Mikel Arteta believes character and skill were important for Arsenal recruits

The Gunners spent more than any other club in the Premier League to bring in six new signings.

Mikel Arteta believes character and skill were important for Arsenal recruits

Mikel Arteta believes it was crucial that Arsenal’s summer signings not only improved his side on the pitch but also in the dressing room.

The Gunners spent more than any other club in the Premier League to bring in six new signings in what was the most expensive transfer window in their history.

Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard all started last week’s 1-0 win over Norwich, while fellow new arrival Nuno Tavares was an unused substitute.

Takehiro Tomiyasu
Takehiro Tomiyasu, left, was one of six new Arsenal signings (Tess Derry/PA)

The harmony of the dressing room has reportedly been threatened on a number of occasions in recent times but Arteta is pleased to have addressed that this summer.

Asked how important is it to have good characters in his squad, the Spaniard replied: “In my opinion, vital.

“You have to create energy between each other. To do that, there has to be some affection, some love, some belief between them.

“That only happens when you like what you see, you like the characters and you feel connected with them.”

Arsenal travel to Burnley on Saturday looking to build on their first points of the season in that slender victory over Norwich.

Arsenal v Norwich City – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Ben White will face a sterner examination at Burnley (Tess Derry/PA)

“He looks clean, honest, transparent and then when he’s on that pitch, he doesn’t doubt,” he said of Japan international Tomiyasu.

“He’s fully committed, he goes for every ball, he’s reassuring, he’s got a presence and he’s a very honest player and you could see the reaction and the connection he had straight away with the fans.”

White has Premier League experience having signed from Brighton for £50million – although he struggled on his Arsenal debut in the opening day defeat at Brentford.

He then contracted Covid before returning to the side against Norwich and has the full backing of his new manager.

Arsenal v Norwich City – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Mikel Arteta has given his full support to Ben White (Tess Derry/PA)

“I fully trust him. He knows what he is going to face, not just him but every defender in the Premier League against any opponent. You are going to be exposed and he needs to do what he is good at.

“The things that he can improve, he can improve them, but when you jump against (Chris) Wood 10 times in the air, with a ball flying in the air, it is pretty difficult to win every duel to be fair. So it is about that duel and what happens around him as well.”

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