London’s biggest Premier League clubs have been incredibly active in the transfer window this summer.
Two clubs specifically have brought in creative profiles that could be set to transform their new teams.
Arsenal have spent more than £200m on three players and Tottenham Hotspur has made a number of landmark signings to signal the beginning of the Ange Postecoglou era.
The Gunners fell just short of the title last campaign, while Spurs missed out on Europe altogether, and the arrival of creative profiles in midfield could have the biggest impact in altering their fortunes this time around.
Kai Havertz (and Declan Rice)
Arsenal have brought in two versatile midfield options, and in two competitive games this season, have used them both in two different positions.
Rice, brought in for more than £100m from West Ham, has operated as both a defensive midfielder, and as one of Arsenal’s two “free-eights”.
Havertz meanwhile, has also operated in that attacking midfield position, as well as in an attacking position up front, in the absence of the injured Gabriel Jesus.
These two signings are among the reasons that in the football betting, Arsenal are second favourites to win the title behind Manchester City.
Of the two players, Havertz is going to be the more creative force, particularly if he plays a bit deeper.
The former Chelsea player, who cost £65m, played in more of an attacking role for the Blues, but at Bayer Leverkusen was a key creative outlet.
Havertz struggled to make a big impression in Arsenal’s opening day win against Nottingham Forest, but any player that has scored the winning goal in a Champions League final is going to be a good addition.
Chelsea replaced Havertz with Christopher Nkunku, but Nkunku’s addition to the squad has been completely undercut by a serious injury, expected to keep him out for the first half of the season.
Tottenham have made many moves in the transfer window, but the James Maddison acquisition from relegated Leicester City was certainly the most significant.
Spurs have lacked a creative midfielder for many years, and with Harry Kane’s departure from the club confirmed, adding a creative profile became even more vital ahead of the summer.
The former-Leicester man excelled on the opening day, assisting both Tottenham goals in their 2-2 draw with Brentford.
How good was this man today? 🤍 pic.twitter.com/nHKJoUovTp— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 6, 2023
Maddison has the ability to relentlessly break the opposition’s midfield and defensive lines with his passing, while also being able to progress the play with his strong dribbling ability.
The Englishman boasts all the typical traits of a top-class ‘number 10’ but he also has the work ethic to be deployed in a midfield three, as he is willing to run box-to-box and track opposition runners.
Spurs ultimately needed a creative midfield and Maddison satisfies that.
The appointment of Postecoglou meant that they need a team filled with energy and tenacity, and the Three Lions international also fits into that philosophy.