With dream player Rice and new variability to the title? Arsenal checked

 With dream player Rice and new variability to the title?  Arsenal checked

How did the transfer window go?

Pricey, but that’s to be expected. The squad had to be changed and strengthened both qualitatively and quantitatively, especially the lack of depth in the Gunners’ squad was the sticking point in the last title race with Manchester City. So, without further ado, Arsenal pulled out around €240m to sign Declan Rice (120, West Ham), Kai Havertz (70, Chelsea) and Jurrien Timber (40, Ajax).

Transfers that make sense in many ways and at the same time underpin the claim to finally win the Premier League again after 19 years. Rice was coach Mikel Arteta’s absolute dream player, which West Ham also took advantage of and screwed up the fee so much that a new British record was set. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder, who Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel would have liked to have had in his ranks, is the most expensive new signing in the club’s history and is expected to build up the game with Thomas Partey on the double six and relieve the free spirits on the offensive.

Havertz has also been part of this since this summer. The Germany international decided to flee Chelsea’s transfer frenzy and continue his career in north London, and thus also in the Champions League. With Havertz, the Gunners have secured a type of player that has never existed before due to their height and variability on the offensive. Even if the 24-year-old doesn’t see himself as just a striker, he’s the one who’ll be needed the most at first because of Gabriel Jesus’ absence (knee problems).

At least as variable is Timber, newcomer number three. The 22-year-old Dutchman can play all positions in defence, Arteta used him as a left-back in the Community Shield against ManCity (4:1 pens). Timber also feels comfortable in the center and on the right flank, although he has yet to prove his qualities at the highest Premier League level.

The only painful departure for Arsenal is ex-captain Granit Xhaka, who joined Bayer Leverkusen on a free transfer after his contract ended. The gap of the Swiss was already filled with Rice – and it should be for years.

What is hope and what is worry?

The core of the team is well established, and players with promising quality and great development potential have also been added. Will that be enough to get closer to champions ManCity, who are the biggest contenders for the title again this season? The appearance in the Community Shield was at most a small hint. Man City is still collecting after the long triple preseason.

Second place last season means Champions League football at the Emirates again this season. However, like the Europa League last season, the premier class cannot be tackled at half strength. And it should certainly not be over in the round of sixteen. Another top-level competition awaits the squad, and some players’ susceptibility to injury could become a problem over the course of the season.


The Gunners must at least go back to the Champions League – and they will. Of course, it won’t be any easier this season, especially since, in addition to the usual top 6 candidates, there is now also competition from last year’s fourth-placed Newcastle United and the ambitious Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, the wish and the internal goal is clearly the championship. Last season, the Gunners looked like they would for a long time, but the team ran out of steam in the final sprint. Should Arsenal find themselves in that situation again this season, last year’s experience should certainly help. At the same time, of course, you have to hope that ManCity will lose their feathers more often. The first championship since 2004/05 is definitely within the realm of possibility.

At the start, a cracker is imminent for Arsenal. On Sunday, the Gunners are guests at Chelsea at 5.30 p.m. (LIVE! on kicker).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here