After capturing the signature of Albert Sambi Lokonga on Tuesday, Arsenal are looking to step up their transfer activity this summer, with four more signings on the horizon.
After finishing outside the Champions League places last season, the club are in the middle of an overhaul that has seen them ship out unwanted players, free up wages and recruit smartly to build a squad capable of challenging in England and in Europe.
Arsenal are not in the bookmakers’ top four picks for winning the title or even finishing in the top four this season, but savvy recruitment and good early performances can change that around quite quickly.
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The Gunners splashed out around £18million to bring in the Belgian midfielder from Anderlecht, making him the second signing this summer following Nuno Tavares’ arrival from Benfica.
Both players are considered hot prospects for the future, but they are unlikely to challenge Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney for places in Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up next season.
Arsenal are now looking to increase competition for places, and they aim to sign at least four players that will improve the current squad immediately, football.london reports.
Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White looks to be on the verge of completing his £50million switch to the Emirates Stadium.
The clubs have already struck an agreement over the defender’s price tag. The Londoners are now waiting for the player to return from vacation to finalise the move after taking part in England’s lengthy Euro 2020 campaign.
White should challenge Rob Holding and Calum Chambers for the right-sided centre-back, though he is highly expected to claim his place in the starting XI alongside Gabriel.
Meanwhile, Hector Bellerin is pushing for a move to Inter Milan, meaning Arsenal will have to find a new right-back to fill the void.
RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams and Max Aarons of Norwich City are among the candidates to replace the Spaniard should he departs for Serie A.
In addition to defensive reinforcements, the Gunners are in the market for a new playmaker to add much-required creativity and flair to Arteta’s depleted midfield.
Despite Aston Villa’s growing interest in Emile Smith Rowe, the Spanish manager is adamant the prodigious youngster will remain at the club next season.
However, entrusting the 20-year-old with shouldering the creative burden over such a long season could fire back on Arteta, who wants to land a new creative midfielder.
Although Leicester City’s James Maddison emerged as a potential target for Arsenal, the Englishman seems to be well outside the Gunners’ price range.
Wantaway Lyon starlet Houssem Aouar remains a more realistic option, but the Premier League giants will have to overcome stiff competition from Liverpool and Juventus to secure his services.
Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard is another possibility, even though Arsenal failed to convince Los Merengues to leave the Norwegian in England for another season.
The 22-year-old enjoyed an eye-catching half-season loan at the Emirates, but he has returned to the Santiago Bernabeu for the off-season campaign.
If Odegaard fails to land regular first-team football under Carlo Ancelotti in the early stage of the season, Arsenal could launch a new attempt to take him back to London.
The Gunners are also vying for a new central midfielder after parting ways with Dani Ceballos.
With Granit Xhaka expected to join Roma in the coming weeks, and Joe Willock linked with a move away, Arteta could find himself short of reliable options in the centre of the pitch.
Manuel Locatelli continues to tickle Arsenal’s imagination, but the Sassuolo star reportedly looks to join Juventus.
Therefore, the Gunners have identified Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Wolverhampton’s Ruben Neves as potential partners for Thomas.