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Arsenal’s transfer policy shows Mikel Arteta is planning for tactical tweaks

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ARSENAL missing out on Raphinha isn’t the end of the world, I never saw him as a priority signing.

But with five substitutes allowed in the Premier League next season, as well as the additions games in the Europa League, Mikel Arteta needs to bring in more quality players.

Arsenal appear to have missed out on Leeds winger Raphinha who could join Barcelona

Arteta utilised five subs effectively during the Covid-hit 2020-21 season, with his tactical tweaks allowing flexibility in the second half.

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And in what promises to be a busy 22-23 campaign, the Spaniard will be hoping to have plenty of options from the bench that can change matches.

The five changes instead of only three will offer far more latitude to change the pattern of matches.

We know that Arsenal’s manager trains using more than one system so his squad are comfortable to change tactics to alter fortunes or react to situations on the pitch, so the new rules should assist his team.

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When you then look at the transfer business done to date and those players the club are tracking, it is possible to see that Arteta is thinking ahead.

Gabriel Jesus undoubtedly will want to play centrally, but we have all witnessed just how effective the Brazilian can be from the right flank.

And Fabio Vieira, when you look at where he has played in the last season for Porto can play as a No8 or as a wide creator.

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Equally the desire to sign Lisandro Martinez is also logical, as the Argentine ace can play on the left of a two or three-man defence, and we saw Gabriel utilised centrally in a three in his first season.

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Again, flexibility to be used match to match or to change things up without any reduction in fluency or quality. The same applies of course to Arteta’s keenness to have William Saliba back in the fold.

The only concern, for me, would be the overuse of advanced pre-programmed use of the substitutes and I think we can all relate to this, from the late Arsene Wenger era, but perhaps also by taking a sideway glance at Rugby Union.

Rugby moved to a 23-squad game with all eight substitutions being permitted and the game rapidly evolved into one in which coaches used all or the majority of substitutions tactically and not just to protect the athletes.

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We have all seen how changing a scrumhalf or fly-half with 20 minutes to go can massively influence the outcome of a match, as can adding fresh pace on the wings.

Equally we all witnessed how Eddie Jones pre-determined changes in the Calcutta Cup caused England’s momentum to falter and ultimately lost them the match.

Everyone could see that Arteta was reluctant to unleash Nicolas Pepe with 20 minutes to go last term and given the Ivorian’s form it hard to blame him.

This saw Bukayo Saka running on empty in May, whereas Emile Smith Rowe was trusted to replace Gabriel Martinelli on the opposite flank.

The Gunners announced the £34m signing of attacking midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto last month
Brazilian starlet Marquinhos (right) is another summer arrival after he was brought in from Sao Paulo

Given the importance of the wide players to Arsenal’s play, the extra games due to the Europa and the new flexibility on substitutes the push for Raphinha to give Arteta four high quality wide men is more logical.

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Similarly, the addition of Vieira will allow Arteta to simply ask Martin Odegaard to press as he does so well but for 65/70 minutes and not the full 90.

We are still only in the first month of the transfer window, but I am certainly looking at the squad building through slightly different lenses.

Yes, it is obviously about adding greater quality and depth of quality, but I also feel our manager is buying with one tactical eye on the new five substitution rule.

You can follow Dave Seager on Twitter @goonerdave66



Source: The Sun

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