Arsenal: Arteta details plan to return to top four
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Following a disappointing season in which they finished a lowly eighth in the Premier League, Arsenal are set to make major changes to their squad in the summer window. Boss Mikel Arteta wants to refresh his team ahead of the next campaign, with as many as five new players targeted.
Perhaps the most pressing area of need is in attack, with the Gunners having finished last season as the lowest scoring team in the top eight.
With Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to fire, a new striker is high up Arteta’s shopping list.
Also required is a permanent solution to the central attacking midfield position and a new partner for Thomas Partey.
With Arteta hoping technical director Edu can sign up to five players in this summer’s window, the Gunners will certainly have a new look about them.
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That new look could start at the base of the team in goal, with Bernd Leno edging closer to a departure from the Emirates Stadium.
Replacing him could be Ajax keeper Andre Onana, though he is currently banned until February due to a doping violation.
Before the ban, Onana was a highly-rated keeper and had been linked with a move to Chelsea after conceding just 15 goals in the 20 games he played in last season before his ban.
A second new face in the Gunners defence could be Max Aarons, with the Norwich man appearing to be the prime candidate to become the long-term option at right-back after impressing for the Canaries.
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Arsenal’s best central-defensive pairing last season was Pablo Mari and Rob Holding, with the two set to become Arteta’s first-choice partnership next term.
Completing the back four is the ever-impressive Kieran Tierney, who has been tipped as a future captain after his stunning displays from left-back.
Thomas Parety will also keep his place in Arteta’s team after a solid if unremarkable debut season at the Emirates.
One of the main problems Arteta has faced is finding a partner for the former Atletico man, but that could be solved with the signing of Ruben Neves from Wolves.
Bukayo Saka was one of Arsenal’s most impressive last season and will expect to keep his place on the right of Arteta’s front four.
Central attacking midfield has been another issue that Arteta has struggled to find a solution to, but bringing Martin Odegaard back on a permanent deal would certainly suit their requirements.
The final spot in the three behind the main striker would appear to be a three-way battle between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe, which the former would win out due to his goalscoring record.
Leading the line for Arteta would be the fifth and final signing, Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, who scored 17 goals in La Liga last season.
Possible Arsenal starting line-up next season: Andre Onana; Max Aarons, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney; Thomas Partey, Ruben Neves; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Alexander Isak
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