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Arsenal’s perfect summer transfer window. The players and plan Mikel Arteta should be targeting.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The opportunity

Mikel Arteta has recently reiterated the message that the club is already planning for the summer transfer window. Whilst admitting that a number of factors are still yet to be decided relating to whether or not Arsenal will be playing in European competition, he says that the ownership have given him their full support.

Speculating about what the possible plan could be be is difficult considering the unknown factors of how much Arsenal will be able to make in the transfer window regarding player sales, how much money will be made available to them by the ownership and of course the impact of the pandemic on both Arsenal and all other clubs in which they wish to sell to and buy from.

However, this could be an opportunity for Arsenal to conduct one of their most successful windows for a generation. This is not hyperbole considering the fact that Arsenal were able to bring in two top players into key positions for the first time in a number of years in Gabriel and Thomas Partey.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Arsenal unveil new signing Thomas Partey at London Colney on October 13, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 13: Arsenal unveil new signing Thomas Partey at London Colney on October 13, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have historically spent poorly in the modern era which has seen their rivals overtake them with more savvy spending and themselves continue to pay big wages for players which can be considered lacking in relation to what is needed.

The perfect summer

Therefore, the perfect summer for Arsenal needs to include players which will improve upon the squad in key positions and provide depth where necessary.

Beginning with the backup options the two positions which need to be considered are the left back and goalkeeping areas. For Arsenal to save as much money as possible they need to be looking at these positions as cunningly as possible. These must be as close to free hits as feasible yet still adding quality.

In the Premier League, players such as Ryan Bertrand or Patrick van Aanholt, whose deals are up at the end of the season, could be brought in early and provide natural and league experienced cover for Kieran Tierney.

Ryan Bertrand

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Ryan Bertrand of Southampton gestures during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

For the keeper, Mat Ryan has just one year left on his deal with Brighton and could be able to be brought in cheaply. The Australian is integrated, knows and likes the club and has shown in his single appearance to be ample cover already, again with Premier League experience and multilingual qualities.

Then comes the higher spending area. Arguably four positions need addressing in the summer in regard to an upgrade. Central midfield, attacking midfield, forward and right-back. Arsenal could have a good amount of money to spend on each position depending on the aforementioned factors and a figure of around £30 million-plus could be spent.

Beginning with central midfield, having assessed a number of options, the players which stand out the most are Real Sociedad’s Mikel Merino, AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners and Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz. The latter will likely be the costliest but for good reason considering his brilliant left-footed quality and could slot in alongside Partey with ease.

Champions League football may escape the Naples-based club having lost to Juventus and Arsenal could tempt the Spaniard.

Arsenal’s perfect summer transfer window. The players and plan Mikel Arteta should be targeting.

Fabian Ruiz of SSC Napoli during the Serie A TIM match between SSC Napoli and Hellas Verona at Stadio San Paolo Naples Italy on 19 October 2019. (Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In attacking midfield, acquiring the permanent signature of Martin Odegaard will likely be pricey, as would his alternative England-based option Emi Buendia from Norwich. Should less money be available however, Real Betis’ Nabil Fekir’s modestly reported £26 million price tag could tempt the Gunners to move.

In the right-sided full-back option, Emerson, also from Betis although with a complicated situation regarding Barcelona, would be a player to provide both offensive and defensive upgrades. Should less money be available, Lille and Turkey’s Zeki Celik could prove a savvy piece of business.

The marquee choice being recently linked Inter Milan wing-back Achraf Hakimi. Questions surrounding his ability in the defensive third linger, but there is no doubt the Moroccan is one of Europe’s most dangerous attacking players for his position.

STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA, MILAN, ITALY - 2020/09/19: Achraf Hakimi of FC Internazionale in action during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Internazionale and Pisa SC. FC Internazionale won 7-0 over Pisa SC. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA, MILAN, ITALY – 2020/09/19: Achraf Hakimi of FC Internazionale in action during the pre-season friendly football match between FC Internazionale and Pisa SC. FC Internazionale won 7-0 over Pisa SC. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Lastly, the forward position. The most logistically difficult role to decide upon due to the presence of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Should both remain, Arsenal have the option to extend the Frenchman for a year to avoid a free departure in 2022 and focus funds on the positions referenced above.

However, should one or even both leave, some of the best options lie outside of UK shores. Sevilla’s En-Nesyri has gone under the radar in Europe but continued to score consistently and against top sides in Europe. Red Bull Salzburg’s Patson Daka looks set to be the next star from the club to explode onto one of Europe’s big 5 leagues, could Arsenal be the side to unlock him?

Finally, and likely the most expensive, Frankfurt’s Andre Silva has lit up the Bundesliga with 22 goals in 25 games. His experience of playing across Europe still leaves him without a passport stamp from the UK and he would add a dynamic lacking from Arteta’s front line in physicality combined with composed clinical finishing.

Arsenal’s perfect summer transfer window. The players and plan Mikel Arteta should be targeting.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – OCTOBER 10: Andre Silva of Portugal celebrates after scores the second goal against Switzerland during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Portugal and Switzerland at the Luz Stadium on October 10, 2017 in Lisbon, Lisboa. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

The immediate reaction to a huge hit of possible names will be one of thinking this is unrealistic and previously it might have been. However, what was once considered silly to theorise has turned into a necessity. Arsenal must invest and improve these areas if they have any hope to progress. Fail to do so and the tepid displays and meagre league position will continue.

The Gunners fans will expect, whether the club deliver is yet to be seen.

5 central midfield partners for Thomas Partey Arsenal could realistically sign this summer (Part 2)

5 possible right-backs Arsenal could replace Hector Bellerin with this summer


This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 32 44 74
2 Manchester United FC 31 27 63
3 Leicester City FC 31 18 56
4 West Ham United FC 32 11 55
5 Chelsea FC 31 19 54
6 Liverpool FC 31 16 52
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 32 17 50
8 Everton FC 31 3 49
9 Arsenal FC 31 8 45
10 Leeds United 31 0 45
11 Aston Villa FC 30 10 44
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 31 -10 38
13 Crystal Palace FC 31 -19 38
14 Southampton FC 31 -17 36
15 Newcastle United FC 32 -18 35
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 31 -5 33
17 Burnley FC 31 -17 33
18 Fulham FC 32 -18 26
19 West Bromwich Albion 31 -31 24
20 Sheffield United FC 31 -38 14
Premier League 20/21
Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 21
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 16
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 14
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 14
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 9
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Lingard, Jesse West Ham United FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 9
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 9