Mikel Arteta admits summer signings Gabriel Magalhães and Thomas Partey have exceeded expectations with their early performances for Arsenal.
The Brazilian centre-back, signed from Lille for €27 million, has become a mainstay in defence since being thrown in the deep end on the first day of the season. Ghana international Partey also has Gunners fans licking their lips after an eye-catching showing in the centre of midfield against Manchester United at the weekend.
Given neither player had any experience of English football prior to moving to the Emirates, the boss is impressed.
“I’m really pleased with the way our new players have settled so quickly,” he wrote in the official matchday programme ahead of the Europa League clash with Molde.
“They play with a lot of maturity and look like they’ve been here much longer than they have. Don’t forget Thomas and Gabriel are completely new to this league.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect this level from them so soon because I know how tough this league is – you cannot compare it to any other league in the world.”
The boss went on to pay tribute to the thoroughness of Arsenal’s recruitment process.
“We try to pick certain characteristics in the profile of players that we want to find for our club,” he explained, “then we want to minimise the risk by looking and looking and making sure that they can contribute to what we’re trying to do.
“I know that there are still some connections and units where they don’t have that flow, because they haven’t played much together. I can see that. But also I can see the spirit we are creating and the personality that they are showing on the pitch.”