The Arsenal Transfer conundrum
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: View from the players tunnel before the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Watford FC at Emirates Stadium on July 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Having a successful summer transfer window remains paramount for Arsenal this summer. Edu Gaspar and the Arsenal board have the task of bringing in new players, selling individuals that need to be moved on and making tough decisions on player contracts.  

Recruitment is the key

Significant strengthening of the Arsenal first team is essential this transfer window as over the course of the 20/21 season, significant positions were exposed and taken advantage of by opposition.

Mikel Arteta’s side also struggled with squad depth from significant injuries to Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey unsettling the team’s rhythm and out of positioned players having to fill in unfamiliar roles. 

One of the first tasks on the mind of Edu when deciding where to strengthen in the upcoming window is how he can bolster Arteta’s midfield options. 

The North London club paid the release clause of Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey in the summer of 2020 and, since his debut, Partey has cemented himself as a crucial member of the team however, with Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid and Granit Xhaka being linked with a move away to Jose Mourinho’s Roma, Arteta would be left with just Mo Elneny and Joe Willock to partner Thomas in midfield. 

Brighton’s Yves Bissouma has been linked with a move to Emirates Stadium this summer with Arsenal said to appreciate the former Lille player.

Despite their appreciation, Fabrizio Romano reported that the Malian is one of Arsenal’s options but not the first choice signing in midfield this summer. The Gunners have also been linked with Sheffield United’s Sander Berge

More chances for the young guns

It has been widely reported that this summer Willian will be departing from the club after a disappointing debut season moving from West to North London.

With this high-profile exit looking imminent, it will give exciting opportunities for both Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli to take the first team by storm. 

Nelson has found himself out of favour at the Emirates this campaign  after finding himself behind Willian, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Emile Smith-Rowe, Martinelli and Martin Odegaard.

However, with the potential departures of Odegaard and Willian alongside Smith-Rowe and Aubameyang being moved into more central positions, this gives Nelson potentially his big chance to impress. 

Joe Willock is another Arsenal player who could have a breakthrough season in the upcoming campaign after impressing on loan at Newcastle United.

Just like Saka and Smith-Rowe have done in seasons gone by, Willock could star for the first team if an opportunity comes his way as he also brings goals and assists to his game from deeper positions which Arsenal have lacked in recent years. 

Fullback worries

Arsenal have been left in crisis at times in the campaign gone by with Kieran Tierney struggling due to injuries and Hector Bellerin far from convincing with his performances.

At one stage in the season, Xhaka and Callum Chambers made up the fullbacks in the Arsenal backline so, singing top quality fullbacks must also be on the shopping list for Edu this summer. 

A backup to Tierney and a starting right back to replace the ever likely departing Hector Bellerin are essential.

Some of the names that have been mentioned at right back include Inter Milan’s Achraf HakimiNorwich’s Max Aarons and the Brighton right back Tariq Lamptey.

It still remains to be seen as to which of these deals could come to fruition as the Gunners haven’t made a move for any of them thus far.  

Contract decisions

Arsenal have come to a stage with some of their star players where the Arsenal board will have to be making some tough decisions with some of their players who are coming into the final years of their contracts.

Alex Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Elneny and Chambers all come under that category. If Arsenal want to enhance their value and try to get as much money as possible for them then, they will have to act quickly before they could potentially move as a free agent in 2022.