Jose Mourinho has praised Arsenal for their savvy business in the summer transfer window and backed Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney and David Luiz to succeed at the Emirates.
Arsenal fans had relatively low expectations about potential signings at the start of the summer, but six new players arrived through the doors in a busy few weeks for the north London club.
The Gunners completed a club-record £72million deal for Lille forward Pepe, with Tierney and Luiz arriving on deadline day from Celtic and Chelsea respectively.
Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba – who has been loaned back to Saint-Etienne – also signed on the dotted line, while Ceballos joined on a season-long deal from Real Madrid.
Asked to rate Arsenal’s summer transfer dealings, Mourinho told Sky Sports: ‘I followed Lille a lot. Last season I didn’t want to go to English stadiums after being sacked by Manchester United and I went to Lille many times.
‘So I know Pepe quite well, I think he’s a very, very talented player but there’s always a question mark on the time you need to adapt to come to England… French spoken, African boy, grew up in France… there’s a question mark in terms of the time of his adaptation but obviously he’s a kid with a lot of talent. ‘I think he’s potentially a very good signing for Arsenal.’
‘Tierney… I think he’s a young [Nacho] Monreal. Same kind of profile, reliable boy, looks a great character, looks a great personality, looks a little bit like he’s from a previous generation in some aspects. His humble way of being… I like his profile. Ceballos… I think that they have other Ceballos in their squad. He’s a good player but they have other Ceballos. When I see Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Ceballos… they can play in different positions on the pitch and very similar characteristics.
On Luiz’s move across London, Mourinho said: ‘David is a player the manager knows well. He knows what David can give and what David cannot give.
‘I think we all know the qualities of David and where he can improve things.
‘I know that sometimes he makes mistakes, but he makes these mistakes when his concentration levels are low and when you change to a new club and you have something to prove, I think it’s a good move for him.
‘At this moment of his career to get this opportunity of a late move and stay in the Premier League at the highest level, for David, it’s a fantastic move.’