Arsenal have signed Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun and Per Mertesacker to complete their final business of the summer.
Arteta and Mertesacker join on permanent transfers from Everton and Werder Bremen respectively, while Benayoun comes in from Chelsea on a year-long loan.
“Mikel informed me he wanted to join Arsenal. I’m disappointed to lose him but the prospect of CL was something I can’t offer,” said Everton boss David Moyes of Arteta’s switch.
Though Arsene Wenger has earned plenty of criticism for his activity in the transfer window, but having had his hand forced with the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, it could be argued that he has improved the key areas of the team in a short space of time.
That short timeframe is due to the club’s uncertainty over UEFA Champions League qualification, and once that was achieved, Arsenal have moved quickly to sign Mertesacker and Andre Santos for the defence, as well as Arteta, Gervinho and Chu Young Park in more attacking positions.
Carl Jenkinson, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Campbell had of course already been signed, but aside from Gervinho they were more with the future in mind than as immediate solutions.
Five signings in a week – each fairly senior experienced players – isn’t bad going, though Fabregas particularly will prove a hugely difficult player to replace.