Mikel Arteta has given a ringing endorsement of Arsenal’s new signings after taking a close look at his new team-mates in pre-season.
Arsène Wenger has bolstered his squad with Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and David Ospina this summer, while Joel Campbell has been added to the first-team squad after three loan spells.
Arteta has succeeded Thomas Vermaelen as Arsenal captain and he believes the squad he leads into the new campaign has quality, depth – and the element of surprise.
“Attacking-wise this season, we’re going to be more different and we’re going to have more of a surprise factor,” Arteta told Arsenal Player.
“[Alexis] looks very good. He’s got pace, he’s got that special technique, his feet are so, so quick. He’s a bit cheeky on the pitch, he’s got those runs, that movement, he’s always on the shoulder of a defender and he wants to score goals. He has the right attitude here – very humble. He’s going to do well – I think the fans are very excited and I think they are right because we’ve signed some player here.
“I’m very impressed with Joel [Campbell]. He’s got great feet, great technique, he’s very creative and he’s a young lad who is full of energy and is enthusiastic. He wants to stay here, he wants to make his stamp here and I think the boss is going to give him a chance.”
At the other end of the pitch, Lukasz Fabianski and Bacary Sagna have been replaced with Ospina and Debuchy, with Chambers providing back-up in a number of positions.
“I’m going to miss Bac because I had a great relationship with him and their family and I think he was someone who is very liked in the changing room,” said Arteta.
“On the pitch he was always going to give you a ‘seven [out of 10]’ and it’s hard to find players like this. But Mathieu [Debuchy] looks very tough, very strong and he’s got desire. The fact that he was playing in front of Bac in the national team, tells you enough about his quality.
“I’m impressed by [Calum Chambers’] character, I’m impressed by how quickly he’s adapting and how secure he is when he plays. He’s mature and a normal guy and I think he’s going to be a very important player for us in the next few years.
“[Ospina] has got plenty of experience. He’s been playing at the top international level for a long time and he’s going to compete with Wojciech. He wants to be the No 1 and that [competition is] what Wojciech needs in my opinion.”