In a bid to strengthen their defence for next season, Arsenal have been linked with Swansea and Wales captain Ashley Williams and Chelsea’s youth star Fikayo Tomori.
According to the Sunday Express (via Goal), Arsenal are looking to bring Swansea captain Ashley Williams to the Emirates in the summer. The Gunners are looking to table a £20 million bid for the 31 year old Welshman. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been a long time admirer of the Wales international and linked with a move to North London many times in recent seasons.
The report further states that Arsenal turned to Williams only because their first target, Mats Hummels, was confirmed to be joining Bayern Munich in the summer.
The centre-back has had a difficult campaign at Swansea, with the Swans fighting to stay up for most of the season. Williams will be captaining Wales this summer in the Euro 2016 in France and Arsenal are likely to wait until the end of the competition to assess his situation.
Another defender Arsenal are linked with is Chelsea’s youth star, Fikayo Tomori. According to CaughtOffside, his growth this season and his performances for Chelsea’s youth setup has caught the attention of their cross town rivals, Arsenal. He can operate anywhere in the defensive backline, but usually operates as right-back or centre-back.
The Canadian U-20 has had a superb season with the Blues’ youth setup, and has been an integral part of Chelsea’s FA Youth Cup winning team. His exploits have seen him be rewarded with his Premier League debut against Liverpool and two days later, he was declared Chelsea’s Academy Player Of The Year. Wenger is reportedly looking to offer a direct place in the Arsenal first team squad for the youngster amidst uncertainty surrounding the club.
Chelsea do not have a good track record of incorporating their academy graduates into the team and this is something Wenger may look to exploit. It is not the first time this season that Arsenal have been linked with Chelsea’s youngsters, as speculations of a shock swoop for Chelsea’s Dominic Solanke were made earlier this season.