Mikel Arteta already has the roadmap to Arsenal success as Edu delivers on promise
A minimum of six players were required in a variety of positions, along with a clear-out of those who weren't considered part of the squad.
From the outside it appeared fairly simple, but internally there had to be a level of patience on waiting for deals to come to fruition.
Several months prior Arteta had already provided the clearest indication yet as to what his long-term plan for the squad is.
“We want to move to a 4-3-3 but for that," said Arteta in December 2020, "you need a lot of specificity in every position but now in five or six positions, we don’t have it."
“The aggressiveness, the effectiveness, the amount of steals we make in opposition half I think we have been very steady against some big clubs.
“I think that what we miss is in the opponent’s area and the last part of the pitch. We have to find the key in the attack, that last decision, that last pass, that last cross to create a goal situation, a goal, a shot, a corner, etc.”
When assessing Arsenal's £150million plus spending in the transfer window, it is evident that the players bought possess the "aggressiveness" and decisiveness that Arteta is looking for.
football.london were the first to reveal that Aaron Ramsdale was in advanced talks with the Gunners over a £24million move and the subsequent reaction from fans across social media was mostly negative.
However, Arteta was insistent that Ramsdale provided the ideal profile to become Bernd Leno's successor due to a number of factors; his communication on the pitch, excellent distribution and vast experience at Premier League level with Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
Ben White was signed for similar reasons to Ramsdale while his ability to link play with the midfield and versatility to start in a back three or four also made him the ideal profile to be signed.
It's a similar story for Takehiro Tomiyasu and Nuno Tavares, with the latter being seen as ideal competition for Kieran Tierney who has struggled with injuries over the past season.
Sambi Lokonga adds the decisiveness in midfield and ability to progress the ball forward, while Martin Odegaard already possesses Premier League know-how and provides fluidity to the final third of the attack.
Arteta's long-term goals for Arsenal:
- Being able to compete for every competition
- Consistently play in the Champions League
- Improvement in way the team play
- Improvement in style and 'DNA' of the club
Short term goals:
- Improve every phase of the game
- Compete across the pitch in every game
The win against Norwich is a small step in the right direction for a new-look Arsenal side, with bigger tests to come over the next few weeks.
Saturday's Premier League encounter against Burnley is set to be a typically physical encounter but Arteta can take some confidence in knowing that his team is beginning to take shape.
It should be noted that there is a long way to go and no certainties on anything in professional football, but Arteta's roadmap to success for Arsenal now appears clearer than it did a couple of months ago.