Arsenal have been criticised by Chris Sutton for an underwhelming summer transfer window in which they’ve spent big without really bringing in particularly exciting players.
The Gunners had a hugely disappointing campaign last term, finishing 8th in the Premier League and failing to qualify for any European competition for this season.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that Arsenal responded by making a number of changes to their first-team this summer, with a long list of new additions coming in while several players also left the Emirates Stadium.
Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares have come in, while big names like Willian, David Luiz and Joe Willock have left permanently, and Hector Bellerin has gone out on loan.
Sutton isn’t too impressed with the changes Arsenal have made, as he questioned if these new players really do enough to improve the squad, given how much they cost.
“I wouldn’t blame you for being pretty underwhelmed. You’ve ended up as the top spenders in England,” Sutton said to Arsenal fans in his column for the Daily Mail.
“I make it just over £150million. For that you’ve got Ben White (£50m), Martin Odegaard (£31.5m), Aaron Ramsdale (£25m), Albert Sambi Lokonga (£15m), Nuno Tavares (£7m) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (£19.8m).
“They’re all decent players, don’t get me wrong. Tomiyasu, who joined on deadline day, is a nice signing. He’s only 22 and he can play at centre back, right back or right wing back, so he gives you options.
“But that list of names doesn’t give me that oomph — that sense that this is a game-changer. None of them are the finished product. Not even White who, at £50m, is a very big investment.
“Part of the problem with Arsenal is how do you attract the best of the best when you finished eighth in the Premier League last season and you’re currently bottom?”
Sutton also criticised manager Mikel Arteta for his handling of the Ainsley Maitland-Niles situation.
“When I read that Maitland-Niles was training with the kids on Tuesday, I thought that was wrong. That doesn’t help anybody. It’s humiliating,” Sutton said.
“Arteta’s kept hold of him, apparently after clear-the-air talks. I’m sure Maitland-Niles was assured he’ll get his chance to impress. We’ll see. In a way, Arsenal keeping a player against his will sums up the underwhelming status of the club right now.”