Arsenal shown £144m would be well spent after duo’s displays

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reviews the Crystal Palace win

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Arsenal will have been watching over the international break and noticed two stunning performances on Thursday that may have tipped them over the edge regarding their transfer plans. Mikel Arteta will be hoping to bolster his squad next season as they will have to contend with Champions League football as well as competing on domestic fronts, barring a collapse in the final 10 games of the Premier League season.

The Spanish boss is reportedly looking at reinforcements in midfield and forward areas, while they have been linked with two players that shone for their countries. Declan Rice was labelled “the best player on the pitch” as England defeated Italy 2-1 in Naples, while Rasmus Hojlund got a hat-trick on just his third appearance for Denmark in their 3-1 win over Finland.

Arsenal had been keen on signing another midfielder in January as they publicly made several offers of over £70million for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo that were turned down.

The Gunners are expected to return for the Ecuadorian in the summer but were also named as frontrunners in the race for Rice as the West Ham captain is expected to leave the London Stadium at the end of the season.

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He got the opening goal at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Thursday and his impressive performance had former Chelsea winger Joe Cole purring. “Declan Rice was the best player on the pitch by a mile,” Cole said on Channel 4. “It was terrible defending for the goal, but he’s alive to it. If it’s a centre-forward we’re talking about instinct. He was outstanding from start to finish.”

While another Arsenal target in Hojlund was on the scoresheet three times, the 20-year-old striker has seven goals in 14 Serie A starts for Atalanta so far this season and is attracting a host of interest ahead of a potential big-money move this summer.

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Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that there is interest from the Premier League and Bundesliga for Hojlund, while Southampton wanted to sign him last summer but he instead picked Atalanta. Tutto Atalanta have claimed that Arsenal have switched their focus from Dusan Vlahovic to Hojlund and would be willing to spend £44m to secure his signature.

With Rice expected to cost approximately £100m, it would be a significant outlay from the Gunners on both him and Hojlund but it would be two positive purchases that would aid Arteta both in the immediate and long term.

Both Jorginho and Leandro Trossard were signed in those areas during January, but the Italian is likely to be a short-term fix and while the ex-Brighton man has impressed in his short time at the Emirates, further additions in forward areas would not go amiss.

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