Gunners must add more if they’re to compete

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Daily Cannon

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All eyes are on the Emirates right now as Mikel Arteta faces a race against time to get his squad to where it needs to be ahead of the new campaign.

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Arsenal v Villarreal – Emirates Stadium Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday, May 6, 2021. Copyright: John Walton

So far, Arsenal have seen Matteo Guendouzi, Dejan Iliev, David Luiz, and William Saliba depart, with Albert Lokonga, Ben White and Nuno Tavares arriving. But Spaniard Arteta must make further recruitments if his hopes of achieving European football next season are to come to fruition.

And, after a few decent signings, it will take more efficient work in the transfer market if Arsenal are to realise their ambitions. Transfer market activity doesn’t only influence what happens on the pitch, but off it too. For example, it can affect the share price of a team, with sports investments and indices traders feeling an impact too. So Arteta, with assistance from Edu, must get things right.

The arrival of Ben White from Brighton will bolster Arsenal’s leaky defence somewhat. The 23-year-old, who was a late call-up to England’s Euro 2020 squad, completed a deal worth up to £50m. The former Leeds United loanee turned out 36 times in the Premier League last season for Graham Potter’s men and will be a solid addition.

While Arsenal have brought Albert Lokonga into the building, there is still a need to add a midfielder with more attacking presence. Two players linked for a while are former Gunners loanee Martin Odegaard and Wolves talisman Ruben Neves. However, multiple press reports suggest Odegaard wants a move back to the Emirates. With a year left on his deal, could Carlo Ancelotti sanction an agreement before the window shuts?

It’s been all change at Wolves recently, and this could work in Arsenal’s favour. Nuno Espirito Santo left his role as manager, with Bruno Lage replacing him. Rui Patricio has also made an exit, joining Jose Mourinho at Roma. So it could be time for the old guard to move on, and Neves could be another leaving Molineux.

It will be a sign of Arsenal’s intent if they add Ben White and one of Odegaard and Neves to the signings of Lokonga and Tavares. It will represent an astute bit of business and fantastic use of the transfer market. And, if they are to balance their spending off with sales of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock, even better.

Arsenal will have the look of a side capable of finishing in the top six if they manage to get another couple of deals over the line following Ben White’s recent arrival. The Gunners finished four points adrift of West Ham last term, so they weren’t far short of making the top six for the first time since 2019.

Whatever happens, they must add several other quality players to get back into the mix. They have been short of what’s needed for the last few seasons, but all that can change if they get the recruitment right and effectively utilise the transfer market.

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