European football transfer insider Dean Jones spent some time talking about Mikel Arteta’s transfer plans at Arsenal ahead of the January transfer window on a recent edition of the Ranks FC podcast.
After the journalist explained that Arsenal are pursuing Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia (20:58), Jones went on to shed some light on the Spanish coach’s transfer strategy at the Emirates Stadium.
He shared that Arteta wants to move Arsenal away from players like Mesut Ozil, who has been frozen out of the Gunners’ first-team squad this term, Granit Xhaka and Willian, the latter of whom only joined Arsenal this past summer, and instead, direct their recruitment more towards “young, hungry, technically excellent footballers.”
He said: (22:30) “He doesn’t want an Ozil, he doesn’t want a Xhaka, he knows that that’s not the future of Arsenal, like, they’re the problem with Arsenal. He wants young, hungry, technically excellent footballers. He doesn’t want another Willian, let’s put it that way, I’m not sure how that one managed to sneak through.”
Is this exciting news?
TIF Thoughts on what Jones had to say about Arteta’s transfer plans…
Arsenal’s squad is the fifth-youngest in the Premier League, on average, per Transfermarkt. Additionally, per WhoScored, the Gunners’ three highest-rated players in the top flight this term, on average, have been 19-year-old Bukayo Saka, 23-year-old Gabriel Magalhaes and 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe.
The average age of their first-team squad does suggest that Arteta might be aiming to build a relatively young squad at present, while it’s also understandable why Jones’ suggestion that he wants to target more “young, hungry” players in the transfer market may be the case, given that you could certainly argue that players who fit that billing have been his best performers this term.
If Arteta is targeting more players in the mould of Saka, Smith Rowe and Gabriel, then maybe that’s a sign that he does have the right ideas, despite the fact that they have endured a poor start to the 2020/21 campaign under his leadership and if given time to build the squad fully in his vision, then perhaps the future is bright for Arsenal under the Spaniard.