The Gunners spent over £150million in the summer window on six new additions to help refresh Mikel Arteta ‘s squad, but Campbell believes they would have been better off taking a different approach.
Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Nuno Tavares and Tomiyasu were brought in after Arsenal failed to qualify for European competition for the first time in 26 years last season.
With each of them being 23 or younger, the Gunners’ recruitment has clearly been with the future in mind, with technical director Edu taking a long-term approach.
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Campbell has praised the north London club’s efforts to have a busy summer while discussing Tomiyasu’s arrival.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the ex-Gunners defender said: “Arsenal have been incredibly busy. It’s nice… they’re trying!
“Takehiro Tomiyasu, from Bologna. He’s a defender, good, 22, looks strong – another potential player. That’s what we’re looking at at the moment.”
Although the 22-year-old Japan international could well turn out to be a shrewd pick up for £17million, Campbell’s approach would have been on more instantly improving the squad.
“I’d rather take two transfers – money and wages – and buy a ready-to-go player and then you can pad it out with some other potentials as well,” the 46-year-old stated.
“I’d much prefer that type of way and build up over the next two or three years.
“Every year buy those kind of signature players that can give you that instant success… instant success? Well maybe proven and they’re more likely going to work out.”
He added: “Sometimes you need to join two transfer fees and the money to sign those [signature] players.
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“They should look at that and balance it out with potential.”
Edu has recently hit back of criticism regarding Arsenal’s business, telling Sky Sports : “We need players to play and then we need players to cover the first XI.
“Now let’s put it into context. For example, in the midfield, you have Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. So, for me and for Mikel it doesn’t make sense to sign another player to be on top of them if they are the ones that are going to be playing.
“That’s why we chose Albert Sambi Lokonga to help them,” the Gunners chief explained.
“If you go up front we have Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli. I want to see them playing together,” he continued.
“In the number 10 position, we saw a gap there because we just have Emile Smith Rowe. We needed a number 10 with the same quality to be there, help and play.”
Arteta seems pleased with his side’s summer, too, telling the club’s website following their behind-closed-doors friendly victory over Brentford: “It was a really complicated market.
“We had a lot of things to do, I think we had 16 or 17 transactions in total, which is a lot.
“The club has made a big effort, we had support from the owners to try to do it and we had to recruit in the terms that we could, and I am very pleased.”