Premier League • England

Arsenal duo blasted as Arteta is told he has wasted £68m on pair that have made Gunners ‘weaker’

Ben Stewart
Arsenal Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsdale

Arsenal Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsdale

Two of Arsenal’s summer signings have been blasted by Craig Burley as the pundit believes the duo have made the Gunners ‘weaker’ this season.

After finishing second in the Premier League last season, Mikel Arteta was keen to improve his squad in the summer. The Spanish boss spent around £200million and was backed heavily by the Arsenal board.

Declan Rice was their biggest addition of the summer and there can be little doubt that the former West Ham midfielder has had a positive impact so far.

Despite Arsenal paying a hefty fee of £105m, Rice has been worth every penny so far. The 24-year-old is already off the mark with two goals and looks like a natural in the Gunners midfield.

However, not all of Arsenal’s summer signings have had the same instant impact. Jurrien Timber has been sidelined through injury and the jury is still out on Kai Havertz and David Raya.

Plenty of pundits are yet to be convinced by Havertz following his £65m move from Chelsea in the summer. Likewise, the signing of David Raya has also been put under the microscope of late.

Raya joined Arsenal on loan from Brentford, with the Gunners paying a £3m loan fee to sign him for the season. Arsenal also hold the option to sign him on a permanent basis for £27m.

The Spanish goalkeeper didn’t have his finest game against Chelsea at the weekend as Mykhailo Mudryk caught him out with a looping cross.

READ MORE: Arsenal to watch quality French full-back TODAY but Newcastle also keen as Howe makes rival move

Burley isn’t convinced by Arsenal duo

Plenty has been made of Arsenal’s summer transfer business and Burley hasn’t held back with his assessment of Havertz and Raya so far.

“The two big talking points of the summer – Havertz and Raya – are making Arsenal weaker and not stronger,” Burley told ESPN.

“One, Havertz, has been taken out of the team already and the other we will see. Arsenal are a poorer defensive side with Raya instead of Ramsdale.

“I’m not sure about his positioning for Mykhailo Mudryk’s goal [for Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday].”

Raya certainly didn’t have his finest moment against Chelsea, but he has generally been a safe pair of hands since replacing Aaron Ramsdale in the starting XI.

In the Premier League this season, Raya boasts a save percentage of 75% which is far superior to the 55.6% save percentage that Ramsdale has managed so far.

Jamie Redknapp is another pundit who has questioned the signing of Raya as he described the Arsenal goalkeeper as a “bag of nerves” against Chelsea.

“A lot’s going to be said about Aaron Ramsdale now, but I actually think, forget Aaron Ramsdale for a second, what’s happened with this has made [Raya] look worse, he looks like a bag of nerves, David Raya is really struggling with the pressure, the scrutiny that he’s under,” Redknapp said on Sky Sports.

“He’s giving the ball away, he’s looking like he’s always going to concede goals, this hasn’t helped him, this situation.”

READ MORE: Newcastle urged to sign Arsenal ‘top talent’ as January sale remains a possibility for £60m star