Mikel Arteta and Edu’s plans for a summer rebuild at Arsenal have suffered a minor setback.
Despite a disappointing season, there has been a tinge of excitement amongst some Gunners fans in regards to what could be in store in the summer window.
This is after Arsenal‘s January transfer window was deemed a success as the main priority was to trim the first-team squad significantly and that was achieved with Shkodran Mustafi, Mesut Ozil, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos all being offloaded permanently.
More departures are expected this summer, but in terms of incomings the north London outfit are targeting up to five signings to improve Mikel Arteta’s squad.
However, one player who won’t be joining Arsenal is Norwich City attacking midfielder Emiliano Buendia.
The Gunners did hold a serious interest in the Argentine, even submitting a bid of more than £30million, but have been beaten to the punch by Aston Villa who have agreed a fee with the Canaries.
As a result, it’s back to the drawing board for Arteta and technical director Edu.
Although, it may take an offer of £51.5m to even convince Real Madrid to sell the playmaker permanently.
So unless an agreement can be reached, Edu will have to look elsewhere when it comes to signing that all-important number 10 this summer.
And there’s a way he can seal a transfer masterstroke as an option has been revealed that wouldn’t cost the Gunners a single penny in transfer fees.
As seen in the image above, Hakan Calhanoglu’s statistics this season make for interesting viewing.
The data collected by FBref shows the AC Milan attacking midfielder’s goal and shot creation numbers puts him in a conversation with Lionel Messi, Neymar and Bruno Fernandes.
Calhanoglu averaged a 5.99 shot creating action (SCA) per 90 minutes in Serie A this season which is higher than Fernandes (4.88) and 10th overall in Europe’s big five leagues.
The 27-year-old’s output should certainly make the decision-makers at Arsenal take notice as Arteta’s first-team squad can still do with more creativity – especially after the Buendia blow and uncertainty over Odegaard’s future.
Perhaps the most surprising factor regarding Calhanoglu is that he is out of contract at AC Milan at the end of the month and is free to negotiate with clubs.
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In addition, earlier in the year reports claimed that the Turkey international had already signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United, but that clearly hasn’t happened which means the Gunners are still in with a chance of sealing a deal but only if they act fast.
Should the Gunners sign Calhanoglu, as the stats highlight, they will be getting a player who averaged more shot-creating actions (SCA) per 90 minutes than Fernandes this season.
Judging by the latter’s impact at Manchester United, Arsenal having their own version would be a boost heading into next season.