Mikel Arteta faces a summer rebuild job at Arsenal with several players being targeted ahead of the transfer window, football.london understands. While the Europa League may provide a pathway for the club’s burgeoning youngsters, the likes of Folarin Balogun, Charlie Patino, Marcelo Flores and Miguel Azeez will be licking their lips at potentially increasing their first team opportunities.
Arteta’s targets include a marquee signing in Gabriel Jesus, with the Gunners confident of landing his signature. Arsenal first made enquiries for Jesus in November with Edu maintaining a close relationship with the player’s agent and the City forward himself. The Brazil international is expected to get more minutes between now and the end of the season, with the Gunners expected to lodge a bid in the region of £35million this summer.
Arsenal technical director Edu has confirmed that he is ‘excited’ for the club’s plans in the summer transfer window. “The budget we used last summer, we prefer to use it to rebalance the squad, there was no point in hiring one or two players [in January], the squad was not prepared to absorb two players, we needed to rebalance the squad,” Edu told ESPN Brasil.
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“Maybe next season we can go to one or two players. Today we find a much more balanced squad. Our planning has already been done, it has already reached the owners. It’s a matter of step by step, how we are going to finish the season and to put in plan the planning that I’m very excited about.”
Arteta wants to bring in a new forward, central midfielder and winger, with several first-team players set to leave the Emirates Stadium in the coming months. “The Champions League and the Europa League both require a much larger squad because the amount of games is much bigger,” he said.
“If we can afford it financially and we don’t have to do the turnaround in the squad that we’ve had to, what I want is 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers. A lot of things have to be put in place and that takes time, so I am expecting a busy summer.”
They are interested in signing Bologna left back Aaron Hickey following his impressive performances in Serie A, football.london understands. Hickey joined Bologna from Hearts in the summer of 2020 and made 11 Serie A appearances during his first season at the club. Able to play at both left and right back, Hickey has won plaudits in Italy and abroad following his accomplished campaign at the club. This season he has become a mainstay in defence making 33 league appearances, scoring five goals and recording an assist in the process.
Arteta wants a versatile left-sided defender to bolster his defence this season, with Kieran Tierney currently on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery, while Takehiro Tomiyasu was forced off injured in the defeat at Newcastle on Monday night, having only recently returned to action following calf issues.
Arsenal have already agreed to sign Sao Paulo winger Marquinhos for a fee in the region of £3million. The 19-year-old will join the club this summer after extensive talks with Gunners technical director Edu.
Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans is also a target and it is vital that the youngest squad in the Premier League strengthen their squad with more experience.
This summer will be a testing period for Arteta and it’s vital that he secures the targets he needs if Arsenal are to push on from what has been an improved campaign compared to last season.
Source by Football London