Mikel Arteta highlights quality of recruitment after Arsenal maintain momentum

Mikel Arteta praised Arsenal’s summer recruitment drive as Kai Havertz and Declan Rice both shone in a comfortable win over Bournemouth that keeps the Gunners top of the Premier League.

Arsenal are potentially two wins away from winning their league title in 20 years after seeing off a spirited Cherries side at the Emirates Stadium.

A Bukayo Saka penalty, won by Havertz, set the hosts on their way to a 3-0 win, which was wrapped up be a Leandro Trossard strike assisted by Rice, who then smashed home in added time to add the gloss to the scoreline.

The destiny of the title remains out of Arsenal’s hands as reigning champions Manchester City have a game in hand but all Arteta’s side can do at this stage is win their remaining fixtures.

In recent weeks, Havertz has impressed as Arteta’s defacto centre-forward, while only Kevin De Bruyne has more assists in 2024 than Rice – the £105million club-record signing from West Ham who continues to perform at the highest level.

Add to that David Raya winning the golden glove for the most clean sheets following his loan move from Brentford and Arsenal’s summer window is starting to prove to be a shrewd one.

Asked how high the signings have raised the ceiling at Arsenal, Arteta replied: “A lot.

“If we spend money we’d better do it wisely and in the most effective way. We’re really happy with the recruitment that we had. It had a big impact in the team, it has raised not only the level of the team but the level of the rest of the players as well.

“You see today we had some big performances from a lot of individuals, if we want to be at this stage then you need that.”


Arsenal dominated a first half in which they broke the deadlock with their 16th shot, Saka coolly slotting home from the spot after Havertz was adjudged to have been tripped by Mark Travers.

“It was probably the best first half we’ve played all season,” added Arteta – whose side face Manchester United at Old Trafford next week before hosting Everton on the final day.

“We were unbelievable – everything flowing, super composed on the ball. We generated so many chances, we could have gone three, four, five (up) easily and we didn’t.”

Bournemouth will feel hard done by as the Havertz penalty award was a contentious one, as was the decision to rule out an Antoine Semenyo effort for a shove by Dominic Solanke on Raya with the score at 2-0.

Andoni Iraola conceded his team did not deserve to leave north London with the three points but suggested he may have to start asking his players to look for decisions as he fumed at the Havertz call.

“First of all, I have to say that Arsenal deserved to win,” he said.

“But I don’t think the game should have gone the way it did, with the penalty decisions. For me, Kai Havertz is the one trying to find the contact.

“If we are giving penalties for this, then as a coach I have to say ‘look for the contact’.”

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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