The summer transfer window is almost upon us and it’s shaping up to be a big one for Mikel Arteta as he aims to take Arsenal to the next level.
If the summer of 2022 is anything like the summer of 2021 then the Gunners will be extremely active as soon as the window officially opens for Premier League, EFL and Scottish clubs on Friday, June 10 2022 all the way up until deadline day on Wednesday, August 31, 2022.
Despite a slow start to last season and then missing out on a top-four finish by two points at the end, manager Arteta and Arsenal technical director Edu can look back at their business last summer and be happy with what they managed to do in terms of new signings.
At the beginning of the summer, the plan was to bring in a homegrown goalkeeper, a back-up left-back, a creative midfielder and a replacement for David Luiz in central defence. In signing Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares, Martin Odegaard and Benjamin White, it was mission complete before deadline day whilst Albert Sambi Lokonga and Takehiro Tomiyasu were the other two additions to bring the transfer spend to around Â£150m in total.
More of the same can be expected judging by what business the Gunners have done since Stan Kroenke became the club’s sole shareholder in September 2018.
Looking ahead to this summer and it’s no secret that the Gunners are going to be busy again and work is already going on behind the scenes to ensure the first-team squad is in good standing to mount a top-four push next season whilst also coping with the demands of Europa League football as well as the domestic cup competitions.
But what will a successful transfer window look like for Arsenal when everything is all said and done come September 1? Well, football.london takes a look at what would be the best and worst-case scenario summer transfer window for the Gunners. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Firstly, let’s get the done deals and expected business out of the way. Mohamed Elneny has signed a new contract, striker Eddie Nketiah is set to follow suit, but an exit for Alexandre Lacazette is on the cards when his contract expires at the end of the month and a move back to Lyon looking likely.
Meanwhile, Matt Turner’s move from the New England Revolution will be completed once he’s passed a medical and a deal has been agreed with Brazilian side Sao Paulo to sign winger Marquinhos who will join the club at some point in the summer following extensive talks with Edu.
Now, a quick glance at Arsenal’s current playing squad and it’s clear major improvements in attack are needed and that’s with or without Nketiah staying on. The good news is that football.london understands that they are targeting Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus as they seek to solve their goalscoring problems.
Like with any good transfer strategy, the Gunners have contingency plans as the Brazilian isn’t the only striker being linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium as the names of Darwin Nunez, Victor Osimhen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Lautaro Martinez have often been brought up in the gossip columns.
Arsenal’s overall attacking stats, as per Sky Sports, shows they ranked fourth for Expected Goals (xG) with 69 but only managed to score 61 – the sixth-best across the entire division last season. Therefore, this summer’s transfer priority must be to sign a new striker – preferably a clinical goalscorer.
Furthermore, Youri Tielemans of Leicester City is among the names to have been linked for the midfield position as an upgrade on Granit Xhaka is required and football.london understands that the Gunners are targetting Bologna’s Aaron Hickey too as cover in both full-back positions.
In terms of a dream signing, there is one, in particular, that would delight many Arsenal fans. Talk of Serge Gnabry returning to the Emirates Stadium has resurfaced over the past week – albeit amongst supporters rather than a concrete link – but if there’s a chance to bring the German home then it would delight a lot of people.
So in addition to deals for Turner and Marquinhos, if the Gunners were to sign a new striker, Tielemans, Hickey and Gnabry plus trimming the squad by selling the first-team players deemed surplus to requirements would represent a good summer transfer window.
Of course, the worst-case scenario going into any transfer window is if a club stands still and doesn’t do any – or limited – business. For Arsenal, if they were to not address the centre-forward and central midfield positions this summer then it’s hard to see how they will be any stronger next season.
But as well as bolstering the squad with new signings, it’s equally important that the Gunners get William Saliba and Bukayo Saka tied down to new contracts. As previously reported by football.london, talks with both players’ representatives are planned for this summer as director of football operations Richard Garlick – whose main role entails negotiating contracts with both existing and new players – has a big job on his hands.
As things stand, Saliba and Saka are going into the summer with two years remaining on their respective deals which means Arsenal are entering the infamous ‘sign or sell’ territory as they can’t afford to risk a scenario where either player runs down their contracts to leave for a cut-price fee next summer or for free in 2024.
The fact that Saka is coming off a fine individual season and Saliba enjoyed a successful loan spell with Marseille is an incentive for the Gunners to get the contract situations sorted out as they can be key players for the club for many years to come. Although, the worst-case scenario of talks not going smoothly still lingers in the air and there will be a host of clubs across Europe sniffing around to see if a transfer this summer is a possibility.
Of the many players expected to leave Arsenal between now and August 31, if Saka and/or Saliba are included in the list and the club don’t address certain key positions then it would be a summer transfer window to forget.