Transfer rumours have already started in North London as Unai Emery is set to revolutionise the team during the summer. Although it is impossible to go into too many details at this stage few things are becoming clear of the targets: creativity and versatility seem to be at the basis of the revolution. Arsenal are still fighting to reach the top 4 which will qualify the Gunners for the next edition of the Champions League. According to some betting sites they are at 8/13 to finish in the top 4.
With Aaron Ramsey that will join Juventus in the summer, who is going to cover his place in the starting eleven of the next campaign? Also, who is going to replace Denis Suarez? It is clear that Unai Emery will be keen to have a player that can play on the wing and also through the middle.
A lot of work is also going to be done to strengthen the backline. Arsenal have been suffering from ineffective players like Shkodran Mustafi and Stephan Lichsteiner and the injuries to Bellerin and Holding have made things even worse. Another question is on Arsenal fate of Calum Chambers that has been on loan to Fulham.
Rumours have linked Arsenal to Italian international Nicolo Barella and AC Milan Frank Kessie. Both are young, have similar market value and could well replace Ramsey.
We have looked at the two players and noted that both can play box to box. Have the quality of pass and can score and create goals for others. They also have what it takes to act as a proper number 10. Similarly to Ramsey, they are adding depth across the midfield that is what Emery is looking for.
Kessie is slightly younger then Barella and he is also cheaper as there is less competition on him. If the transfer goes through this will be a key piece added in Emery’s era.
Suarez is also expected to be out, and some rumours are linking Christopher Nkunku of PSG to Arsenal. The North London club already tried to secure him during the winter transfer market but failed. Nkunku is one of the most wanted men of Emery’s first transfer window: since he is not playing at PSG at the moment a move to the Emirates Stadium would make a lot of sense for him.
Emery has already coached him in Paris and he is comfortable that he can play a similar role to Aaron Ramsey. He can play wing-back and on the flanks as well. Emery needs players who are versatile and Nkunku fit this bill. Other reports have also linked the Gunners to Argentinean full-back Nicolas Tagliafico from Ajax and also centre-back Kannemann from Gremio in Brazil.
Tagliafico will be capable of adding depth to a top group of full-backs like Bellerin and Maitland-Niles. Ajax is requesting around £17 million for him. Surely it is not a cheap option but since he is 26 years old it is worth the investment.
Kannemann, on the other hand, would fit perfectly with Sokratis at the middle of a 4 backline. He would also offer support for the ageing Laurent Koscielny. The cost to sign Kannemann is only £5 million so surely a good investment despite he is 28 years old.
Emery will only have an estimated £45 million to invest in the summer so it is important that money will not be overspent. This is why it looks like Arsenal are going for reasonably priced defensive targets coupled with more expensive youthful midfield additions.
It is also very likely that Arsenal will sell players like Mustafi and Mohamed Elneny. Danny Welbeck’s salary will also be reviewed and reduced significantly. If Emery is able to trade players and increase his transfer budget from £45 to £65-75m then he can really add to the squad some good midfield, wing and defensive players.
The key objective will be to add depth and creativity. Arsenal’s boss wants to have the ability to creatively mix and match so to present always a starting XI that has plenty of pace, pressing, expression and which is made by youth players.
All players should be able to cover different positions fluently so that the squad will keep consistent regardless who they are facing on the pitch. Something that currently Liverpool and Manchester City are mastering in the Premier League.