The task facing Mikel Arteta is to get Arsenal back into the Champions League and restore them to their former status as one of the Premier League’s big boys.
And in signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day, he has taken a big step towards that.
The Ghanaian’s renowned aptitude as a defensive midfielder will allow the north London club to switch to the 4-3-3 formation favoured by Liverpool and City during their domination of English football in recent seasons.
Arteta instigated the current 3-4-3 formation to stop his side leaking goals, but the 27-year-old will provide the protection for the defence that his new manager has craved.
Partey will offer Arsenal’s rearguard the protection his new manager has craved, added to the greater defensive stability provided the summer signing of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.
That allows Arteta to adopt the same formation as both his former mentor and Jurgen Klopp, with Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos the most likely starters alongside Partey in midfield.
The 4-3-3 will in turn allow the full-backs to provide width, with the manager able to choose from Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Kieran Tierney and Bukayo Saka.
With Gabriel and David Luiz benefiting from the added protection of Partey in front of them, the full-backs will have greater freedom to push forward in support of a front line boasting the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli.