Arsenal's '300-page document' on transfer target sheds light on Mikel Arteta's project

By Colin Millar

Arsenal had a busy summer transfer window in which they made six first-team squad signings and spent more money in transfer fees than any other club.

It was a squad revamp that was prompted by last season’s underperformance that saw the club miss out on European qualification for the first time in 25 seasons.

Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyaso all arrived to bolster the ranks of the Gunners squad.

It is well known that boss Mikel Arteta plays a significant role in the club’s recruitment process alongside Director of Football Edu, who work closely alongside each other.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has played a key role in the club's recruitment process (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The North London club have undergone somewhat of a squad rejuvenation since Arteta’s appointment in the 2019/20 campaign and he has had two full summer transfer windows under his belt.

The keynote signing of the previous window had been central midfielder Thomas Partey, who was signed on transfer deadline day after his release clause at Atletico Madrid was activated.

Yet it has now transpired that Ivorian midfielder Ibrahim Sangare was also on the club’s transfer wish list as an alternative to signing Partey.

Thomas Partey joined Arsenal from Atletico Madrid a year ago (Action Images via Reuters)

His agent Jean Musampa has now given an insight into the North London club’s meticulous transfer planning by outlining how Arsenal had compiled a 300-page document of analysis and data of Sangare’s style of play.

At the time, Sangare was playing in Ligue 1 with Toulouse and opted to join PSV Eindhoven that summer, for whom he has thrived in the year since.

Arsenal’s depth of analysis on a transfer target for whom they did not ultimately sign is significant and revealing about just how much detail and preparation the club put together on targets.

Musampa told Dutch media outlet De Telegraaf, as per Sport Witness : “At Toulouse, he was on the radar of a lot of clubs.

“They come naturally. I got an invitation from Arsenal. There they had 300 pages of analysis and data of his game. Thomas Partey, however, was the first choice.

“I thought he would choose the Premier League. But he also liked PSV. He asked, ‘Dad, what should I choose?’

“He wanted to play football and not go to the Premier League at all costs. PSV always plays in the top and plays in the Champions League or Europa League. He can always make the step.”

Sangare, 23, spent four years in the first-team squad at Toulouse before his switch to PSV a year ago while he has won 11 caps for the Ivory Coast at senior international level.


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