4 transfers Arsenal should complete before the deadline

4 transfers Arsenal should complete before the deadline

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 30: Youri Tielemans of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Leicester, England...TAP.TO.READ MORE.

The clock is ticking on the 2022 summer transfer window and while Arsenal have already overseen considerable activity on both fronts this summer, there is still an expectation that the club will conduct further business in the weeks to come.

Electric starts to life in north London from new arrivals Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have immediately vindicated Mikel Arteta’s expensive recruitment tastes, and to secure maximum points after two tricky opening fixtures underlines the tremendous quality the club now boasts within its ranks.

However, media reports suggest the Gunners remain active in the market and are keen to add a few final touches to the squad in preparation for what promises to be a watershed campaign.
4 transfers Arsenal should complete before the end of the transfer window

Embellishments on the flanks and in central midfield are often cited as the most urgent matters to address if we are to reach the next level this year, and here are four transfers that the club should complete before the September 1st deadline.
Departure #1: Ainsley Maitland-Niles
Ainsley Maitland-Niles spent the second half of last season on loan at Roma.

His Arsenal career has wallowed in the doldrums for several years now but, after his recent return from an underwhelming six-month loan spell at Roma, it may be time for Maitland-Niles to finally seal a permanent move away from the Emirates Stadium.

The 24-year-old appeared to have a bright future in the early days of Arteta’s reign and completed 90 minutes in each of his first five matches in charge, with periods of great form even earning him a call-up to the England squad in autumn 2020.

But inconsistency and question marks about his application soon saw the ‘bird-catcher’ fall out of favour with the boss and, following a poor stint in the West Brom midfield during the pandemic, prospects of a Roman revival under Mourinho also dissipated as he made just two league appearances between late February and the end of the campaign.

He once famously stated that he wants to go “where I’m wanted” and with one year left on his current deal, his value will only continue to plummet ahead of a possible free transfer next year. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the club to quickly part ways and free up both wages and space for new recruits before the window shuts.
Arrival #1: Youri Tielemans
Arsenal have long been linked with a move for the Leicester midfielder.

Although this transfer saga has rumbled on all summer and speculation grows that our interest in the Leicester man is cooling, a deal to sign Youri Tielemans still seems inevitable and would constitute a smart piece of business for Arsenal.

A competent performer as part of a two-man midfield, sole pivot or even in the Granit Xhaka ‘shuttler’ role in a central three, Tielemans’ versatility means he ticks many tactical boxes and is perfectly suited to Arteta’s positional rotation in advanced areas.

He is also comfortable receiving the ball under pressure in build-up phases and – similar to the divisive Swiss – likes to drop into the half-space in order to progress play, ranking in the 89th percentile for progressive passes among his peers in European football over the past year.

There are, of course, some weaknesses in his game, with his defensive work rate and decision-making just two qualities that can sometimes leave much to be desired. But they are far outweighed by the benefits he would bring to the table and, as a 25-year-old with Premier League experience, he is a great fit for our recruitment profile.

His valuation should tumble as the September deadline looms, and a bargain price might be too good an opportunity to pass up.

Departure #2: Nicolas Pepe
Nicolas Pepe has garnered interest from Ligue 1. (Photo by James Williamson
Rumours have surfaced recently that French side Nice are open to a loan move for Nicolas Pepe this summer and, with the Ivorian ranked quite low in the pecking order and desperate for a fresh start elsewhere, Arsenal will be keen to grant him his wish as soon as possible.

A temporary arrangement is admittedly not ideal as it maintains the Gunners’ ties to an unwanted player for another 12 months, and the two years left on his Emirates contract mean he may well become just the latest record signing to exit the club on a free transfer.

But a conspicuous lack of offers for his services indicates that the focus will now be to cooperate with our Ligue 1 counterparts and, at the very least, further alleviate the strain on the club’s wage bill – something that might make the crucial difference if Arsenal are to add to their squad later in the window.

To reignite his career in the familiar environs of French football and perhaps facilitate a late splurge in north London, any deal to move Pepe on over the next fortnight would be warmly welcomed.

Arrival #2: Cody Gakpo
Cody Gakpo has also been linked with Manchester United and Nottingham Forest.

The list of candidates for Arsenal’s much-advertised wide-man search lengthens each day and while the identity of our mystery target remains shrouded in secrecy, PSV forward Cody Gakpo certainly fits the bill and could be one to watch as the deadline approaches.

Unlike some of the other names linked to the club, 23-year-old Gakpo has no previous experience in the English top flight and may seem too young for an already youthful team that is in greater need of seasoned performers to build on the promise of last season.

However, the Dutchman can play anywhere across the frontline and is blessed with an abundance of positive attributes – such as agility, pace, physicality and technical ability – that would no doubt ameliorate our offensive threat. He is also tactically intelligent and can use both his athletic frame and work rate to track back and help in the defensive effort.

He is still a raw talent and could take time to adjust to the demands of the Premier League if a transfer was to materialise, but he still has huge potential and a reasonable price tag of £35m makes him one of the best wide options available.

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