Take a look at Arsenal’s summer transfer window last season.
The euphoric deadline day signing of Thomas Partey meant that the window was made in addition to the arrivals of Willian, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel and Runar Alex Runarsson all being brought in, while Pablo Mari and Cedric made their respective loan moves from Flamengo and Southampton permanent.
Now look at the first three signings they are set to make this time around.
Notice the difference yet?
For years Arsenal have been accused of lacking a coherent approach to the transfer market.
Just take the centre back position for example.
At the start of last season the Gunners had as many as nine of them on their books with each individual signing serving as evidence of the plethora of different directions they had taken in their recruitment.
There was Rob Holding, the £2m pound signing from Bolton brought in under the Arsene Wenger tradition of bargain-spotting, while Shkodran Mustafi ‘s purchase had been heavily influenced by the stats-based approach of Jaeson Rosenfeld and StatDNA.
Then there was Dinos Mavropanos, the unknown Greek defender spotted by the ‘diamond eye’ of Sven Mislintat. His compatriot Sokratis had been the type of grizzled veteran preferred by Unai Emery, while David Luiz and Pablo Mari had been brought in via the contacts-based approach favoured by Raul Sanllehi.
The signing of Gabriel had also been made on the recommendation of former chief scout Francis Cagigao and this is all before we even begin to mention William Saliba.
While we could spend several more articles analysing how the apathetic ownership of Stan and Josh Kroenke allowed this to happen, it seems that this summer Arsenal are finally trying to change things.
The average age of the trio of signings made at the start of this article stands at just under 22.
By way of comparison last’s summer’s recruits averaged out at slightly less than 27-years-of-age all together.
The Gunners are planning for the future and are building a squad to ensure the costly and sizeable overhaul required among the current group does not need to happen again.
The Tavares signing is a perfect example of this.
The pair were available on free transfers and easy to do, but the Gunners stuck to their policy and brought in the 21-year-old Benfica defender.
New signings are now generally no longer about plugging the gaps for the short-term but about looking towards the long-term.
Of course Edu ‘s work is far from over and there is plenty more to do this summer.
But with a brief scan of the players they are looking at this summer it’s easy to see that the trend prevails.
Take the creative midfielder search for example.
The proof will be in the pudding when it comes to seeing how this new and coherent approach translates to results on the pitch in the coming seasons.
But after years of inconsistency in the transfer market it is refreshing to see Arsenal finally acting with the future in mind.