This is an exciting time to be an Arsenal supporter.
Despite the disappointment and suffering of finishing eighth in the Premier League table at the end of the 2020/21 season, resulting in the club missing out on a place in Europe for the first time in 25 years ahead of the forthcoming campaign, you cannot argue the fact that the Gunners are doing everything within their power to put things right.
Alongside technical director Edu, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is determined to change the landscape of his first-team squad by drafting in several new faces to give the club a freshen up and add some much-needed quality to it.
Although, at the time of publication, no new additions have been added to Arteta’s squad, the Gunners are close to getting deals over the line for left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and Anderlecht midfield ace Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The duo, who are poised to join the club for a combined fee of around £25million, are waiting to conduct their medicals and then wrap up the remaining formalities of the deal before, hopefully, they are introduced as Arsenal players.
However, the arrivals of Tavares and Sambi Lokonga is not, all being well, going to be the end of the Gunners’ summer recruitment drive. Instead, it could be just the beginning, as Arteta has aspirations to strengthen his squad in a variety of ways this summer.
One area of the pitch that Arteta wants to strengthen most is the central attacking-midfield position, with that area of the team having been left short on options following the departure of Martin Odegaard, who has returned to Real Madrid following his loan spell at the Emirates Stadium during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
Whilst Arteta was desperate to lure Odegaard back to north London, that ship has since sailed, with the Norway ace poised to stay in the Spanish capital and fight for his place.
However, the Gunners have already sounded out a potential alternative in the form of Leicester City ace James Maddison. The former Norwich City man is at the top of Arteta’s wish list when it comes to adding a creative player to his midfield, but the Foxes are poised to demand £60million for his services, meaning it could be a financial struggle for Arsenal to sign him and land other targets, as the Gunners remain on the hunt for a new goalkeeper and right-back among other positions.
Fortunately, Arsenal do have an ace up their sleeve when it comes to the possibility of being able to lure Maddison to north London, and that is in the context of offloading those who no longer figure within Arteta’s plans to fund a deal.
As reported by EuroJournal back in April, the Gunners are prepared to let go of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock this summer. The trio, going off transfer valuations provided by transfermarkt, would land Arsenal a windfall of £46.8million if they were all sold at their current values.
As well as being open to the idea of letting go of those three, the Gunners, according to EuroJournal, are also ‘open to offers’ for striker Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman is now in the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and he is not poised to sign a new deal.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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Therefore, offloading him this summer for a transfer fee, opposed to losing him for free in a year’s time, would be a sensible move for the Gunners to carry out. According to transfermarkt, the former Lyon striker has a current value of £25.2million.
With all of that in mind, the Gunners could generate a windfall amounting to £72million if the four of the aforementioned names were to be sold this summer, potentially giving them just enough to sign Maddison and still have some room left in the tank to bring in new additions.
Maddison, if a deal was to be done, would be a huge statement of intent shown by Arsenal, making it clear to their rivals that they are eager to get back amongst the Premier League’s leading lights.
He is firmly on Arteta’s radar as things stand, but a deal seems unlikely without player sales.