De Bruyne singles out Arsenal trio that impressed him in Community Shield loss

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De Bruyne singles out Arsenal trio that impressed him in Community Shield loss
De Bruyne singles out Arsenal trio that impressed him in Community Shield loss

Kevin De Bruyne has heralded Arsenal's transfer dealings this summer and singled out their three new recruits Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber for praise.

The Manchester City superstar came up against the trio at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, where the Gunners triumphed in a dramatic penalty shoot-out. De Bruyne, to the surprise of many, was actually one of City's spot-kick villains as his effort struck the crossbar and bounced back out. Rodri also saw his penalty saved by Aaron Ramsdale before Fabio Vieira secured the win for Arsenal.

Following the conclusion of the dramatic affair, De Bruyne explained how the three Arsenal stars that arrived in north London this summer are already proving their importance to the team.

While Rice is often the one in the spotlight the most because of his eye-watering £105million fee, Havertz enjoyed a stellar display leading the line in a forward role, linking the midfield to the attack seamlessly. However, Timber was undoubtedly the best performer of the three on the day, which was all the more impressive considering he was deployed as a left-back when he is traditionally used as either a central defender or a right-back.

“I think they are good players,” De Bruyne admitted when discussing Rice, Havertz and Timber's influence. "They look at what they need and they have bought them.

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"I think they started all three, so that means they are big signings for them. Everybody is looking at their own team and every team has so much money, so everybody is always spending in this league and we know that. It gets tougher every year. One way or another, we try to maintain where we are."

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De Bruyne singles out Arsenal trio that impressed him in Community Shield lossKevin De Bruyne has praised new Arsenal signings Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber (James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Clearly not overawed by the pressure that comes with any performance at Wembley, Timber was a constant presence throughout the game and contributed both defensively and in an attacking sense. With that being said, it was actually Havertz who left manager Mikel Arteta waxing lyrical during his post-match presser.

"He was superb," Arteta explained. "The way he pressed and how intelligent he is to try and understand certain spaces and the timing of it, he was great and got in great positions to score. He was unlucky not to score but he was very physical when he needed to be, so I was very pleased with him."

If this coming campaign's title race is anything like the Community Shield, it will be a tight, evenly contested affair. Cole Palmer netted a glorious curling effort in the 77th minute, but Leandro Trossard's deflected 101st-minute equaliser forced the game to a shootout.

Both City and Arsenal enjoyed periods of dominance as well as spells where they were clearly on the back foot but to the surprise of many it was the Gunners who had the last laugh.

Josh O'Brien

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