Arsenal will attack the summer transfer window with intent, especially if they qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Technical director Edu’s plan for a significant summer outlay is expected to be backed by the Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, football.london understands. The club needs to strengthen in a number of crucial positions, however, both the striker and central midfield roles stand out.
Arsenal were linked with a move for Dusan Vlahovic and Alexander Isak in the January transfer window, but the Serbian joined Juventus whilst the Real Sociedad forward remained in Spain. There is clear intent to add quality to the role, but reports suggest these two positions are not the sole focus this summer.
The Spain international sees his deal with Los Blancos expire in 2023 and with a reluctance to renew, the Spanish giants are tempted to cash in.
However, the reported figure is said to be as high as €60 million (£50.4m).
For context, Asensio was once appreciated as one of the most exciting young Spanish players in La Liga. Snapped up from Mallorca, he was sent to Espanyol on loan where he impressed massively and became one of the league’s leading assisters.
Upon his return to Real Madrid, he hit the ground running with a stunning strike in the Super Cup and gradually integrated himself into the club’s starting eleven. Winning Champions Leagues, scoring in the final against Juventus, and La Liga.
However, he tore his ACL against Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in 2019 and was out for the near-full season. He returned and has since found minutes trickier to come by but still found time for his first hattrick against former side Mallorca. He has nine goals in 29 games.
The issue from an Arsenal perspective is Asensio predominantly plays in the wide areas. The Gunners have plenty of options with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli. Even if Pepe were to leave, Asensio does not fit the profile that would replace the Ivorian.
In addition, £50.4 million on a player whilst needing to find at least two central strikers and possibly even the same number of midfielders, should Granit Xhaka join Mohamed Elneny out the exit door, is not sensible.
Instead, if Arsenal want to move for a wide player, there remain many more smart options. Possibilities without the associated injury history, younger age and extortionate price tag.
Despite the appreciation for Asensio, the Gunners would be better off allowing the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich or Juventus reluctantly spending big on the Spaniard.
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