Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta deployed his ‘plan B’ during the comeback victory against Fulham on Saturday, highlighting a key transfer question Edu and Stan Kroenke must answer.
Arteta was full of praise for his side as they came from behind to take all three points and maintain the Gunners’ 100% record to start the Premier League season. The summer transfer window slams shut on Thursday, and Arteta is thought to want to add a new winger and central midfielder to his squad.
Pedro Neto and Youri Tielemans have been touted to make the move to the Emirates Stadium this summer, but football.london understands Arsenal are willing to wait until next summer to sign the latter on a free transfer when his Leicester contract expires. Eddie Nketiah came off the bench and made an instant impact becoming the Gunners‘ focal point in attack, but Arteta may need more reinforcements to allow his backup plan to work when things aren’t working.
The Arsenal boss reacted to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener following a mistake from Gabriel Magalhaes at the back by bringing on Nketiah, changing formation and swapping Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Marquinhos were all left on the bench by Arteta. However, the Spanish manager may still need stronger options to call upon should the Gunners struggle to break down teams in their effort to secure a top-four spot.
Arteta has made it clear that he wishes to add more signings to his squad ahead of the transfer deadline, admitting previously that the club remain active and will look to do business ‘if the market allows it’. After spending over £100million for a second successive summer, the issue for owner Stan Kroenke and technical director Edu is finding someone capable of coming in and making an impact on the squad.
There are just days left in the summer transfer window, meaning any deal would need to be concluded before Thursday’s deadline. Reports this week have suggested Arsenal are ‘prioritising’ a move for Wolves star Neto, though the Gunners fear they may be priced out of a deal with the Midlands club valuing the Portuguese talent at around £50million.
Arteta remains hopeful that the club can add one or two more players to his squad, with a number of fringe players still expected to be moved on. Should Arsenal suffer any injuries to key players, Arteta will be hoping he has the squad depth to compete throughout a busy run-up to the 2022 World Cup and look to Edu and Stan Kroenke to provide the funds to make that happen.