Arsenal are hoping to add a fourth summer signing while also looking to sell one of their young midfielders by the end of the month.
Arsenal endured a rough pre-season under Mikel Arteta and will hope to turn a corner in their opening Premier League fixture against Brentford. The Gunners have been unable to produce goals, particularly due to the lack of creativity in midfield, whereas defensively, they have been all over the place as well despite Ben White’s arrival earlier in the summer.
White was signed for 50 million pounds from Brighton, but in all likelihood, he is not going to be the only big signing that Arsenal make this season. They remain keen on signing an attacking midfielder as well and have shortlisted some world-class options.
Fabrizio Romano has claimed that they remain keen on landing Martin Odegaard for Real Madrid, whereas James Maddison is the club’s second choice in the event that the Norwegian does not arrive. Odegaard is looking to leave the Spanish capital over a lack of guarantee over minutes and Arsenal are hopeful of signing him by the end of August.
Odegaard was on loan at the club for the second half of 2020/21 and did impress, but Real Madrid wanted to have the player back in their squad for the season which meant his loan could not be extended. However, a change of scenario is on the cards.
With Federico Valverde, Luka Modric, Isco and Toni Kroos in his squad as the attacking options in midfield, Carlo Ancelotti cannot commit to providing a satisfactory number of minutes to Odegaard. He left Spain for England in the winter this year for the same reason and it looks like history will repeat itself, though the Whites prefer selling permanently now.
Martin Odegaard is expected to bear a price tag of 50 million euros but it remains to be seen whether Madrid will allow him to depart this month. With Kroos and Dani Ceballos injured for at least a month, the young playmaker is likely to get his chances early in the season.
James Maddison, on the other hand, is a brilliant option to consider as well, but with Leicester City’s sporting project and recent Premier League form eclipsing that of Arsenal, it may not come as a surprise if the 24-year-old stays put at the King Power Stadium. Plus, the Foxes will charge a premium for his services given that they will sell him to a fellow-PL side.
In other news, Joe Willock is on the verge of completing a permanent move to Newcastle United for 20 million pounds. He scored eight times for the Magpies last season during his half-year loan, but that does not seem to have convinced Arteta into giving him a chance.
Despite signing Albert Lokonga, Ben White and Nuno Tavares this summer, Arsenal don’t seem to be on the right course to secure a better Premier League finish than they did last season. While their transfer activities remain substandard in themselves, their rivals have widened the gulf in quality and look even better than they did in the previous season.
With there being question marks over most things that the north Londoners have done in the recent past, where do you see them finishing in the 2021/22 Premier League season?