Mikel Arteta has revealed some of the background on the club’s two latest signings, Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale.
The Gunners spent a combined £54m bringing in the duo from Real Madrid and Sheffield United respectively, and both are in line to play in the League Cup against West Brom on Wednesday night.
Odegaard spent the second half of last season on loan in North London, but it looked as if a permanent move was off the table, until things changed in the last couple of weeks.
“I was really happy because at one stage we thought it wouldn’t be possible, Madrid wasn’t very keen on selling the player,” said the Arsenal boss.
“Martin always expressed his desire to come, but it wasn’t looking very possible and then the door opened and straight away the club was really supportive and Edu did a great job to manage the situation and we got the player that we wanted and we know because we have experience already with him for six months.
“I think he makes the rest of the players around him better. His work ethic is phenomenal, the way he goes about his job, his professionalism, his character, he’s a very likeable person.
“I think he has fitted really well into the culture and then for the way we want to play he’s a player with exceptional qualities to add to them.”
As for Ramsdale, Arteta’s desire to bring the 23 year old was made clear by personal conversations he had with the player throughout the summer, and he was, by some distance, the manager’s preferred target for this position.
“With Aaron I spoke to him a few times before he signed and I was really impressed with his personality and his character,” he said.
“We need two goalkeepers, two top goalkeepers in this club, it’s always been the case and when I was here we always had two really good goalkeepers with different qualities and different age profiles and they need to compete.
“That’s what we want in every situation. Every role we want people to compete and the goalkeeper situation is no different.”
Let’s hope both can contribute tomorrow evening, as we seek our first goals and first win of the new season – which would be a small boost ahead of a daunting trip to play Man City on Saturday lunchtime.