The continuation of the Euro 2016 tournament in France is a fine distraction for Gunners fans, as it is one month taken up with a feast of football before the Premier League kicks off again in August. Arsene Wenger has already bolstered his ranks with the addition of midfielder, Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for a reported £30m fee, but it is hoped – and expected by the Arsenal fanbase that the chequebook will be flashed on a few more occasions before the summer transfer window slams shut.
Both Manchester clubs head the betting for the 2017 Premier League title race and the Gunners can be had at the current best industry price of 6/1 to claim back the title for the first time since 2004. Premier League football is now awash with financial clout as the new television deal offers every club significant funds to strengthen their playing squad this summer.
Here we will look at five potential new recruits, who could help the Gunners return to the summit once again.
After missing out on a deal to bring England striker Jamie Vardy to the Emirates, as the Leicester man has agreed a new four-year deal to stay at the King Power stadium, it is obvious that Wenger is looking firmly at bolstering his attacking power. Step forward Everton and Belgium striker, Romelu Lukaku. At 23 years of age, Lukaku has already had plenty of Premier League experience since signing for Chelsea almost five years ago. After a £28m move to Everton back in 2014, the striker has enhanced his profile with some excellent performances - and most notably – goals. The pace and power that Lukaku has in his locker would offer a different option as the focal point of the Gunners attack, and Wenger could be prepared to pounce after Euro 2016.
Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his admiration of Leicester City’s defensive diminutive midfielder N’Golo Kante. After signing from Caen for just eight million euros, Kante was highly instrumental in Leicester’s Premier League title charge. At 25, he has that instinctive knack of being in the right place at the right time to sniff out danger from opposition attacks. Despite his lack of size, Kante has proven he can mix it in the physical style of the English game, and the French enforcer would be a hugely important signing if Arsenal could get their man.
It is well documented that both Manchester United and City have new managers for the upcoming campaign, and with different opinions to van Gaal and Pellegrini, there could be player departures at Old Trafford and the Emirates. With that in mind, United have already splashed out £30m on Villarreal defender Eric Bailly as Mourinho is obviously looking for a more powerful partner for Chris Smalling, and that could mean that United utility-man Daley Blind could be surplus to requirements in Manchester. Blind was signed from Ajax for around £14m two summers ago, and performed well last season in a centre-back role. Equally adept at left-back or as a defensive midfielder, Blind can offer the versatility that Wenger might decide to go for.
The French transfer market has often been a successful conveyor belt of Arsenal signings under Wenger, and Lyon’s Corentin Tolisso could be another player to arrive from our Gallic neighbours any time soon. The 21 year-old midfielder scored five goals last season, and Tolisso was statistically the most accurate passer of the ball for his club side. A regular of the French under-21 team. Tolisso, is a fast improving talent who could help replace the losses of Rosicky and Arteta within the Arsenal ranks.
Gabriel Paulista may have another fellow Brazillian alongside him in the Gunners defence next season as left-back Douglas Santos is apparently high on Wenger’s wish list. The 22 year-old Atletico Mineiro star has already made his full national team debut for Brazil, and had a very successful recent campaign for his club side. Reportedly available for around £8m, Douglas Santos would face stiff competition from Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs for a starting role, but has plenty of time on his side.