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Mikel Arteta scraps Unai Emery’s Arsenal blueprint again with January transfer U-turn


Arteta replaced Emery in December 2019 and has radically overhauled his Arsenal squad since taking over, which continued with the transfer of Calum Chambers to Aston Villa

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Arteta gives update on Arsenal’s transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day

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Mikel Arteta has continued to scrap predecessor Unai Emery’s blueprint at Arsenal after making a surprise January transfer U-turn.

The former Gunners skipper replaced Emery in the Emirates hotseat in December 2019 and has radically overhauled the squad that was left behind since then.

The latest stage in his overhaul came on Thursday, when it was announced that Calum Chambers had joined Aston Villa on a free transfer.

Chambers had fallen out of favour after Arteta took charge, making only five appearances this season, with his contract also set to expire at the end of the campaign.

He has now been allowed to complete a surprise switch to Premier League rivals Villa, with the announcement of the deal catching many off guard.

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HAVE YOUR SAY! Did Arsenal make the right decision by letting Calum Chambers join Aston Villa? Comment below.

Mikel Arteta is continuing to overhaul his Arsenal squad

The deal also appears to have come as result of something of a U-turn from Arteta, with Chambers allowed to leave immediately having been set to depart at the end of the season.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great club with a great manager, a great squad. I know a few of the boys here so I’m extremely excited,” he told Villa’s website.

“It’s all happened pretty quickly to be honest. It was a few days ago I was [made] aware of the interest and yeah, since then, its felt like it’s happened pretty quick so it’s exciting times.

“I’ve played at Villa Park a few times, it’s a great stadium and it’s got a great set of fans, and obviously the manager as well.

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“He [Gerrard] did very well at Rangers and he’s a young, exciting manager and I can’t wait to work with him. We spoke a few times, it’s all really positive and I can’t wait to get started with it all.”

Chambers’ exit is further evidence of Arteta ripping up Emery’s plans, with Chambers having been a member of the latter’s leadership group.

When Laurent Koscielny departed the Gunners, Emery revealed that Chambers was in consideration to replace him.

“In a captain I look for experience of leadership, being an example on and off the pitch,” Emery said.

Calum Chambers has been allowed to join Aston Villa

“I want one English player in these five captains. An English player who grew up in our academy can understand the English spirit and Arsenal values. These are the qualities and more [we want].”

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With Chambers now gone, it has left few of Emery’s leadership group still at the club, with Arteta having thoroughly overhauled his squad.

First choice keeper Bernd Leno has been replaced by Aaron Ramsdale and is on his way out of the club.

Hector Bellerin is currently on loan at Real Betis, but is expected to make a permanent exit in the summer, with Rob Holding also facing an uncertain future.

Arteta’s squad is unrecognisable to the one that Unai Emery left him with
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Image:

PA)

Mohamed Elneny is another who is set to depart this month, with Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles having already been shipped out on loan.

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Mesut Ozil’s time under Arteta ranks as the biggest example of Arteta’s overhaul, with the German totally frozen out before being allowed to join Fenerbahçe.

The ripping up of Emery’s blueprint will continue even after Chambers’ departure, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette also set to leave in the summer.

After his U-turn on Chambers this week, it would come as little surprise if Arteta did the same again with more of Emery’s senior players.

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