As Arsenal continue to push for a Champions League place this season, the thought of an exciting and busy summer transfer window is almost certainly in the back of your mind right now.
football.london understands Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu are planning a significant outlay in the summer with the support of owner Stan Kroenke, as the club looks to sign two forwards, along with a central midfielder and backup right-back.
The Gunners have been linked with a host of names for all of those areas in recent months, but one target in particular is becoming increasingly keen on moving to the Premier League.
That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, who say that Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto is willing to make the switch to England. The report states that the player’s priority is to continue in a competitive team, he is very attracted to the Premier League and there are already several clubs that have shown interest.
One of those is said to be Arsenal, which Diari ARA reported last month.
Roberto’s contract with the Blaugrana expires at the end of the season and there have been no signs of a new deal being offered to the 30-year-old.
A six-time La Liga and two-time Champions League winner, the Spanish international can operate in central midfield and at right full-back, racking up 346 appearances combined across both positions.
He would present an interesting option to Mikel Arteta, who has admitted the importance of finding the right balance between youth and experience.
With the increasing likelihood that Arsenal will be playing European football next season, Roberto would provide much-needed versatility. He would also be a great member to have for the younger players within the squad after playing at a consistently high level for the last eleven years.
However, that’s not to say he’s the best option. Cedric Soares is also aged 30 and has plenty of high-level experience, both domestically and internationally. So it begs the question, what would the club actually be achieving with this move?
Additionally, we have seen players in their thirties such as Stephan Lichtsteiner and Willian join before, only to depart a short time later after failing to make an impact.
Considering what Arteta is trying to build at the Emirates whilst also taking into account the change of transfer strategy which has so far led to progress on the pitch, the recruitment team may be better off profiling younger and more talented individuals who carry tons of potential.
West Ham’s Ben Johnson and Middlesbrough’s Isaiah Jones have both been linked with moves to north London. Meanwhile, Arsenal loanee Brooke Norton-Cuffy continues to impress at Lincoln, potentially opening up a door to the first-team setup.
Bringing experience into a youthful side would do no harm at all, but I think it’s time Arsenal distanced themselves from the 30 plus age group for good….unless Santi wants to come back of course!