Arsenal legend praises transfer business but singles out one failed experiment

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Arsenal legend Michael Thomas has praised the club’s work in the transfer market in recent times, despite the team’s poor form under Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners were poor last season and have made an even worse start to this campaign, losing all three of their opening Premier League matches without scoring a single goal.

Thomas, writing in his Just Arsenal column, thinks it’s encouraging that Arsenal have signed some fine young players this summer, with the former midfielder noticing how all the players who’ve come in are aged 23 or under.

Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares are the players who’ve come in, and it certainly looks a bit more promising for the future than recent flops like David Luiz and Willian.

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The signing of Willian in particular was a “failed experiment”, according to Thomas, as he made it clear he felt the Brazilian’s departure was for the best after his lack of impact at the Emirates Stadium.

“It is interesting that all of Arsenal’s incoming transfers are 23 or under,” Thomas said. “Whether Mikel gets the opportunity to mould them into a winning unit or another manager later down the line has to continue with them, the club are obviously working on a model that involves young players. Hopefully he is given the time and the players start stepping up, because the blame is a lot on them to produce and we as fans miss that sometimes.

“When you step over that line as a player, a manager can’t fight for you. You must have the mentality and the willingness to do that.

“I don’t think it’s a thing of “should we trust the process” but more so we have to trust the process, as that’s what’s happening at the club right now. As fans if we don’t back our club and players, even in these extremely difficult moments – then who will? No matter where you would like to see the club, and believe me I am number one for wanting to see them at the top, this is where we are and we must come together and support one another.

“The Willian signing was definitely a failed experiment and it is best for all parties that we have parted ways this summer. I wouldn’t say it was honourable as at any job you’re working and your contract is your contract. However he has done the club a massive favour and hopefully we can invest that in January and beyond.

“All in all I think that Arteta and Edu have done very well in the transfer market. They now have a decent squad, a young squad and a squad that has a lot of quality in it. They need to really create a family unit and fight for each other going forward.

“This will most definitely see the club’s fortunes change and Arsenal will climb up the table.”

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