Window shopping: Assessing what Arsenal need before the transfer window closes

Premier League clubs are frantically attempting to secure deals with less than a month of the window remaining, as plans are finalised ahead of the start of the new season.

It’s been a relatively quiet transfer window with clubs feeling the financial impact of the ongoing pandemic, though business is expected to accelerate in the coming weeks as Premier League sides bid to finalise their squads ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.


We’ve decided to assess the state of play at the Premier League’s leading clubs, here is what we feel Arsenal need before the closure of the transfer window on August 31.

What’s happened during the summer so far?

Arsenal have been amongst the busier Premier League sides during the window so far, with only Manchester United having spent more than the Gunners to date.

Mikel Arteta has sought to reshape his squad following a disappointing first full season in charge, bringing in depth and potential with the captures of Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga from Benfica and Anderlecht respectively.

At 21 both players are ones for the future but have significant room to develop at the Emirates, with Tavares providing competition and cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back.

Lokonga bolsters the north London side’s midfield options and will be given time to adjust to English football following his arrival from Belgium.

The headline capture so far has been Ben White’s £50m arrival from Brighton and the centre-back will be expected to immediately step in and improve the Arsenal backline, with Arteta having shown huge faith in a player with just one season of Premier League experience.

Who could arrive before the transfer deadline?

There’s been no shortage of transfer rumours surrounding Arsenal throughout the summer, with several gaps to be plugged before Arteta can be content with a balanced squad.

Amongst the club’s leading priorities has been the signing of a creative midfielder following Martin Odegaard’s return to Real Madrid following a loan spell last season, though the Gunners continue to monitor the situation of the Norway international at the Bernabeu.

James Maddison has also been linked as a potential addition, but Leicester will not sanction his sale cheaply amid talks that the Foxes have placed a reported £70m price-tag on the midfielder.

Arsenal have also seen two bids rejected for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, with speculation having suggested a third offer could be submitted for the England u21 international.

Ramsdale has been named as Player of the Season in each of the past two seasons at relegated teams, but even with the 23-year-old’s room for further development the £32m figure being speculated seems unquestionably high in the current climate.

Elsewhere question marks remain over Arteta’s first-choice right-back and midfield pairing, whilst further depth may be required at centre-forward should either Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah depart.

Who could leave?

Arsenal’s transfer plans have been hindered by an inability to shift unwanted assets so far this summer, with perhaps no club in the Premier League possessing more players deemed as ‘deadwood’.

Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba have been loaned out once again, but several of the loan contingent from last season face uncertain futures.

Lucas Torreira remains an Arsenal player after an indifferent loan spell at Atletico Madrid last season, whilst Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock have returned from temporary spells at West Brom and Newcastle respectively.

The latter starred during his spell at St James’ Park and the Magpies are keen to sign the midfielder on a permanent deal, but the Gunners are yet to make a decision on the 21-year-old given their wealth of unconvincing midfield options.

Decisions must also be made on both Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah with the forwards having entered the final year of their deals, whilst neither club or player have shown a willingness to extend Bernd Leno’s contract with the goalkeeper’s deal set to expire in 2023.

Reiss Nelson – who has been linked with joining Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace – could also leave in search of regular opportunities after making just nine appearances in all competitions last season.

Dream signing – James Maddison

It’s no secret that Mikel Arteta believes his side are lacking creativity in the final third, with the Gunners having been linked with a whole host of attacking midfielders throughout the summer window to date.

James Maddison has been speculated as a potential high-profile arrival at the Emirates and it’s easy to see why, the Leicester midfielder fitting the profile of player the north London side are targeting.

Maddison provided 13 goal involvements in just 24 league starts for the Foxes last season, enjoying the best goalscoring campaign of his Premier League career so far after netting eight times for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Comfortable operating as a number eight, ten or out wide, his arrival would provide Arteta with a multi-functional creative asset, whilst his set-piece ability is another string to his bow.

Arteta has targeted younger players during the window and Maddison has the perfect blend of youth and experience to grow in a developing side at the Emirates.

Prising him from the King Power Stadium will prove difficult however, given the finances involved and Leicester’s strength at present, with the Foxes currently in a stronger position to contend for silverware than a transitional Arsenal side.

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