With the Gunners preparing for another busy summer transfer window, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see obstacles pop up along the way.
Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu want to add not one but two new forwards to the squad, football.london understands, in addition to a central midfielder and backup right-back.
Specific targets are likely to have already been lined up, but with so much to do including player sales and potential contract renewals, the club hierarchy will know that it will be a challenge to execute every single objective perfectly.
The danger of plans already being impacted is beginning to appear, with the Sunday Mirror reporting that Liverpool have joined Arsenal and Manchester United in the race to sign Alexander Isak.
Arsenal were strongly linked with Isak in January but decided against paying his £75m release clause according to The Athletic. Recent reports suggest Real Sociedad are prepared to sell the 22-year-old striker for £60m this summer, leaving a host of Premier League side’s interested.
However, with Arteta potentially having just one senior striker at his disposal at the end of the season due to Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s contracts expiring, major competition for his transfer targets will not be welcome.
Isak is experiencing a ‘temporary blip’ this season, bagging just eight goals across 31 appearances so far. Despite his struggles, Liverpool’s reported interest could force Arsenal into action.
Not only does Liverpool’s recruitment team have an amazing track record of identifying game-changing talents, but they have also proven to be ruthless when it comes to securing transfer targets.
This was shown when Tottenham made a bid to sign Porto’s Luis Diaz but when the offer was rejected, Liverpool came out of nowhere to snap the Colombian up just five days later for an initial £37m.
It just goes to show that if they are serious about signing someone and are convinced a certain player will make a difference for them, they won’t mess around.
This is the exact approach Arsenal must be prepared to take in the summer if Edu wants to ensure he doesn’t replicate Fabio Paratici’s costly Diaz mistake.
Although Isak may be going through a bit of a dry patch this season, his quality and potential remain unquestionable. He may not be the sole answer to Arteta’s striker woes, but the fact that he has been on the shortlist for some time indicates there is a strong sense he can at least have a positive impact on the team.