Arsenal set for a busy summer as transfer window looms
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Edu a former Arsenal player and now sporting director (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

A poor end to the season and late heartbreak saw Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side miss out on Champions League football to their bitter north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who stole fourth place from right under their noses after it was initially in the Gunners’ hands. 

Time to look to the summer

Defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was followed by a battering at St James Park when Newcastle United outclassed Arsenal, all but ending their dream of Champions League football. 

Despite a classy victory over Everton at Emirates Stadium on the final game of the season, it was not enough as Arsenal had to settle for fifth place in the Premier League and Europa League football

As the summer transfer window looms, set to open on the 10th June, Arsenal look prepped to be busy with several players already linked with a move to the club. 

Centre forward position needs bolstering

The first and arguably most important position that needs addressing ahead of the upcoming season is the centre forward position. Before the end of the last campaign, it looked as if Arsenal would be losing both of the strikers that they had on their books, with Alex Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah running down their contracts and into the final months of their deals. Since then, it has been widely reported that Eddie Nketiah has agreed to improved terms and is set to extend his agreement at Emirates Stadium

With Lacazette still looking to be out the door, it has also been reported that Arsenal will be in the market for a marquee striker. Many names have been linked since the sale of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang due to the north London club struggling to settle on a man up front to lead the line. 

A name that has been widely mentioned is Gabriel Jesus, current Manchester City forward who is in the final year of his contract at this season’s Premier League champions. The Athletic described Arsenal’s interest in Jesus as optimistic and confident that a deal could be done. Discussions between Technical Director Edu Gaspar and Jesus’ side are believed to have taken place in months gone by and with one year remaining on his contract, the Gunners could get a bargain price for Manchester City’s current number nine. 

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Depth needed in central midfield 

Alongside centre forward, Arsenal want to strengthen the central midfield department, bringing in a quality number eight. Links are less concrete in this area but one name that has been branded around is Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans. The Belgium international made 50 appearances in all competitions for the Foxes last campaign, scoring seven times and assisting five. Similarly to Jesus, he has just one year left on his contract and could be available at a fee in the region of £25m this summer. 

With Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey both injured at key moments this season, depth is needed in the midfield department as Albert Sambi Lokonga is still developing at this stage in his career, and Mohammed Elneny has struggled at times to show the quality and consistency to take Arsenal to the next level. 

Left back additions linked 

Another position that has a lack of depth in this Arsenal squad is the left back position. Kieran Tierney has cruelly struggled with injury the past two seasons, and a lack of backup has been punished as teams seem to target Arsenal’s left-hand side in games. Although Arsenal signed Nuno Tavares last summer to compensate for this issue, the Portuguese international has been exposed multiple times this season, to the point that Mikel Arteta has had to put fellow Portuguese right back Cedric Soares in to play out of position. 

Two names have been linked with a move to N5 this summer to provide backup and competition in the left back role, with Bologna’s Aaron Hickey and Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City tipped to come in. 

Zinchenko featured 28 times this season for Manchester City, registering five assists whereas Hickey played 36 games, scoring five times in Serie A and assisting once. 

Interestingly, both go head to head this evening as Scotland play Ukraine in the World Cup Qualifiers. 

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Arsenal were the highest spenders in the summer transfer window last campaign, as they reportedly splashed out over £140m on players to strengthen their squad. This year it appears that their strategy is different from the summer of 2021 as they hope to add a smaller number of players, but substantially lift the standard and quality of the squad.