The Gunners will be active in the summer transfer window as they look to sell several players and use the funds for new signings
Arsenal have identified a number of positions where they will look to strengthen the team this summer, football.london understands.
Squad planning for next season has taken place over the past few months with the Gunners focused on bringing several players to the club.Technical director Edu, alongside new head of football operations Richard Garlick, will spearhead the transfer activity and it’s expected that a number of first team players will also leave to raise funds for new signings.
football.london looks at the positions manager Mikel Arteta will look to strengthen this summer.
Mat Ryan would be the obvious option to join permanently this summer. The on-loan Brighton goalkeeper joined Arsenal after falling out of favour at the Amex and his contract with the Seagulls expires in June.
“He’s really impressed me since coming in,“ Mat Ryan told The World Game of Arteta. The sense I get is that he’s been able to exert more of an effect on the team by perhaps cleaning out some of the players who didn’t quite buy in to what he was trying to accomplish. He’s a manager who pays great attention to detail … you see that with the team meetings every day, where he goes over everything with a fine-tooth comb.”
Arsenal have a number of other young goalkeeping prospects waiting in the wings, including 18-year-old Karl Hein who is already a senior international for Estonia.
Arsenal are open to letting Hector Bellerin leave the club for the right price this summer, football.london understands. The Spaniard has been linked with a return to Barcelona while Paris Saint-Germain are another name in the conversation.
Cedric Soares is particularly admired by Arteta for his ability to progress the ball in the final third and it’s feasible that he could become the first choice right-back next season.
“He’s a different quality in the full-back area than what we have,” Arteta said. He’s a gifted, technical player and is probably the best we have in the final third to make the right decision and attack the box as well. He can play in a four or a five, he’s a really good player with experience in the Premier League that can help us.”
Technical director Edu would like to bring in Achraf Hakimi from Inter but finances will be tight this summer, and it remains to be seen whether Arsenal can raise the fund required to sign the 22-year-old.
Arsenal will almost certainly sign a left-back this summer and it’s a position where they wanted to strengthen in January too.
The ideal profile being targeted initially was of a younger prospect to rival Kieran Tierney for a place in the team, but those plans could be thrown with the news that the Scot is out for the season. Tierney, 23, is undoubtedly first choice but a more experienced player could be brought in to share the load and play in cup games when the new campaign comes around.
“We are all very cautious and conscious about what we want to do and how we want to do it, how the market is going to evolve so we need to be careful,” said Arteta. “We want to process every decision really carefully and then when we are clear about an opportunity, then we will try to do it.”
It’s public knowledge that Arteta wants to sign Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal.
The Gunners will look to raise funds this summer by selling a number of fringe players in order meet Real Madrid’s asking price. Odegaard, 22, has repeatedly said that he is happy in north London ahead of a possible summer move.
“I said many times that I’ve been looking for stability (in same club), but haven’t found it,” he told VG. “I think it’ll be important to find stability. I’m very happy at Arsenal, enjoying myself. I like it here. Now my focus is to finish the season, then we’ll see.”