It was almost 16 years ago when Arsene Wenger lifted Arsenal’s final league title triumph. The times have been hard for the North Londoners since then. The lack of trophies, as a result of either lack of spending or signing mismatches, saw the Frenchman leave, only for failure to repeat itself in the form of Unai Emery again. After years of being under the rug, there is a new manager at the club. Arsenal could head into next season with newfound hope and a fully revitalized squad under the guidance of Mikel Arteta. Arteta’s vision has seen Arsenal linked to a host of players, of which some look more likely to join. Who are Arsenal’s most likely targets and how could Arsenal lineup with their most likely targets this summer?
How Arsenal Could Lineup Next Season
The most likely transfers for Arsenal for the 20/21 season
With Arsenal leaking goals at a phenomenal rate with each passing season this area requires a plethora of fresh faces.
1) Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig) – A player who loves to venture forward very often but at the same time can drop deep and defend. A great option but will cost quite a bit.
Cost– 50 million euros
2) Willy Boly (Wolves) – An almost unknown defender when compared to a wide array of popular center-backs to choose from. While his attacking numbers are decent, it’s his tackling numbers and his presence in the air that has made him a standout in the Premier League for Wolves this season, who are competing for a spot in the Champions League with barely two seasons removed from their promotion back to the Premier League.
3) Nathan Aké (Bournemouth) – A player deemed to be a big fish in a small pond in recent years has an impressive dribbled past per 90 record of just 0.3 per 90 this season, in the Premier League. This record is only bettered by Van Dijk whose record stands at 0.2 per 90. He is a player who can intercept the ball and cover a good amount of space, providing the other centre-back to venture forward without having to sweat over losing the ball and eventually conceding a goal.
Cost – 40 million euros
The most likely target– Nathan Ake
With Wolverhampton Wanderers on the cusp of a possible Champions League football campaign next season and the progress that could follow, there is almost no certainty of Willy Boly joining Arsenal. On the other hand, Upamecano’s stock is rising day after day, earning him links to Real Madrid and Barcelona, who arguably are in a better position. That leaves Arsenal with Nathan Ake.
An area of the pitch that’s referred to as the “Engine Room” in the world of football has been an area that Arsenal have been lacking in ever since those days of Patrick Vieira.
1) Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) – If the news reports are anything to go by, Thomas Partey is keen on joining Mikel Arteta’s project at Arsenal. It’s a massive gamble on the face of it as it would involve him forgoing a spot in a team that’s almost guaranteed to play in the Champions League every season. He is a player who has formed part of one of the best defensive sides, across the top five leagues this season. He possesses an attacking element as well as a good defensive acumen, making him one of the most complete midfielders in Europe.
Cost– 45 million euros
2) Wilfried Ndidi (Leicester City) – Another player who has been on the radar of Arsenal for a while but would not come cheap. His ability to win the ball back from the opposition with his extensive tackling abilities and to further dribble and feed the ball to the forwards makes him a real threat and a major layer that shall provide cover for any potential counter-attacks, or just winning the ball, in general. He’s easily one of the best ball-winners in the world right now and has been a key to Leicester’s success this season.
Cost– 49.5 million euros
3) Declan Rice (West Ham) – He’s been one of the very few pleasantries amongst various problems the West Ham faithful have been through this season. While he’s been linked to a multitude of clubs, Arsenal are still in the race to snap him up from a relegation stricken side. He’s a good tackler who is known for his ability to read the game and to win the ball back from different areas on the pitch, particularly from the center of the park.
Cost– 49.5 million euros
The most likely target– Thomas Partey
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) – His impressive displays have seen him be one of the first ones on the teamsheet during his short spell at the Emirates. All signs are pointing towards a potential deal that will see Dani Ceballos join permanently.
The possible lineup for the 20/21 season
This is a 4-2-3-1 formation which could potentially see Bukayo Saka play in an unfamiliar role, but considering his key passes per 90 and his 11 assists this season, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him in that role.
With some promising young talent and experienced players on and off the pitch, is it the beginning of the resurrection of the once great Arsenal?