A busy summer lies ahead for Arsenal and manager Mikel Arteta as the Gunners boss looks to try and bolster their European prospects ahead of next season
Arsenal have today discovered their Premier League fixtures for the 2021/22 season, with the findings showing that they will face a very stern start to the campaign.
After facing newly-promoted Brentford away from home on the opening day of the season, the Gunners, who finished a disappointing eighth last season, will then face Chelsea (H) and Manchester City (A) before the opening month of the season reaches its conclusion.
With that in mind, manager Mikel Arteta will be determined to get his squad in order as soon as possible, as the Spaniard plans to complete a squad overhaul at the Emirates Stadium this summer.
As reported by football.london last month, the Gunners have aspirations to add five new faces to the squad this summer, with a goalkeeper, a right-back, a left-back, a box-to-box midfielder and a central attacking-midfielder all believed to be on the club’s radar.
Although the transfer window has only officially been open for a week in England, the Gunners have already been linked with a whole host of names, ranging from Brighton & Hove Albion star Yves Bissouma to Swedish wonderkid Alexander Isak.
But if Arsenal are to stand any chance of bringing the likes of Bissouma and Isak to north London this summer then they are going to have to cut their cloth in an attempt to raise funds to be able to afford new, big-name signings.
The latest two big names to be linked with summer switches to the Emirates Stadium are Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White and James Maddison of Leicester City. According to Sky Sports, the Gunners have seen a £40million bid for White rejected, but talks between the two clubs remain ongoing, with it claimed that the north Londoners are prepared to increase their offer.
According to a recent report by the Mail, an increased bid of £50million could be enough, with the Seagulls prepared to let him go if that offer is put forward.
Whilst the Gunners have lodged a bid for White, they do hold an interest in Maddison, football.london understands.
Arteta is desperate to add a new spark to his attacking-midfield options and Maddison could be just the ticket. No bid has yet been lodged by Arsenal but Leicester are likely to want around £70million for his services.
As well as looking to launch a double raid on two of their Premier League rivals, the Gunners are also looking abroad to strengthen their armoury, with the club very keen on Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, who is set to be available for around £7million.
football.london understands that Onana is the Gunners’ top target to strengthen the goalkeeping department and replace Bernd Leno.
But as previously documented, if Onana was to seal a move to north London he would have to wait until November before he could make his debut, with his ban from all football-related activities not up until November 3, despite it having been reduced by three months.
But should Onana complete a move to the Emirates Stadium and sees out the remainder of his ban, what would be Arsenal’s strongest line-up come November if they also landed White and Maddison?
Not taking into account any other potential new arrivals, Onana would line-up in goal, with Arteta deploying a 4-2-3-1 system.
With Hector Bellerin likely to leave, Calum Chambers would line-up at right-back, with White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney making up the back-four.
Ahead of the back-four, Partey would be joined in midfield by Mohamed Elneny, although that would almost certainly change if a deal for Sander Berge, Ruben Neves or Bissouma is struck.
Ahead of the two defensive-midfielders, Nicolas Pepe would take up residency on the right of the advanced midfield-three, being joined by Maddison in the centre and Bukayo Saka on the left.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would lead the line.
Should that line-up prove to be what is available to Arteta come November, although it is highly likely that other new signings would be able to feature, it would leave Arteta with plenty of talented options to make up his substitutes bench.
The likes of Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Emile Smith Rowe, Alexandre Lacazette and Folarin Balogun would all compete for places amongst the substitutes to provide competition for places.
Dream Arsenal line-up following triple transfer swoop: Onana; Chambers, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Elneny; Pepe, Maddison, Saka; Aubameyang.