Welcome back to Transfer Plans, where we will be previewing the top six and their likely moves in the summer transfer window. Next up are Arsenal, who will not be playing European football next season unless they can beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The transfer window is now open and will run until Monday October 5.
So as we alluded to above as things currently stand Arsenal won’t have European football next season. That is unless they can beat London rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup final. We will have further previews coming on that clash but it will be fascinating to watch Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta go after the first trophy of their managerial careers, not least because there is one player playing who might be switching sides in the window.
Mikel Arteta the Arsenal Head Coach speaks to the media after the FA Cup Semi Final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on July 18, 2020
Image credit: Getty Images
Realistically it probably won’t make too much difference in terms of the calibre of players they can attract and in all likelihood Arteta is not going to be blessed with an abundance of funds even if he does win on Saturday. Arsenal will be looking for smart signings or young signings, don’t expect a massive outlay like we saw on Nicolas Pepe.
Who’s coming in?
So obviously Saliba has already been signed but he will almost certainly go straight into the first-team squad and based on some of Arsenal’s defending this season possibly a starting spot. That also probably explains why there are links to RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano although some reports are suggesting he might stay put for one more year. The other signing that might come from within the squad as it were is that of Dani Ceballos, with Arsenal keen to make his loan permanent.
Other than those another central midfielder and a forward seem to be the priorities for Arsenal and Arteta. They are being heavily linked with Thomas Partey and reportedly have offered €25m plus Matteo Guendouzi whilst Atletico Madrid want €50m. There’s a couple of decent pieces in the Arsenal midfield but there’s no doubt that they need reinforcements and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them turn elsewhere if they can’t get that deal done.
Image credit: Getty Images
Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchian has said that his client has five offers, two from England, two from Europe and one from MLS. We are assuming that one of those English offers are from Arsenal but the Brazilian’s decision won’t come until after the FA Cup final. On a free he’d be a good bit of business for Arsenal whilst Barcelona seem so desperate to offload Philippe Coutinho he could also represent decent value.
Players linked with a departure:
If there’s one thing you can say about Mikel Arteta is that he is very clear about who he does and doesn’t want. It’s pretty obvious that neither Mesut Ozil or Matteo Guendouzi have a future in north London and the club will try to move them on. The latter should be easier to sell given his age but Ozil’s wages are going to make it hard to shift him, very much a Gareth Bale scenario.
The big worry is going to be what Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang decides to do. The noise coming out of the club recently is leaning more towards him signing a new deal but if he doesn’t the club may have to cash in. It would be a huge blow if the forward was to leave, he’s been excellent since he arrived and is an important figurehead for the attack. Other sales would probably be to raise funds for some more ambitious signings.
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Look, Arsenal have some decent players and their late flourish was pretty fun to watch. They are definitely a few pieces behind Manchester United and Chelsea, let alone the top two, when you are talking about the course of a season. However it is very clear how Arteta wants to play and, crucially, it looks as if the vast majority of the squad are bought in.
With the right signings there’s no reason Arsenal can’t push for the top four next season. It won’t be easy, and they certainly won’t be favourites, but that’s the aim right now. If they manage to get back into the Europa League it’s worth targeting that and taking that seriously, as United found out it’s a useful way to get back into the Champions League.