Mikel Arteta said Arsenal were going to be busy in the summer transfer window and he is on course to be proved right as his side continue to be linked with reinforcements.
“We want to take the club to the next level,” the Spaniard said in his press conference ahead of the season’s final game against Everton. “That’s the ambition. In order to do that we have a very clear plan again, how we want to do it and execute it, and there are no secrets. We need resources and we need to increase the quality and depth of the squad . ”
Since those comments, Arsenal have only confirmed one signing in Brazilian youngster Marquinhos. Although, they have signed Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah to new contracts whilst also announcing the departure of Alexandre Lacazette at the end of his deal.
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With that said, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira deals are at an advanced stage and just need to be announced by the club, but amid links to Lisandro Martinez, Youri Tielemans, Raphinha and Gabriel Jesus, in a dream scenario, Arsenal could end up signing up to six more players before deadline day.
Another move that is said to be nearing completion is that of Raphinha to the Emirates Stadium as reports in Brazil on Monday morning claimed that the Leeds United winger ‘very close’ to signing for the club despite strong links to La Liga giants Barcelona as well as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
The report also states that the 25-year-old does not want to continue waiting for the Blaugrana – who have financial issues at present – and is therefore said to be hoping to complete a transfer to become the latest Brazilian in the first-team set up on the red side of north London.
If the Raphinha to Arsenal transfer rumors are indeed true what would be Arsenal’s best line-up under Mikel Arteta next season? In fact, taking all the speculation into consideration, it is likely that the Brazil international would not be the last new addition to the forward line this summer
And that’s where things get interesting as the Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for Gabriel Jesus and should they get both deals over the line it is likely that the pair would start in the strongest team Arteta could name when every player is fit and available for selection.
However, with Raphinha on the right-hand side of a front three, it would raise questions about Bukayo Saka’s role. One way to solve that conundrum would be to switch the England international over to the opposite flank – something he did at the start of last season – which then sees Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli miss out.
Meanwhile, Tielemans would be the perfect partner for Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard in central midfield which allows Arteta to stick with the 4-3-3 system that worked wonders during the second half of the season and was the catalyst behind Arsenal’s top-four push .
They would provide protection to a back four in front of Aaron Ramsdale – despite the arrival of Turner – that would slightly change with William Saliba’s reward for a stunning season out on loan with Marseille a starting berth alongside Gabriel Magalhaes at the heart of defense.
This would be somewhat harsh on Benjamin White, but he did pick up a knock towards the end of last season and if he’s not fully recovered by the start of the new campaign then Saliba is the type of player to make it very hard for Arteta to leave him out of the side.
Now the luxury of this line-up is the options Arteta would have in reserve. White, Martinez, Vieira, Granit Xhaka, Martinelli and Smith Rowe have proven themselves to be capable of playing at the highest level, so that gives Arsenal extra squad depth and most importantly quality options off the bench.
Arsenal’s best line-up if six summer transfers are completed: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Partey, Tielemans; Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, Saka