Who Could Arsenal Realistically Sign This Summer?

Arsenal's failing squad needs a more than a reshuffle

After a disappointing season so far, Arsenal will (once again) have to be active in the summer if they want to see any improvements. Last summer wasn’t a cheap one for the Gunners as they spent £72 million on Nicolas Pepe, who hasn’t been able to hit the ground running in north London, and they will need more spending this year.

Arsenal tried strengthening at the back with the signings of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney, but both have been unreliable; Luiz is an inconsistent performer whilst Tierney has struggled with various injuries and barely featured this season. 

Young prospect William Saliba was also signed before being loaned back to St. Etienne. His arrival in the summer should be a boost for Arsenal but he alone won’t be the answer. Who else can Arsenal sign?

The Londoners don't seem to attract the big names they once did and in the same way their rivals do. However, this doesn't mean Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mesut Ozil-esque signings are impossible for the Gunners.

From a broken defence, to inconsistencies in midfield - Arsenal are going to need a wide range of names to bulk up their failing squad. Here, we take a look at four realistic targets for Mikel Arteta to sign in the next window.

Dayet Upamecano

Even with the arrival of Saliba, it is clear that Arsenal are still in need of a defensive overhaul and one man they can chase to solve this is Dayot Upamecano. 

The Frenchman has ever-present for RB Leipzig this season, cementing himself as a regular starter and key player in their astronomical rise. At only 21 years old, the centre-back has bags of potential to match his existing ability, making him both a current and long term solution for the Gunners’ backline.

Upamecano’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed and plenty of Europe’s top clubs will be keeping tabs on him, however, Arsenal have as good a chance as any at capturing the 21-year-old. Some Arsenal fans believe the deal is as good as done after a London-based barber posted a picture of a haircut he had given the Frenchman, followed by a cryptic message potentially suggesting a transfer. Whilst this is far from the concrete evidence that fans need it to be there may be some substance to it.

Paddy Power currently have the north London side as favourites to seal the deal, offering odds of 5/2 for Arsenal to bring Upemecano to the Emirates.

As with most young star defenders, he won’t be cheap, reportedly having a release clause of £50 million. However, Upamecano is more than worth the fee and with his contract running out in just over a year, it may be time for Leipzig to cash in on their man.

Odsonne Edouard

Death, Taxes and Arsenal chasing French players; three of life’s certainties. 

Arsenal has always seemed to be the place to go for French talent. Famously, north London has been home to the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Viera whilst more recently, Alexandre Lacazette and Saliba have joined Arsenal’s ranks. 

Next on Arsenal’s French hit list could be Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard. The striker has enjoyed a fantastic two years in Scotland since joining permanently from Paris Saint-Germain 2018. Edouard has particularly been in red hot form this season, bagging 21 goals and 12 assists in just 27 league games. He has also shown he is a man for big occasions, scoring six Old Firm goals in nine appearances. 

Much like in the case of his compatriot and former Celtic star, Moussa Dembele, there comes a time where you need to leave Scotland and that time may be now for Edouard. The 22-year-old should be looking to progress in his career and there is no surprise that Arsenal are considered favourites for his next club - Paddy Power are currently offering odds of 5/2 for a move to Arsenal to materialise.

The Gunners seem to have a special talent for nurturing French stars and Edouard looks an ideal candidate to be next in a long line of Frenchmen to feature for Arsenal. With Lacazette underperforming and Aubameyang rumoured to be on the way out, there is a space for a goal scorer like Edouard to make his mark at the Emirates.

He wouldn’t break the bank and could be a classic Arsenal signing.

Fabian Ruiz

Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz will go down as more of an outside shout but could qualify as a fantastic signing for Arsenal. Granit Xhaka has had something of a season to forget with Arsenal, becoming club captain before swiftly losing the armband when telling the supporters in no uncertain terms what he thought of their protests. If Xhaka leaves north London it leaves a very sizeable hole in the middle of the park, a hole that could be filled by Ruiz.

The Spanish midfielder looks an ideal player for Arsenal’s midfield and would act as the perfect partner to Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan is much more suited to a pitbull-like, defensive midfield role and he needs a box-to-box midfielder to play alongside him; Ruiz hits all the requirements. 

The 24-year-old has great mobility and has shown fantastic work effort at Napoli, on top of this, he is composed on the ball with a silky style of play. Ruiz looks a classy midfielder and would slot right into an Arsenal team looking to play attractive football and may have years of service to offer the club.

Ruiz is reportedly wanted by the likes of the Spanish giants and other Premier League outfits, which makes this one a tough deal to complete. Although, other clubs may have their attention turned elsewhere, with some superstar names potentially available in midfield as well, such as Paul Pogba - this could allow passage for Arsenal.

Carlos Soler

Another very interesting option for the Gunners is Carlos Soler. Arteta has reportedly identified the Valencia man as a key target as he looks to bolster Arsenal’s midfield, and with the futures of Xhaka and Dani Ceballos unclear, some midfield reinforcement is vital.

Soler is one of the most exciting young midfielders in Spain and the 23-year-old has bags of potential, establishing himself as one of Valencia’s key players already and is only going to improve. Arsenal won’t be the only team interested in signing the young star, but perhaps they hold a secret weapon in manager Arteta when it comes to convincing Soler to choose north London.

The former Spanish midfielder could be the perfect coach to help nurture his compatriot into becoming the best midfielder he can be, and Arteta will definitely be using his knowledge of Spanish football to try to lure him in.

With Valencia reportedly setting the fee for Soler at around £30 million the transfer looks a relatively cheap one. In today's market, signing a young player with the potential of Soler can cost as much as their parent club are willing to dictate which has led to some very expensive moves. £30 million looks fair and Soler might end up being not just a good signing, but something of a bargain for Arsenal.

By Jak Richardson

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