Mikel Arteta and his young Arsenal side were very close to winning the English Premier League title last season. The Spanish manager decided to strengthen his squad for the 2023–24 season. He brought in some of the big names like Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber.

Arsenal needed some resources in their midfield, and with these new signings, Arteta has a completely new midfield. Last season, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, and Martin Odegaard were part of the regular midfield for the Gunners. This season, Rice and Havertz have joined Odegaard in the middle. Havertz is not a natural midfielder, but Arteta has given him a new role. Let’s take a look at how the midfield is shaping up at Arsenal.

New midfield commander: Declan Rice

Arsenal had their eyes set on English midfielder Declan Rice. The Gunners spent £105 million on their new recruit.

Declan Rice Kai Havertz Martin Odegaard – Arsenal: English Premier League 2023-24 Data, Stats, Analysis and Scout report

Declan Rice is a holding midfielder but has added a bit more to his game recently. The Englishman plays in the heart of midfield for the Gunners. This heatmap is from his first two appearances for the new side in the Premier League. Rice has been more supportive of the left side.

Declan Rice Kai Havertz Martin Odegaard – Arsenal: English Premier League 2023-24 Data, Stats, Analysis and Scout report

The 24-year-old’s primary task is to protect the defence. Rice has been successful in doing so, and Arsenal still have a 100% record in the league. He won 70% of his defensive duels and made 11 interceptions. The players have only given away two fouls, and that was in the attacking half.

Captain’s creativity from the middle

Declan Rice Kai Havertz Martin Odegaard – Arsenal: English Premier League 2023-24 Data, Stats, Analysis and Scout report

Martin Odegaard is playing a similar role as he did in 2022-23. He featured on the right side of midfield three and his heatmap also suggests the same. The Norwegian scored a penalty in his side’s last match against Crystal Palace.

Declan Rice Kai Havertz Martin Odegaard – Arsenal: English Premier League 2023-24 Data, Stats, Analysis and Scout report

The club captain has a huge role to play on the creative side. He links up with Sak and often tries to create opportunities for himself as well. With a passing accuracy rate of 86.3%, Odegaard often tries to find a teammate inside the opposition’s penalty box. Odegaard has attempted ten passes and enjoyed 50% success. Mikel Arteta will expect more creativity from his captain.

Kai Havertz’ new role

Declan Rice Kai Havertz Martin Odegaard – Arsenal: English Premier League 2023-24 Data, Stats, Analysis and Scout report

Kai Havertz has an attacking mindset and is more of an attacker than a midfielder. He has played as an attacking midfielder and forward throughout his career. However, there is a new role for the German in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The German plays on the left side of the midfield. However, the touch map shows that the player covers quite a lot of ground in the attacking half. Havertz has taken 10 touches inside the opposition penalty box. There are a lot of expectations from Havertz, as he is capable of scoring goals.

Mikel Arteta is going all-in for the league title this season. Arsenal have one of the best squads in England, and they will be up for the Champions League as well. These three will look to create more link-up plays and create goals from the centre.

Visuals via TFA data viz engine