The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at some of the transfer stories buzzing in the rumour bill surrounding Premier League bigwigs Arsenal.
It is a summer of reckoning for Arsenal after what was a disappointing 2020/21 season. For the first time in 25 years, the Gunners failed to qualify for any form of European football and will be aiming to rise back up and challenge for a top-four come the new season.
For Mikel Arteta & co. to be able to do that, how they go about their transfer business in the ongoing summer window will have a huge say on their fortunes. Two players have already come in, in the form of Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga, while Ben White is on the verge of completing a transfer.
At the same time, there have been a few exits as well, with the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, William Saliba leaving the Emirates, with more outgoings expected. With still plenty of time left in the summer transfer window, Arsenal will need to get cracking and push for top signings while cutting out the deadwood from the squad.
So, without much ado, let’s dive into some of the latest transfer news that is doing the rounds with regards to Arsenal and their plans this summer.
Arsenal prioritise a move for Denis Zakaria
Having already signed Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal still remain in the hunt for a new midfielder, which is very much understandable considering that Granit Xhaka is set for an exit. While a number of names have been linked with a move to the Emirates, a report from El Gol Digital claims that the Gunners will prioritise a move for Zakaria this summer.
The Borussia Monchengladbach and Switzerland international midfielder has recovered from a serious knee injury and has gotten a few minutes under his belt last season, while he featured for some time at the Euros as well. An all-action midfielder, the 24-year-old can be a good fit into Arsenal’s system, although that may cast doubts on the future of Thomas Partey, as per the report.
The Ghanaian had a slow debut season at the Emirates, but is unlikely to be sold, even if the report claims otherwise. Instead, it will some other Arsenal midfielders that could be set to depart…
Newcastle increasingly hopeful of signing Joe Willock
And, one of the midfielders, that could be on their way out of the Emirates this summer is Joe Willock. The Arsenal academy graduate spent the second half of the last season on loan at Newcastle United, who are growing increasingly hopeful of signing him on another loan transfer, reports the Daily Mail.
During his time at the St. James’ Park, Willock plundered eight goals in 14 games, playing a key role in the Magpies pulling away from the threat of relegation. Given that Arsenal are in the market for new additions to the midfield department, the Englishman is unlikely to feature much at the Emirates.
Newcastle are hoping for a decision on the matter in the 48 hours as per the report. And, there seems to be a very good chance that Willock finds his way back to Tyneside this summer.
Arsenal consider swoop for former Manchester United star Sergio Romero
According to Spanish publication Fichajes, Arsenal are looking at former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who is a free agent, to bolster their squad. The Gunners are in the market for a new shot-stopper, having lost Mat Ryan whose loan move came to an end last month.
With Runar Alex Runarsson not entirely convincing since his move last summer, Mikel Arteta & co. are on the lookout for a proper cover for Bernd Leno. A move for Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale has been mooted heavily. But with the finances being tight and other positions needing to be strengthened, a move for a free agent like Romero would make sense for the Gunners.
Furthermore, Romero is a vastly experienced customer and has proven himself in the Premier League during his time at Manchester United, making him a viable target for the north London giants.
Arsenal eyeing Jerome Boateng Bosman move
The same report from Fichajes insists that Arsenal are also eyeing former Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng as an option to bolster their defensive unit. With David Luiz departing the club, the Gunners are lacking a seasoned campaigner at the back, someone who can guide the defence.
So, even though Ben White is arriving shortly, it would make sense for the north London giants to bring in another defender, making Boateng an option worth looking at. The German defender is also a free agent, having seen his contract with Bayern Munich run out at the end of the last season.
However, Arsenal will need to be quick to secure the transfer of the veteran defender, as he is believed to be in talks to sign for La Liga club Sevilla, as a potential replacement for Jules Kounde, who is headed to Chelsea.
Arsenal considering a reunion with Jack Wilshere
Finally, as per Fichajes, a move for former academy product Jack Wilshere could be on the cards for Arsenal. The 29-year-old made 198 appearances for the Gunners before departing for West Ham United in 2018. Following that, the Englishman also had a stint with Bournemouth but currently finds himself without a club.
Training with EFL Championship club Derby County, Wilshere’s injury problems played a big role in him not being able to reach his potential. But, considering his free agency and experience, there may be a chance that Arsenal decide to take a punt on him, as a squad rotation player with Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock set to depart while Mohamed Elneny also facing an uncertain future.