Is Arsenal’s secret weapon their new teammates? Or Arteta’s “play from the back” philosophy? Read on for our takes on the signing of White, Tavares and Sambi Lokonga.
With the first of the Premier League games now underway, viewers are able to gauge the performance of some of the new additions made in this year’s transfer window. Arsenal in particular has been making moves under a microscope, with three new talented players added to their team.
So how are defenders Ben White and Nuno Tavares and midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga shaping up. Is Arsenal’s secret weapon somewhere in the new line-up?
Effectively replacing David Luiz, Ben White joins Arsenal with a decade of youth on Luiz to flex. Having played for Brighton and Leeds, White suits manager Mikel Arteta’s “aggressive” style of playing. Arsenal’s third most expensive signings ever, White cost Arsenal £50 million.
One of Arteta’s top targets, White has a talent for getting the ball from the goal to the other end fast, a move that appeals to the ex-midfielder manager whose philosophy has always been to play from the back. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much evidence of it’s success thus far.
For his part, Arteta seems to stand by his decision, saying after the team’s loss to Tottenham last Sunday in which White played his second game for us: “He was really good. But again, it’s a match where they haven’t played. Some of them, they have only trained for four or five days. But it was a good start.”
Online, others were not so optimistic. @OmoAkinduro1 said: “Few days to the premier league and Arsenal think they’re ready to compete for the PL title with the singing of Ben White.”
@AggreyKthe7th said: “Have you realised how Arsenal haven’t won the two games Ben White has played?”
Maybe one of the TwitchSquad on ggpoker.co.uk will give an opinion as the Premier League progresses.
Albert Sambi Lokonga
Transferred out of Belgian team RSC Anderlecht for a respectable £15 million, the midfielder has gained a stellar reputation, having played under former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
Now under the wing of Arteta, the manager expressed respect for Sambi Lokonga’s intelligence and maturity through his performances during his development.
The midfielder has shown talent for playing box to box but shows particular skill in playing as a six, which is right where Arteta will want him to plug his midfielder-sized hole formed by the loss of players.
Impressed by his performance against Tottenham, reactions to Sambi Lokonga’s signing are generally very positive, with viewers expressing their approval online:
On Twitter, @MustaphaBurhani said: “Sambi Albert Mboyo Lokonga, hatujapigwa [We are not beaten/We will not be beaten]. Absolutely baller, and he is only 21. Bright future ahead. Best signing for Arsenal this season so far.”
@Ankamagyimi_ said: “If I watch Arsenal games this season, it’ll be because of Albert Sambi Lokonga.”
Former Portugal U21 player, Nuno Tavares, who was bought for £8 million, was chosen due to his skills offering a strong back-up to the left back position. The move further aids Mikel Arteta’s “play from the back” theory, giving a strong base for other positions to play off.
Arteta said of the decision that Tavares is a young player with great promise and has developed very well. He added his hope that Tavares would give the team extra strength and options in defence.
@sava_aw said: “Nuno Tavares is going to be such a good squad player for us this year. To be able to confidently give Teirney a rest is a big plus.”
Arteta is still shopping. Looking for a midfielder and a right-back to add to the team. He’s also rumoured to be looking at midfielder James Maddison, forward players Lautaro Martinez and Tammy Abraham and keeper Aaron Ramsdale. Even if Arsenal’s silver bullet isn’t in the line-up yet, it’s possible it soon will be.