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ARSENAL: Have the Gunners done enough? Will Xhaka shine?

As always, the hordes of Arsene Wenger bashers were calling for the Frenchman's head prior to the summer.

'Why don't you spend some cash Arsene?' was the standard cry.

Fast forward to early September and the Gunners actually dropped a reported £88million on new players.

Well blow me down!!

This may at least appease the doubters but the proof will be in the pudding come season's end.

Will the six new additions, three in particular, push the North Londoners into a title-winning position?


Arsenal - 2016/17

Key signings


Shkodran Mustafi - from Valencia for
£35m

Spending £35m out of necessity isn't ideal but Mustafi can seriously play.

Wenger was prompted to go after the 24-year-old after Per Mertesacker went down and after some difficulty in finalising the deal, managed to get it over the line much to the delight of the Gunners faithful.

Mustafi made his full international debut for Germany just two months before helping Die Mannschaft win the 2014 World Cup and has since tallied 13 matches, including a friendly against Finland on Thursday, where he sent a scare through the Arsenal camp when he went down with an ankle injury.

However, he carried on and completed the match and is now set for an assault on the Premier League with the North Londoners.

A massive 'in' for the Arsenal squad even he did cost an arm and a leg.


Granit Xhaka - from Borussia Monchengladbach for £30m

The Swiss international has slotted nicely into Arsenal's midfield, showing his true potential in the weekend's win over Watford.

Labelled by some as a player with similarities to Emmanuel Petit, the hard-working yet classy 23-year-old is certain to be a key performer for Wenger.

Xhaka is likely to share central midfield roles with Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny as the season progresses with the job of making sure things are ticking along nicely as the link between defence and attack.

A quality addition for the Gunners who has captaincy potential.


Lucas Perez - from Deportivo La Coruña for
£17.1m

Arsenal supporters were crying out for a striker and they got one.

Maybe not the type of big name they had hoped for but according to Wenger, Perez will take the Premier League by surprise.

Compared with Leicester City's speedy Jamie Vardy, the 27-year-old plundered 17 goals and provided 10 assists for a Deportivo side that finished 15th in La Liga.

That's directly being involved in 27 of the side's 45 goals!

While deployed mainly as a centre-forward, Perez can also operate as a second striker or on a wing, which indicates he will be an apt assistant to Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez.

Hard to tell how he'll go in the Premier League but he certainly has ability.


Rob Holding - from Bolton Wanderers for £2m

The 20-year-old centre-back has confidence and composure belying his years, as shown by his recent performances for the Gunners first team.

Holding has been thrown into the fray since arriving from Bolton but has more than held his own in the cauldron of Premier League football.

Has already made three starts for the Gunners and has shown that he is set to be an important player for the club fora very long time.

Will be used as cover for Laurent Koscielny and Mustafi in central defence but can also operate on either side at full-back.

Expect Holding to spend plenty of time on the bench but his role will be vital.


Other additions


Takuma Asano - from Sanfrecce Hiroshima for £800k

The 21-year-old Japanese striker has joined German club VfB Stuttgart on a season-long loan.

Has a decent scoring record in the J.League, has played five times for Japan already and looked promising at the Olympics.

One for the future.


Kelechi Nwakali - from Diamond Football Academy for £3m

Highly-rated Nigerian teenager who goes straight into the youth academy.

The midfielder has been loaned to Dutch club MVV Maastricht and with the hope of progressing nicely with senior experience.


Overall

Arsenal have only lost ageing midfielders Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta while fringe (or even less) players Serge Gnabry, Isaac Hayden and Wellington Silva have been offloaded.

Jack Wilshere's loan to Bournemouth suggests Wenger is confident his strong midfield can do the job and I'm sure he has his fingers crossed regarding the more than capable attack, provided Giroud decides to turn up again.

Defence is where Arsenal need to step up and hopefully Mustafi's presence can aid them in that area.

Gunners fans will want to track the loan progress of Jon Toral (Granada), Joel Campbell (Sporting Lisbon), Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough), Asano and of course Wilshere.

Overall a decent transfer window where they actually spent some pounds and signed some players required to make the playing group stronger, as opposed to going with just goalkeeper Petr Cech last summer.


Tribal's Transfer Ranking: 7/10

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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