Ever since Mikel Arteta arrived at Arsenal, fans have been expecting him to use his Manchester City connections. The former City assistant manager was hired because of his potential as a coach, but also because of his connections. Already this summer, he has used this to great effect to land the hugely impressive Gabriel Jesus.
Already, the Brazilian looks to be the perfect hire for an Arsenal side that desperately needed a new striker. The focal point of the attack now, Jesus offers the kind of precise and creative finishing that Arsenal have lacked for years. The hope is that he can be the face of the team as they grow, develop, and improve to compete for the UEFA Champions League spots once again.
However, it looks like Arteta is not done returning to his old club – he will return for a player who is in high demand. Utility man Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to sign for Arsenal this summer, as the Gunners look to give him a spot in the centre of midfield as opposed to being shunted out to left full-back.
While Pep Guardiola is keen to keep the player, it is believed that an inability to offer him regular game time or a solid starting position means an exit is almost certain by this point. City fans have grown to love the all-action Ukrainian, and he will doubtless be a useful asset in North London.
Seen as a useful hire for his ability to fill various roles but also due to his ability to excel in midfield, the hope is that he can offer viable competition to both full-backs and central midfielders in the squad.
Arteta using connections to sign high profile players
Missing out on the UEFA Champions League was supposed to torpedo the hopes of Arsenal when it comes to marquee hires. However, the arrival of Jesus and the incoming signing of Zinchenko shows the importance of a coach that players can trust.
While Arteta has a relationship with both players, it is believed his reputation in the sport has played a big role in getting both hires. Seen as an uncompromising coach with an elite mentality, Arteta is believed to have a great rapport with the players who buy-in. Others are impressed by the ruthless nature of his decision making, too, often getting rid of players – no matter their profile in the squad – if they do not conform to the non-negotiables that make up the Arsenal squad.
The hope is that the extra additions this summer can push the Gunners back in to the Champions League. Then, with the added carrot of top-level European competition, Arteta would find it even easier to land coveted names and stars.
This summer has seen Arteta use his City connections well. The hope is that both players can give Arsenal enough of an edge to ensure consistent progress on and off the pitch. Then, the club will not have to rely on personal connections as prominently as they do today.