Arsenal’s summer to date
Arsenal have been trying to rebuild following back-to-back eighth-placed league finishes, but have so far signed just two players. Nuno Tavares, a promising full-back, has been brought in to provide cover and competition for Kieran Tierney, while promising midfielder Sambi Lokonga has been recruited from Anderlecht.
Welcome to north London, Albert! 👋
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 19, 2021
Talented creator Emile Smith Rowe has also signed a new long-term deal, while there is the expectation that Brighton defender Ben White will join the club when he returns from holiday.
🚨 Arsenal have struck an agreement in principle to sign England centre-back Ben White from Brighton. Deal for 23yo subject to medical & will take some time to be completed. #BHAFC always wanted guaranteed £50m @TheAthleticUK 1st reported @TomBarclay_ #AFC https://t.co/hZzxa6rRJu
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 16, 2021
However, there remains plenty to do for Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar. In this article, 101 takes a look at what fans can realistically expect for the rest of Arsenal’s summer window.
Firstly, the centre of the park for the Gunners. New signing Lokonga has joined Thomas Partey, Mohammed Elneny, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira in Arteta’s midfield ranks. Although strong on paper, Xhaka and Torreira are expected to leave the club in the near future, with Roma closing in on the Swiss international.
Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka ‘closing in on £17m Roma move with just final details being ironed out’ https://t.co/eHdFbKMfj0
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 23, 2021
Equally, Joe Willock’s future remains uncertain, with Newcastle rumoured to be interested in the England midfielder.
While neither currently seem advanced, it seems clear that this is a position that Arsenal will be looking to strengthen before August 31st.
One position Arsenal are clearly keen to strengthen, however, is in goal. Bernd Leno is in the final two years of his contract, while Runar Alex Runarsson is expected to depart the club. Beyond this, there is only Arthur Okonkwo, freshly promoted from the youth team, suggesting that a new no.2 is needed.
And, as per multiple sources, the club have made Sheffield United shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale their top priority for this position, with The Times reporting that the club have already had two bids rejected for the England shot-stopper.
🔴 Sheffield United want around £30M for Aaron Ramsdale, There will be reluctance from Arsenal to stretch that far
🔴 He is currently their number one goalkeeper target, He will be there to compete with Leno with the view to being his future successor
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 23, 2021
Right-back is a position that Arsenal have been rumoured to be looking to freshen up this summer, with Hector Bellerin thought to be free to leave. However, bids have not been plentiful, and Inter Milan, who were thought to be an interested party, were only prepared to offer an initial loan for the Spaniard. This did not work for the Gunners, and according to reports in Italy, the Nezazzurri have since cooled their interest.
Héctor Bellerín is prepared to leave Arsenal this summer but the club have yet to receive an official bid. A late fight for Bellerín’s signature may depend on Arsenal being willing to consider an initial loan with an obligation to buy. [@mcgrathmike] #afc https://t.co/5VqdSJ866W
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 22, 2021
With Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares also right-back options in north London, it seems that any incomings in this position will have to be after departures, which currently seem difficult to achieve.
As with right-back, any incomings in the no.9 role will be dependent on outgoings. The Athletic reported that Arsenal hold an interest in Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, but that this move would require both Eddie Nketiah and Alex Lacazette to depart the club.
✅ Abraham open to move to Arsenal
💰 Chelsea looking for fee of £40m
↔️ Move could depend on futures of Nketiah and Lacazette@jamesmcnicholas
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) July 22, 2021
Nketiah is expected to leave the club regardless of Abraham’s situation, with Folarin Balogun promoted to the first team to effectively take his place. The future of Lacazette is far more complex, with just twelve months left on his current deal.
It may be that the Frenchman would rather see his deal out and agree better terms at a club next summer, but should a suitable offer come in this summer, Arsenal will surely consider it, which could, in turn, open the door for Abraham’s arrival.
The final piece of the puzzle, Arsenal are on the hunt for another creative option in midfield.
Martin Odegaard’s future was thought to be set in stone at Real Madrid, with Marca reporting that he was to stay in the Spanish Capital. However, such is the fast-changing outlook for Los Blancos that this can never be considered a certainty, although any deal looks dead in the water for now.
An alternative option linked with a move to north London is Leicester City’s James Maddison, who found himself in and out of the Foxes side last campaign. However, as David Ornstein suggested to football daily, such a deal would be difficult to achieve, both in terms of cost and attraction, with Arsenal unable to offer European football.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) July 23, 2021
On the outgoings front, there is still plenty for Arsenal to sort too.
Reiss Nelson is one whose future could lie away from the Emirates stadium. As James Benge reports, Arsenal would like to keep hold of the Englishman, offering him a new contract before loaning him out this season. However, with 12 months left on his deal, they are in a weak bargaining position.
Exclusive: Crystal Palace, Brighton and Brentford all eyeing move for Reiss Nelson. Arsenal have offered extension to contract that expires next summer but no breakthrough in talks. https://t.co/rL67gYbMBP
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) July 16, 2021
Crystal Palace, Brighton and Brentford are all thought to be interested in the winger’s services, either on loan or on a permanent basis.
As mentioned above, Lucas Torreira is also expected to leave this summer, with Lazio thought to be interested previously. However, there has been little movement on any deal in recent weeks.
Willian is another one that is seemingly free to leave, but his high wages make any deal to take him away from north London tricky.
Another marketable asset that Arsenal have is Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who is drawing attention from Leicester City, Southampton and Burnley.
Leicester, Southampton and Burnley all interested in @Arsenal Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) July 21, 2021
Clearly then, there is plenty still to do for Arsenal ahead of the window closing on August 31st, with most business surely looking to be completed before the kick-off of the new season on August 13th.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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