Mikel Arteta and Edu face transfer dilemma as Arsenal target sixth summer signing – Football.London

After a slow start it seems that Arsenal’s transfer window is set to finally burst into life over the coming weeks.

The Gunners have already brought in Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White this summer, and football.london understands that they will add Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale to that lineup very soon.

Edu‘s next focus will then be on getting players out of the club with Lucas Torreira, Sead Kolasinac, Runar Alex Runarsson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Hector Bellerin, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette all available for sale.

Should they achieve that then football.london understands that it’s possible they could be back in the market for another signing before the window closes on August 31.

While squad depth issues still exist in the creative midfield department, it’s likely that any further recruitment will be focused on the right back and centre forward positions.

So with time running out in the window which one should Arsenal prioritise first?

Based on the 2-0 defeat to Brentford there is a strong argument to suggest that it’s right back that should be the primary area of concern.

Calum Chambers had an awful game on the night and was arguably at fault for both of the Bees’ goals. The fact that Mikel Arteta chose to replace the England international a left back in Nuno Tavares, speaks to what he thinks of the rest of his options in the position.

Chambers received heavy criticism for his display on Friday
Chambers received heavy criticism for his display on Friday

The Spaniard’s demands from a right back are very specific.

He wants a player comfortable enough on the ball to be able to drift infield to help provide more passing options in the build up phase, while also helping the midfield to cover for the attacking runs of Kieran Tierney.

Most commonly Arteta has asked Hector Bellerin to do this, but the Spaniard’s strengths lie more in overlapping the winger to put in delivery in the final third, and as a result he is looking to end his 10 year stay in North London this summer.

Cedric meanwhile is a player Arteta seems to have lost total confidence in after failing to start him in a competitive fixture since April.

Perhaps the only player in the current Arsenal squad capable of meeting the manager’s specific demands is Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but the 23-year-old seems to have his heart set on becoming a central midfield.

football.london understands that Kieran Trippier is a player who could make a move to the Emirates this summer, and with playing out from the back and intricate build up play such a crucial part of what Arteta wants to do at the Emirates, it could be argued that this would be a smart sixth signing to make.

However, more important than any build up play is how potent Arsenal are when comes to getting the ball in the back of the net.

Like at right back though, centre forward seems to be a position where quantity over quality is the issue for the Gunners.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - JULY 24: (L) Alex Lacazette celebrates scoring his goal with (R) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during a pre season friendly between Arsenal and Millwall at London Colney on July 24, 2021 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Arsenal duo of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are bing linked to Barcelona

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli and Flo Balogun are all on the club’s books, but none of them seem capable of matching the requirements Arteta has right now.

The Spaniard wants a player who can drop deep to help link the play in transition, while also possessing the mobility to get forward to be on the end of chances in the box.

Aubameyang specialises at the latter but not the former, while it is the exact opposite for Lacazette. Nketiah, on the other hand, has shown himself to now quite be at the level of an Arsenal striker at this stage in his career, while Martinelli and Balogun are both too young to lead the line on a regular basis.

It is for this reason that the Gunners showed interest in Tammy Abraham earlier in the window, although the England international has since moved to Roma.

Lautaro Martinez also has the potential to be this ‘Goldilocks’ player for Arteta, but after selling Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan might be less willing to let the Argentinian go this summer.

Regardless though it is the final third where Arsenal have had the most issues recently, managing just the 10th best goal record in the Premier League last season.

Singing the right profile of centre forward has the potential to be transformative for them on this front.

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The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.

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Selling players first will of course be key, but in an ideal world the Gunners would like to bring in both a centre forward and a right back before the window is over on August 31st.

A lack of time and resources mean that that could be difficult though.

If it comes down to it, picking which area they choose to strengthen in for their sixth summer signing could be a decision that defines their attempts to get back into Europe this season.

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