Arsenal have had a strong start to their 2020-21 Premier League campaign on the back of a 2019-20 season that was filled with ups and downs. Arsenal sacked manager Unai Emery in November of 2019 after a seven-game winless streak. Unai Emery failed to win over the Arsenal faithful or his players during his time at the Emirates.
Arsenal then hired former Gunner Mikel Arteta to revive the club and lead them into a new era. Arteta did not have any experience in management at the top level but spent three years at Manchester City as an assistant coach under the mentorship of Pep Guardiola.
Arteta inherited an Arsenal squad that lacked quality and depth and was able to guide Arsenal to an eighth-place finish. However, the Gunners, had an impressive end to their 2019-20 season, beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
Arsenal started off their 2020-21 season with a Community Shield victory over Premier League champions Liverpool, which went a long way to raise spirits and hopes around the club.
Arsenal fans for much of the transfer window felt like they were experiencing deja vu. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was provided with a strict financial budget and had to make do with loan signings and free transfers. The North London club could not pursue their top targets because of a lack of investment from their owners.
Arsenal's strong end to the transfer window will give fans and the club hierarchy hope and positivity
However, Arsenal did manage to pull off some smart deals over the summer. The Gunners signed experienced Premier League attacker Willian from Chelsea on a free transfer.
Arsenal's main weakness over the last few seasons has been in defense, which is where Mikel Arteta chose to spend the bulk of his budget. The FA Cup winners signed highly-rated center-back Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille for €30 million and Pablo Mari from Flamengo for €10 million.
Arsenal also improved their squad depth by signing Cedric Soares on a free transfer from Southampton, and Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Runarsson for €2 million from Dijon.
Arsenal's most eye-catching piece of business was their deadline day signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. Arsenal had been heavily linked with a move for Thomas Partey and Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar this summer, as Mikel Arteta looked to add a top-quality midfielder to his squad.
Arsenal did not have the finances to match the value that was quoted for Partey or Aouar but were able to fund a last-minute £45 million bid for Partey after sanctioning the sales and loans of some of their senior squad members.
Arsenal were forced to let go off some of their prominent players this summer in order to raise finances for future transfer. Henrikh Mkhitaryan left the Emirates to join Roma on a free transfer, after enjoying a successful loan spell with the Italian club last season.
One notable departure from Arsenal was that of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who left the Gunners to join Aston Villa for £20 million after having a breakthrough 2019-20 season.
Mikel Arteta also sanctioned the departures of Matteo Guendouzi to Hertha Berlin, and Lucas Torreira to Atletico Madrid after both midfielders fell out of favour at Arsenal. Arsenal have also sent Konstantinos Mavropanos on loan to Stuttgart for the rest of the season.
The addition of quality players like Willian, Thomas Partey, and Gabriel will have Arsenal fans dreaming of a return to the top-four of the Premier League.Published 06 Oct 2020, 18:02 IST