Rating Arsenal’s new signings so far
Here's a look at Arsenal's latest signings and assessing their potential contribution to the season ahead.
October 7th, 2014
Injured when he first arrived, Ospina’s involvement in Arsenal games so far this season has been limited to a League Cup appearance and replacing Wojciech Szczęsny when he was sent off in the Champions League. The Colombian has looked solid when called upon, and his kicking seems to be considerably better than the Pole’s. Like Lukasz Fabianksi, whom he replaced, he seems too good to be a number two keeper and will push Szczesny for the number one shirt, which is never a bad thing.
The biggest compliment Arsenal fans can pay Mathieu Debuchy is that since his arrival they haven’t missed Bacary Sagna in the slightest. Until he picked up his injury, that is. Slotting straight in to the side as if he’d been there for years, his Premier League experience meant that he needed no time to adjust to the rigours of the league. Out until Christmas, his injury came as a massive blow to the Gunners, not least of all because they were already short of numbers in defence to begin with.
Arriving as a relative unknown to many Arsenal fans, the English youngster has already won over the entire fanbase with his committed displays and ability on the ball. He’s also shown that he has a fierce shot in his locker, unleashing a thundering volley against Galatasaray in the Champions League that went only narrowly over the bar. His relative inexperience, however, has been highlighted in the number of yellow cards that he has picked up this season so far, already reaching the five-card suspension limit in the league when he was booked, albeit harshly, against Chelsea at the weekend.
Arsenal fans knew he was a great player when they signed the Chilean from Barcelona but I don’t think many were prepared for the intensity he brings to every game. No cause is lost to Alexis and he has also brought an ability to take free kicks that trouble keepers to an Arsenal side that long ago forgot what it meant to score from them. He seems like a bargain at £32m.
His signing on deadline day wasn’t exactly celebrated by Arsenal fans across the world but Welbeck wasted no time in cementing himself in the hearts of Gooners everywhere. Grabbing his first professional hat-trick against Galatasaray last week, Welbeck already has four goals in just six appearances this season, demonstrating that he really is a goalscorer who was simply played out of position while at Manchester United. His tireless running has also endeared him to fans and his crazy, lucky-not-to-be-sent-off ‘tackle’ on Cesc Fabregas at the weekend merely made most Arsenal fans love him more.
Many were excited to see Campbell finally get the chance to play for Arsenal but it seems clear that Arsene Wenger doesn’t rate the Costa Rican too highly. His game time has been limited and he hasn’t done much to impress during those few minutes. Even at this early stage, it’s hard to see Arsenal in his future.
Arsenal did some great business over the summer. The players that they brought in have all bedded in to the side nicely and been impressive. Sadly, however, the lack of defensive cover purchased means that the last transfer window will be seen in a more negative light than is perhaps fair on the club.