Arsenal need to be aware of Erling Haaland’s future in the coming weeks with Mikel Arteta looking for his own star forward.
Football finds itself in a limbo stage between the end of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s careers and the rise of the next superstars, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
The sad thing for Arsenal is that their fall from the heights of being Premier League winners and Champions League finalists has seen the opportunity to grasp the next iteration of the world’s top two talents fall too far away from them.
However, the future of both lynchpins of the next chapter of elite-level football will have a dramatic effect on the Gunners’ transfer intentions. Haaland is set to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer when a €75m release clause becomes active. Whereas Mbappe’s PSG deal expires this June with the Parisians desperate to find a way to keep their talisman.
According to The Athletic, Manchester City and Real Madrid are the frontrunners for Haaland despite interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Los Blancos also want to sign Mbappe but getting both may prove too much.
So where do Arsenal come in? It is common knowledge that in the summer Arsenal will be looking to sign a striker.
The likes of Haaland and Mbappe are well beyond them. It was proved in the winter window that they will struggle to attract the best young talent like Dusan Vlahovic over clubs such as Juventus in 2022.
The need to get Champions League is massive to close that gap. Should the top four be reached, Arsenal will look to try and secure one of the best alternatives.
Yet the Athletic report that Haaland’s future is to be decided in the next few weeks. This impacts Arsenal because the Gunners will not be able to guarantee potential strikers of Champions League football.
Therefore, when Bayern, Barcelona and potentially City or Madrid miss out on Haaland they will come looking for the next best option too.
Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema are reaching their last moments with their clubs. Sergio Aguero has already left the game. Making it even more likely a mass striker pursuit will happen in 2022.
Arsenal’s need for a striker comes when the other elite clubs will also be looking. Therefore, strikers like Patrik Schick and Jonathan David, who seemed accessible at present, could quickly be stolen away by an elite rival if Mikel Arteta and Edu are unable to lay the early groundwork.
Arsenal cannot afford to miss out again on their top targets if they are serious about elevating the club back to the pedestal of Premier League title challenges and Champions League finals.
Mikel Arteta has shown to be a shrewd identifier of talent with the six signings in 2021. Now he needs to prove he can convince the best players that Arsenal is the right place for them to grow and become the best they can be.
Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe may not ever be convinced of a move to north London in their career, but those that follow them could if the ambitions of the club are achieved.