Mikel Arteta must avoid Nicolas Pepe mistake at Arsenal ahead of huge £70m Raphinha decision

Mikel Arteta must avoid Nicolas Pepe mistake at Arsenal ahead of huge £70m Raphinha decision

The summer window has only been open for a matter of days, however a plethora of players have been linked with a switch to Arsenal. The Gunners will be looking to make additions to their squad to aid a push for the top four next season.

It comes after an impressive season for Mikel Arteta, however his side fell just short of a return to the Champions League. To achieve that goal, the Spaniard has already claimed he will have to replicate the job of last year, where he spent over £140million in refreshing his squad.

Two key issues will likely be on the agenda for Arteta when looking back on last season. One of those dilemmas will be surrounding a main striker, while the other is looking at squad depth.

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The latter became a particular problem at the back end of the campaign, with injuries stacking up and a lack of depth or quality in certain areas causing the Gunners to drop points. A number of high-profile players have since been linked with a move to the Emirates to address this issue.

One of which is Leeds United winger Raphinha, who impressed last season with 11 goals and three assists in 35 Premier League appearances. The Brazilian’s performances have led to interest, though the Gunners aren’t alone there, as Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham are all said to be monitoring the situation.

But the question remains: Do Arsenal actually need Raphinha? It’s a deal that is reportedly set to cost between £50million and £70million, given that Leeds now have the leverage of Premier League football next season, despite facing relegation up until the final day.

It’s a costly deal to structure, similar to that of Nicolas Pepe, who made an expensive switch from Lille in 2019. He has failed to deliver upon the promise he had from joining though, dropping to the bench and scoring just once in the league last campaign.

If the Ivorian is to leave, as is reported, then cover would be necessary, given that Bukayo Saka would be the only one to play on that side. However, the addition of Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling for a lower price, given they only have one-year left on their deals at Manchester City, would add versatility and proven quality.

It remains to be seen whether a deal would work for either, however there’s also the case for looking for cheaper alternatives on the market. The likes of Fabio Vieira, who the Gunners are reportedly set to sign, could turn out to be a bargain with little battle for his signature with other clubs.

Being drawn into a transfer battle will only drive up the price of a player and could be the case with Raphinha. For Arsenal, they may be better focusing their resources elsewhere.

Would you like Arsenal to sign Raphinha this summer? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source by Football London

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