So far this summer, Arsenal have made two signings. Nuno Tavares arrived from Benfica, while Albert Sambi Lokonga’s €17.5m move from Anderlecht was made official yesterday.
Both are just 21 years of age, in the early stages of their careers, and there’s encouragement that the Gunners are filling out the squad with players of potential rather than those seeking a comfortable retirement home in leafy North London.
However, with Granit Xhaka expected to depart for Roma, and other gaps to be filled, Mikel Arteta insists not all signings can be of this age profile, and is targetting a bit more experience when, for example, we bring in the much anticipated partner for Thomas Partey.
“We need some senior players,” he told the official website. “Players with different types of leadership in the team, with different qualities, people that complement each other.
“At the end of the day it is about the cohesion of the team so we need a squad that is cohesive that can develop and adapt, that offers different qualities to change games, protect games when we need to and this is what we are trying to build.”
Tavares played and scored in our most recent pre-season game, the 2-2 draw with Rangers, and Arteta sounded impressed with the player, as well as paying tribute to the in-house identification of the left-back.
“We wanted to have more strength and specific qualities in the left-back position, and we identified Nuno a while ago,” he said.
“To be fair to the scouting department, they have done brilliantly to identify a talent with the qualities that we required, at the age we required and financially it was something we can afford.
“The boy has already been pretty impressive. I think he is the right profile for what we are trying to build here.”
Sambi is expected to take part in the Florida Cup games in Orlando, starting this weekend when Arsenal face Inter Milan.
Despite some reports that the Italian side had asked to withdraw from the friendly tournament because of concerns over the spread of Covid-19 in the sunshine state, it appears they will be making the trip and the game will go ahead at the Mickey Mouse Arena on Sunday.
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