Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s transfer stance as Barcelona replacement impacts Youri Tielemans pursuit

Arsenal are still keen to add more players to their squad this window, and Mikel Arteta has identified the areas of his team that still need added depth, says the Athletic’s David Ornstein.

The Gunners have already made five important additions this summer, and they looked good in an opening day Premier League victory against Crystal Palace, but doubts over squad depth have meant that there is still reason to be actively engaged in the market for the rest of the window.

With over £150m spent, Arsenal are now in a position to think about tying down their current stars on long-term contracts, but there’s still work to be done before they can even do that, says Ornstein.

Speaking to NBC, he said, “they [Arsenal] want to do more business, I think they want to add a winger to what they’ve got, and if they manage to get somebody in, I think they’ll be pretty happy.

“Everyone will be asking, ‘Who is that winger?’ Well, we know they went in for Raphinha. I don’t know who they’re going to go [for] if they do bring in a new winger. It could depend on Pepe leaving the club.”

Arsenal have identified two key forward options with Cody Gakpo and Moussa Diaby, both important names on Edu’s shortlist, though no true progress has been made with either player yet, and competition for the duo’s signatures is high.

It is important for Arteta to add a new attacker to provide wide options to support Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, whilst Nicholas Pepe is a player they also want to replace. There was initial hope that former-Leeds winger Raphinha could fill that void, but his decision to join Barcelona has left the Gunners’ list slightly short, with just three and a half weeks to go until the window slams shut.

The Gunners will also feel that they still have too many underperforming players at the club, and getting rid of players could be just as important as incomings, says Ornstein, though they are likely to be interlinked with funds and squad spaces being generated.

There is also remaining interest in Youri Tielemans, who played in Leicester’s own first game of the season. Ornstein admitted that negotiations aren’t advanced: “Youri Tielemans is a player Arsenal like. Leicester City would sell with only a year to go on his contract, but there’s no movement on that one yet, and I think Arsenal would need to let someone go if they’re to bring someone in.”

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