Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger has given his verdict on Mikel Arteta’s three new signings this summer.
The Gunners have spent big to sign Declan Rice, Jurrien Timber and Kai Havertz. The English midfielder is their latest signing, with the north London side agreeing to pay a club-record £105 million to West Ham United for his services.
Before Rice, Mikel Arteta oversaw the arrival of Timber from Ajax for a £38 million fee. Add to that the £65 million Arsenal paid Chelsea to sign Kai Havertz last month, and their summer spending goes beyond the £200 million mark.
Wenger, who was himself an advocate of signing young players with potential during his stint at the Emirates, said, via Eurosport (h/t @AfcStuff on Twitter):
“I think it is a good investment. Overall, personally I think they have made good buys as they are players who are now mature, 23, 24 & still young so can stay together for a few years.”
Rice, 24, was arguably the first name on West Ham’s team sheet every week. He captained them to their first major trophy in 43 years last season when they won the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Timber, 22, has already been capped 15 times by the Netherlands and made 120 senior appearances for Ajax in the last three seasons. Havertz (24) has also amassed respectable experience during his stints at Bayer Leverkusen and Chelsea.
The German registered 32 goals and 15 assists in 139 appearances during his three seasons at Chelsea.
Declan Rice has come to Arsenal ‘hungry’ for success
Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side came close to winning the Premier League before being pipped by Manchester City at the tail end of last season.
The Spanish tactician has since sanctioned sales of Granit Xhaka (30) and Pablo Mari (29), while Thomas Partey (30) is also linked with an exit. He seems to be reducing the club’s average age even more ahead of the new season.
Declan Rice is expected to anchor the youthful Gunners’ midfield next season and he has stated that he is aware of what the fans demand. Speaking in his first interview after arriving at the Emirates, the Englishman told the club’s official website:
“With Mikel and how he works, the squad, how young everyone is, the energy around the club and also the challenge of getting Arsenal back to where they belong, that means a lot to me. I know the fans really want that. For me as a player, I’ve come here really hungry to have more success and to spend my best years at this great club.”
The north London side’s average age in the Premier League last season stood at 24.1 years.