted to go with a couple of 9/10 and on one of them 10/10 but I had to be realistic, there is no guarantee that the likes of Ceballos, Pepe, Tierney and Martinelli will adapt to the Premier League, Saliba is still not with us and Luiz is, well, Luiz.

Overall, I think Arenal have had a great transfer window and would argue that of all the top-six, the best. We have strengthened almost every area that needed it and not just that but also brought in players for the future and added crucial experience as well.


  1. Yes…. Divided stand with the Luiz signing. But I know most Chelsea fans are gutted he left them for us as they are thin at the back with little or no experience. Rudiger is injured and becoming injury prone, Zouma knee problem is a worry so I can see why their fans are gutted a senior and experience defender left them. Well, let me worry of our own defense…. I will give luiz a 7/10 simply because he is better than what we already have and knows the league.

    Someday we will see a back four of Tierney Holding Saliba Bulletin. Until then, let’s make use of what we have.

    Good window over all…. Ceballos will be a great loan from Madrid. Watch out for this Lad. I hope he starts games and we can buy him later.

    1. Emery may spoil our season again with wrong players in each matches ..use the right players at every game…. All our new signings are world class… Except the Brazilian lad who needs time….have your first eleven….avoid rotating players unnessarilly

  2. “he may be the Aaron Ramsey replacement we have been looking for.”

    No no no I hope Ceballos doesn’t turn the replacement we’ve been looking for Ramsey.
    I hope be turns out the perfect replacement for Cazorla in the midfield.
    Pepe could be our own Salah down the right wing,
    Overall, I’m excited about the new season but my only fear is this three at the back thing, limiting our midfield and attack to minus one. I hope we go with four at the back

    1. Naaaa..opposing players will have to be ducking when they see our players come. Kind of scary?..gunz blazing? and here comes the Bulletin

      1. Oh yeah… Typo error at first but bulletin is just fine. We need the bullet in bellerin when he returns

  3. I agree with most, although I would knock Luiz down to a 3 or 4, when looked at in context. Still cannot get my head around this transfer.

    Pepe has to be a 10/10 for me. Nelson was our only winger, so we desperately needed a top quality winger. Pepe has to be one of the best wingers around at the moment, at a great age, and we’re only a Europa League club these days. So it’s a stunning transfer for me. Cannot wait to see him in action!

    1. I understand you are smarter and more intelligent than the whole scouts, staffs and coaches put together.

      1. A lot of times I am! For example, even as just a fan, I could have signed better than Kallstrom. Clubs get it wrong all the time with transfers.

        And clearly you’re just a troll, otherwise you would have backed up your off the cuff remark with an in-depth, intelligent argument, based on facts and logic, to debunk me.

          1. Dan even though I already had done it,I went back to our figures I was right and sky sport just published the PL clubs net spending, arsenal net spending is 82 close to 83M much higher that our budget of 45M!will be waiting for your admission that you were wrong!thanks Dan

          2. Tissiam you know we haven’t payed out for all of the transfer don’t you .the extra 52 mil on Pepe hasn’t been payed yet so that is not out of this years budget ,
            I see where your coming from but…
            And if I’m wrong I’ll say I am .

          3. Ok Dan you’re making a good point with Pepe also right or wrong the fact that you are ready to admit it if you were has earned you my respect,this is the end of the matter,COYG!!

          4. Just accept the truth Arsenal did spend more than what they claim they budget. I believe they did for the right reasons. If clubs had known Arsenal had over a hundred millions for transfer, they would squeezed more money from us.

            The amount we paid are:
            Pepe 20mil out of 72mil
            K.Tirieni 25mil
            This is already this already our total budget

            Then add Luiz, saliba, matineli

          5. @Tissiam

            I wouldn’t bother with Dan kit mate. He talks so much rubbish, and very rarely replies when challenged, because his lies don’t hold up.

          6. @thirdman thanks for the reply mate ,I feel the love off you ,straight back at ya buddy ?
            And thanks @Tissiam for it being the end of the matter ?

    2. ThirdManJW, you and Admin will hopefully be proved wrong with your assessment of David Luis. Steve Nicholl on ESPN rated the signing of Luis by Arsenal as the second best piece of business behind the signing of Maguire. He stated “is Maguire 10 times better than Luis?” Signing Pepe didn’t make top 5.

  4. Rating in order of rank and importance:

    Ceballos: 9/10 – immensely improves our skill-limited midfield.

    Pepe: 8/10 – the perfect right winger since Mkitaryan is not suited there.

    Luiz: 7.5/10 – the ball-playing, dynamic defender needed to uplift our often static defenders.

    Tierney: 7/10 – defensively better than available options.

    Martinelli: 6/10 – needs further assessment.

    Saliba: n/a

  5. How you could rate a player even before his first competitive game is beyond me. This rating should be done at the end of the season. Will Luiz improve the defence? Nobody knows. We can only know after we have watched him play in the defence. Will Pepe light up the EPL only his performance will tell. Until then, rating them is meaningless.

    1. The headline literally says signings reviewed and rated, not performances but the actual signings, I mean, if we signed Messi I think I could rate that 10/10 before a ball is even kicked.


      1. The articles is precisely what it says on the tin,he’s marked the players how he good he thinks they are ,I see no problem and I agree with them except David luis .
        I’m sure a performance related one will appear in the near future .

  6. the core 11 will be critical for me … and the big worry is whether xhaka is part of it … which i fear is the case .. and RB where AMN is way out of his depth … but if ceballos can dislodge zhaka and torreira returns to his best form then we have a decent looking midfield .. and bellerin (though i hope he has fattened up) returns soon then the question is the AM position … I hope ozil finds his form coz whatever people think on this side at his best he is world class otherwise there will be tinkering to do pushing up ceballos phaps and starting guendouzi .. but looking forward to this season way more than the last 5 or 6

  7. Mustafi | Luiz | Van Dijk | Keane | Tarkowski vs Dunk in 2018/19:

    – Goals scored:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    2 | 3 | 4 | 1 | 3 | 2 (Van Dijk was the best goalscorer, Keane was the worst)

    – Goals conceded:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    40 | 36 | 22 | 39 | 63 | 55 (Van Dijk conceded less goals, Tarkowski conceded more goals)

    – Blocks:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    17 | 18 | 18 | 22 | 56 | 38 (Tarkowski was the best blocker, Mustafi was the worst)

    – Interceptions:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    58 | 35 | 40 | 43 | 42 | 46 (Mustafi was the best interceptor, Luiz was the worst)

    – Tackles:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    62 | 41 | 38 | 41 | 71 | 42 (Tarkowski made more tackles than the others, Van Dijk made less tackles)

    – Tackles won:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    45 | 31 | 28 | 25 | 36 | 26
    72.5% | 75.6% | 73.7% | 61% | 50.7% | 91.3% (Dunk was the best tackler, Tarkowski was the worst)

    – Aerial battles won:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    123 | 82 | 181 | 192 | 169 | 120 (Keane was the most dominant CB in the air, Luiz lost most aerial battles)

    – Errors leading to goal:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 (Only Dunk made more than one fatal errors)

    – Yellow cards:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    9 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 8 | 5 (Van Dijk got less yellow cards, Mustafi got more yellow cards)

    – Fouls:
    M | L | V | K | T | D
    42 | 34 | 12 | 22 | 35 | 22 (Van Dijk made less fouls, Mustafi made more fouls)


    – Despite the Gooners believe, Mustafi just made one fatal error, the same as the mighty Van Dijk. Dunk was the most error prone CB of them all

    – Mustafi was the best interceptor among the high profile CBs, whereas Luiz was the worst in interception and the worst in aerial battles

    – Mustafi was the worst in committing technical fouls though, because he got caught a lot by the officials. Keane was the second best after Van Dijk in doing the dirty jobs, so I believe Arsenal should get this technical foul expert in January

    1. A lot of Mustafi’s error are his position and his inability to read the game. These are not factored in on these statistics and this is where statistical analysis is limited and coming back at only one error leading to a goal. I bet if we analyze the goals we conceded and looked at Mustafi’s position leading up to it this figure would be a lot higher

      1. Precisely! And hurrah for your sound sense, in stark contrast to those naive fools who trumpet stats as the oracle that decides which player is best. Over reliance on stats alone is for dullards, though when properly used they have SOME use. I would regard gotanidea as an anorak! Or perhaps a stats obsessive!

        1. Jon fox I believe you can make your point without calling people fools just because they don’t think like you.

        2. jon

          You are scientifically right. Stats measure quantities….but they do not measure quality. On stats Mustafi has a better pass rate than Ronaldhino, so maybe Barcelona will buy him.

      2. Completely spot on. Any gooner who watches knows the way that stat is measured has very specific terms as to what constitutes an error. CB stats in general you cant read much into since so much comes down to positioning, reading runs, etc. There isn’t a stat that reflects how well you do that. Just because you make more tackles does not mean you are a good defender. They could be mistakes that the defender made themselves, as shown by Mustafi’s entire Arsenal career.

      3. @got an idea
        Mustafi jumps in to tackles and goes to ground leaving the attacker to be one on one with Leno……. Awful awful player. Luiz is 100% an upgrade on Mustafi the clown!

    2. Finally someone back his opinion with numbers. Stats is not perfect but has some uses.
      From the number of tackles, we can deduce that Arsenal CBs didn’t have much protection from the midfielders. Notice VVD low number of tackles yet the number of goals he conceded.
      Then the high number of interceptions, it means they are instructed to leave their post and press. No wonder they are all over the place. Clever strikers just have to play one touch pass and run into the space. Notice Mustafi resort to foul the opponent as a plan B, the same can be said about Sokratis.
      The number of aerial battles won by Luiz is alarming, but it’d be clearer if it’s stated in percentage.

    3. I wonder how all these players would have performed playing for arsenal last season with a defence ravaged by injuries most of the season,not much better I bet, also you forgot to take into account a critical factor the teams they played for,an example David Luiz at Chelsea,37 appearances and he was either 1,2,3 no lower in all the defensive stats!

  8. I will be keeping an eye on Saliba play for St Etienne this season

    Looking forward to this season with Pepe, Cellabos, Tierney, Luiz play with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Torreira, Ozil, Mkhitaryan etc. Can’t wait to see this lineup sometime this season:

    Torreira.. Ceballos
    Pepe.. Ozil… Aubameyang

    Worried a tad about RB and CB positions but LB we’re sorted

    1. I would solve these two problems simply by putting Mustafi in the RB position ahead of Bellerin and AMN.
      He’s a better defender and header of the ball than both of them…

      Problem solved.

  9. First of all i want to thankyou admin martin for writing a decent piece of an article. I know i’ve given you stick before on your previous articles due to lack of creativity, but you’ve come on top this time. Bravo! Hoping for more great articles to come, no pressure.?
    Now secondly i had some doughts over pepe on whether he could cut it in the EPL because he only had one great season in ligue 1 (like giroud at montpellier where he finished as a top scorer and afterwards struggled for a while here in the EPL, but i loved him cause he always gave it his all with his limited footballing ability unlike pepe) and a rather disappointing AFCON. But after i read a piece of an article where he tells his story on arsenal website about his career so far,to my surprise he seems very much grounded and he’s mind seems like it’s in the right place (my first impression was like he seemed cocky, overconfident and in an unfamiliar league that’s a recipe for disaster when you’re a high profile signing i.e memphis depay). I wish him all the best and i hope he adapts quickly and takes the league by a storm!

  10. 6 out of 10 for Luiz is ridiculous.
    8m for a player that is better than Kos and some of our other cbs is a bargain.
    Yes hes error prone but who isn’t along the arsenal back line.
    Watch the videos of his long range passing tackling free kick abilities goals scored by his head etc
    The guy is an animal and as long as someone can stop him going walk about too much,(sokratis I’d say) then he is exactly what we need until holding comes back, mavraponas comes back and comes good, saliba joins next year etc.

    I just hope hes not been paid by Frank to join us and disrupt from within.
    The transfer just seemed too easy and made no sense to me from Chelsea’s point of view.
    I guess whatever he said or did really hacked the Chelsea top brass off.

      1. Above “thumbs up” was to Kieron.
        Unfortunately Jay is wrong about Luis vs Koscielny; you just have to compare their trophy cabinets, not that this is the “be all and end all”, but he has a winning mentality and won’t be afraid to call players out. This has been missing in the Arsenal dressing room for some time.

  11. Unlike Admin MARTIN Martin, I see no point in awarding marks for purchases for players who have yet to kick a ball in our colours(barring pre-season games). I also do not buy into ” be very excited” comments by Josh. However, I do think we have spent the insufficient money allowed wisely but that can never be accurately marked as good, average or bad,UNTIL we have FUTURE evidence on the pitch, in games that actually count.
    I cannot forget the two clowns we had as regular CB’s last season are still here and likely to once again let us down with their joint incompetence. Unless we can manage a whole season with CB’s Holding, Luiz(himself a maverick ,even though talented) and Chambers, we are still hugely vulnerable at CB! REALITY! And not one of those three is a proven top quality player either, to put it VERY mildly indeed!

    1. jon, how can judge David Luis as not being “a proven top quality player”?
      Champions League winner, Europa League winner, EPL winner, Brazilian International.

      1. ozzie, In my opinion “proven top players” make far fewer mistakes than Luiz makes. Simple as that . OZIL HAS ALSO WON THE WORLD CUP BUT DO YOU THINK HE IS WORLD CLASS? OR, LIKE ME, DO YOU THINK HE IS A LAZY NEXT TO USELESS COASTER WITH A SPINE LIKE JELLY? tRUE WORLD CLASS PLAYERS PLAY REALLY WELL ALMOST EVERY GAME. That is WHY they are considered world class. Luiz is,as I wrote, talented and sometimes can be special. BUT he is not consistently so, hence my accurate description of him.

  12. I think we have a reason to be optimistic this season .
    The signings made are going to be very helpful , my only concern is the both bellerin and Tierney will be out till October.
    So I hope maitland niles and kolasinac can step up in their absence ..
    A little bit sad to see iwobi go but I feel that’s the best decision for his career.
    He wont feel much pressure in everton and hopefully be able to fulfill his potential..
    Reiss nelson is finally going to get his chance and I hope that he takes it , cause he faded away last season after a bright start.
    All in all I feel that we are going to surprise everyone this season

    1. clearly you don’t know the english game if you’re of the opinion iwobi playing for everton carries no pressure. Everton will be expectant and if he cannotdeliver their fans will let it be known in no uncertain terms.

  13. Many years ago than I now care to recount Arsenal had a useless defence and bought a chap named Mancini from QPR. Not a great footballer, nor a top defender, but he did have character. He only played 40+ games but his strength of personality changed the dressing room and he was probably the principle factor in avoiding relegation. Sometimes real personality (and I believe Koscielny was sadly lacking in this area) can compensate for other weaknesses. I am hoping that Luiz is in that mould.

    1. i recall we called mancini the great bald eagle. a republic of ireland international in his time. not great , but as you say he had charecter.

      1. That’s him. I think one of his grandparents once drank a pint of Guinness and that is what qualified him to play for Ireland.

  14. just based on excitement and anticipation I would go
    Martinelli- 7/10 (as you said, for the future)
    Saliba- 8/10 (again, for the future, but has a very big reputation)
    Ceballos- 8.5/10 (he is an excellent player and will add so much creativity and is a hard worker. Really think it can become a permanent if RM dont want him)
    Pepe- 9.5/10 ( Scores bundles of goals, looks to be a top player, everyone at the club seems to be excited to play with him. Amazing signing)
    Tierney- 9/10 (could be our LB for a long time, can’t wait to see him fit)
    Luiz- 6/10 (can go so many different ways, but he is an improvement on what we have. He’s not too great in a back 4, so I wonder what Emery is thinking of doing)

    Transfer Window: 8.5/10 (Fixed a LOT of problems and got players for the future. Still not convinced completely on our CB business, but it is better than relying on Mustafi)

  15. I’m happy with the signings and also that the money available was completely wrong and in fact we were the highest spenders in this window.
    Emery now needs to pick the right players in their correct positions and get us into top four.

    1. even if all the purchases were made in full, we still wouldn’t be highest spenders. verify your comments before posting them.

  16. Pepe will be be our replacement for bob pies/marc overmars/ and Ceballos will be more than a Ramsey replacement …. he has the vision of Santi Cazorlla ..so he is better than Ramsy …. pair him with Gillberto replacement Torria ….or Petit replacement Xhaca if he ups his game ….

  17. Remember we will not have our best defence on the pitch for a few weeks, so we may ship a goal or two. Let’s hope we can outscore the teams in the first few matches until we get Bellerin and Tierney on the pitch.

  18. Luiz has committed two errors that led directly to goals in his v.long Premier league career = error prone. Managed to pick up multiple titles playing week in week out, has made TOTY in our legaue and Ligue 1 but he splits opinion. Got to love narratives essentially on one of those actual errors in the league Gary Neville made a very witty comment about him and it’s stuck ever since. Never ceases to amaze me how easily led by narratives people are especially when it’s so easy in this day age to check for yourselves.

    1. He also made the fifa world toty as well but that was widely laughed at (in this country anyway) owing to it’s proximity to Brazil’s horror semi vs Germany conveniently ignoring Luiz’s vital role in dragging them to the semi’s in the 1st place or his club performances that year. People also seem perfectly willing to forgive Fernadinho who played DM in that game and Marcelo who played LB. As I said funny how narratives work.

  19. Its pretty silly rating players that havnt kicked a competitive ball for us, jezzz, pepe has only one amazing season in his 7 seasons as a professional player, poor with the national team, 72m pounds for such player? And u wanna give him 9/10 ? Saliba has only 18 matches @ top flight football,and hes not gonna be here for this season @ 27m pounds and some one is giving him an 8/10? Ceballos is not our player, there is no option to sign him, skillful buh light weight the last loan signing from spain was a complete Disaster is it enough to give him 8 or 9? Tierney is a very good and energetic player buh injured and will spend close to 6- 8 weeks on the sideline enough to give him 8 or 9? Martineli is one for the future, definitely not gonna get much playing time this season and not better than some of our academy players is it enough to give him high mark? David has clearly passed his prime,an erratic defender @ his peak, flambouyant yes buh clumsy and temperamental most often enough to give him high mark? I can understand our excitement,sure we really exceeded our expectations buh we also have to be realistic, a fairly better window per say buh definitely not an amazing one!

    1. Hurray! The voice of reason and perspective! To award marks for players who have not yet kicked a ballin anger for us is just self indulgency by Admin MARTIN AND THE MARKS ARE MEANINGLESS THEREFORE. I have always disliked hype and over confidence without any playing evidence in that direction. Most fans of most top clubs routinely indulge in hype and self foolery in overrating their own players. Many underrate their opponents, merely because they do not wish to praise others than their own players. That is to kid themselves and such nonsense is not for me. I ALWAYS prefer the unbiased full truth as I soberly see it.

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