The good, the bad and the ugly of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal transfers – Gunners’ signings under Spaniard ranked as Gabriel Jesus takes spending over £300

Arsenal have now signed more than £300million worth of talent since Mikel Arteta took over in December 2019 after Gabriel Jesus completed his transfer. The £45m deal for Jesus is vital for the Gunners as they look to battle for a place in the Premier League’s top four after missing out for a sixth campaign in a row last time out. Arteta has spent a lot of money since he was appointed Arsenal managerGetty Jesus is his latest big-money buyGetty The Gunners have made seventeen permanent signings since Arteta joined the club from Manchester City, starting a project to returrn them to Europe’s elite competition. A fourth-place finish looked on the cards last season, before a late collapse which saw local rivals Tottenham pip them to Champions League qualification. The signings of Jesus, Porto playmaker Fabio Vieira, back-up goalkeeper Matt Turner, and Brazilian youngster Marquinhos were clearly made to help them go one step further next season. Technical director Edu took charge six months before Arteta joined the club but his dealings were hit and miss. William Saliba, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Gabriel Martinelli, and, most notably, Nicolas Pepe for £72m were all incoming. A mixed bag, to say the least. That has been the story when it comes to most of the transfers after Arteta’s arrival. It’s been the good, the bad, and the ugly – but who goes into what category? takes a look. Most read in Football deals Arsenal announce Jesus, City unveil Phillips, Ronaldo crisis talks, Sterling latest deal Mikel Arteta 'excited' as Arsenal finally sign Thierry Henry-inspired Gabriel Jesus 'bizarre' Ex-Burnley player reveals he discovered he had been released on Twitter VALUE Man United and Man City to do battle for £35m-rated ex-Arsenal man u-turn Man United dealt blow in De Jong pursuit as Barca president Laporta delivers update compete Ronaldo wants to leave Man United to protect UCL goal record, says Cascarino Edu and Arteta seem to have a good relationshipGetty The good Five key men in Arsenal’s Champions League near-miss last season were signed by Arteta for a combined £178m, which works out at around £35m per player. In this day and age of astronomical transfer fee, that’s not too bad. Gabriel was signed in 2019/20, before his partner Ben White was brought in the year after. They showed last season how solid they can be as they kept 13 clean sheets, whilst demonstrating their impressive ability to defend and play out from the back. Aaron Ramsdale and Thomas Partey, who play behind and in front of that duo, respectively, helped with that decent defensive record. Both White and Ramsdale have been good additions to the Arsenal squadgetty Ramsdale was signed at the start of last season for £25m after back-to-back Premier League relegations and, despite a few unconvincing moments, he looks to be a goalkeeper the Gunners will be able to rely on for the foreseeable future. Partey, on the other hand, came to the club with high expectations in 2020, having been part of Diego Simeone’s uncompromising Atletico Madrid side. He hasn’t quite lived up to his £45m price tag, but has been a solid starter. The best of the bunch has undoubtedly been Martin Odegaard. Originally signing on loan from Real Madrid, the playmaker’s loan move was made permanent at the start of last season and he has been phenomenal ever since. The Norwegian was the Gunners’ most creative player last season and is now worth a lot more than the £32m that was paid for him. Odegaard has been Arteta’s best signingGetty The bad… ‘Bad’ is slightly harsh on these players – ‘remains to be seen’ might be a slightly better phrase. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Albert Sambi Lokonga are two of those and, to be honest, they could still turn out to be quality signings for Arteta. Tomiyasu looked decent before his injury but it would be too soon to label him as ‘good’, whilst Lokonga featured just 19 times and failed to make too much of an impact with Thomas Partey ahead of him in the pecking order. Tomiyasu settled in quickly at Arsenal but injuries mean the jury is still out after a shaky comebackGetty Nuno Tavares also showed glimpses of potential last season but was also prone to a costly mistake. He is another player that could still prove to be a good buy, but must eliminate the errors from his game to make it as a Premier League regular. Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari, however, were both poor signings having originally joined the club on loan, before their moves were made permament. Around £14m was spent on Mari, with Cedric signing on a free – leaving the centre-back on the cusp of the category below – but neither were ever good enough to take Arsenal to the next level. Auston Trusty, meanwhile, went back out on loan to Colorado Rapids after signing in January, and Mathew Ryan had a short loan spell with the Gunners. Neither Tavares nor Cedric are likely to end up in the Gunners’ Hall of Famegetty …And the ugly The fact that a free transfer can be described as ‘ugly’ is indicative as to how bad Willian was for Arsenal. The then-32-year-old signed a big-money three-year deal, which was eventually cut short after just 12 months. The Brazillian did reportedly save the club £20.5m, however, after he terminated his Arsenal contract in order to secure a move to Brazilian side Corinthians. Ugly in performances, but not in morals. It just didn’t work out for Willian at ArsenalGetty Goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson was another pretty terrible signing after joining from French club Dijon. He went on to make just six appearances for the Gunners, which included a Carabao Cup tie against Man City, where he dropped an absolute clanger. The Icelandic shot-stopper has reportedly been told he can now leave the club. Arsenal’s summer signings will be desperate to avoid joining that duo in this category. 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