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Report: How have Arsenal’s new boys got on so far?

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Arsenal finally splashed the cash over the summer albeit sporadically. Wenger started off the transfer window with the immediate capture of Swiss international, Granit Xhaka for around £35 million. Rob Holding followed a few weeks later but in typical Arsenal fashion, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez did not arrive at the club until very late on in the window.

All four players have featured in some capacity so far and have contributed to Arsenal rediscovering their form in September, having a poor start to the season. So let’s have a look at our ratings for the four new boys.

Rob Holding: B+

The arrival of the young under-21 international was quite unexpected, to say the least but his performances during pre-season and the first three Premier League games have helped Holding prove that he has enough quality for Arsenal. Calm, composed, very good with the ball, and only 21, he has a very bright future ahead of him if his progression doesn’t stagnate like Chambers’s did over the course of the last two seasons, definitely one for the future.

Arsenal Training Session

Lucas Perez: B+

The signing of the Spanish striker was also an unexpected one, after being linked all summer with almost every striker in Europe, (Lacazette, Higuain, Icardi and Morata) Arsenal finally had a new number 9, a 28-year-old Spaniard who scored 17 goals in La Liga last term. A late developer but still a decent addition to the squad even though his game time has been limited, he hasn’t featured in the Champions League, whilst only gaining a start in the Premier League and in the League Cup respectively. Perez has played 154 minutes for Arsenal and scored two goals and registered one assist in that time, a solid ratio.

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Granit Xhaka: A

Xhaka was the first signing of the summer and came to reinforce a midfield that really struggled for all the second-half of last season. He has been introduced slowly by Wenger but still had the opportunity to score two identical screamers in the space of four days. His ability with the ball will help make Arsenal’s game more fluid, he could be the type of player that can get the best out of Aaron Ramsey; he’ll cement a place in the starting XI sooner or later. Xhaka just needs to improve defensively, as attackers get past him too easily but, being only 24, he’s only going to improve and will probably be a terrific deep-lying playmaker for Arsenal.

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Shkodran Mustafi: A+

As Per got injured for five months in the first pre-season game, Arsenal’s need for a center-back became evident, especially as, 18 months since he joined, Gabriel has been far from satisfying.

Mustafi has settled quickly and already looks like the partner Koscielny has needed. Aggressive, smart, quick, good in the air and with the ball, Mustafi passed the “Diego Costa Test” brilliantly, where Per and Gabriel both failed. Arsenal now have two centre backs who can defend on the front foot but can also recover due to their pace. Since Mustafi’s debut, Arsenal have only conceded one goal from open play – Cavani’s header in Paris. There already seems to be a very good partnership between him and Koscielny and that can only flourish in the future. He’s also only 24 like Xhaka and has already played in Serie A,in La Liga and has won the World Cup in 2014, making him a young but experienced defender.

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