By Noel Whelan

29th Jun, 2022 | 8:38am

Pundit hails Arsenal transfer plan after 'exciting' behind-the-scenes U-turn

Noel Whelan has suggested Arsenal now have the capability to run Tottenham close in the 2022/23 season after an “exciting” summer window.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted Gunners fans have cause to be “pretty optimistic” after spending big during the off-season.

Football Insider revealed on Saturday (25 June) that the Gabriel Jesus will be unveiled as an Arsenal player in the coming days after all parties reached a full agreement on a move.

Arteta’s side have already completed deals for Fabio Viera and Marquinhos, and the £45million move for Jesus will take the Gunners’ summer spending to a total of £85million.

According to Transfermarkt, Arsenal spent £150million in the summer of 2021 and £77.4million during the Spaniard’s first full season in charge (2020/21).

Whelan insisted it will be “exciting” for fans to see the Arsenal hierarchy green-lighting big-money moves after years of limited outlays.

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He claimed this summer’s transfer activity will conclude the “three-year plan” hatched by Arteta to bring the Gunners back into Champions League contention.

He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “This is the three-year plan taking shape, isn’t it?

“They’ve put the building blocks together and Arteta has built a really good team.

“I like the style of play at Arsenal too, and I think these players are extremely well suited to that style.

“You’ve got to be excited if you’re an Arsenal fan, haven’t you? For years they haven’t really spent big, so they’ve got to be pretty optimistic after this window.

“They’ve got a really competitive squad now to go out and run Tottenham close for the Champions League places.”

Arsenal will play Europa League football during the 2022/23 season.

They will kick their Premier League campaign off away at Crystal Palace on 5 August.

In other news, Arsenal idol issues “huge” centre-back transfer claim after journalist’s bid update.