The January transfer window may have only just ended, but thoughts have already began to turn to what Arsenal will do in the market this summer.
The Gunners have already agreed a deal for their first piece of business after New England Revolution confirmed that Matt Turner is set to make the move to the Emirates this summer.
Arsenal are yet confirm anything at time of writing, but will do so in June when the American goalkeeper completes his medical in North London after which he is expected to join up with Mikel Arteta ‘s squad for pre-season, football.london understands.
Edu has no intentions of stopping there however.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the 1-0 win over Wolves in the Premier League at Molineux earlier this week, Arteta revealed that Arsenal are planning to be extremely active in the transfer market come the summer.
“That’s part of the strategy,” the Spaniard said. “As well we are going to have some contracts ending and we are going to have to make some decisions as well depending on where we are and whether we have the option to do that.
“We have players on loan as well, we have to understand where they are and where they can be and how much of a contribution they can have in the summer.
“Obviously, we’ll have to sign players in the summer, that’s without a question of a doubt.”
With this in mind the focus is now on exactly where the Gunners will look to strengthen at the end of this season.
One area where they seem certain to add players is centre forward.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang terminated his contract with the club in January to facilitate a move to Barcelona, while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both set to leave when their contracts at the Emirates expire this summer.
As things stand that would leave Arsenal with only youngsters Flo Balogun and Gabriel Martinelli as their striking options. While the pair both have immense potential, the former is currently just getting his first taste of consistent senior football while on loan at Middlesbrough, while the latter has looked better on the left wing in recent matches.
As a result Edu will look to provide Arteta with the centre forward capable of taking his project to the next level when this season comes to an end.
It had been thought that Dusan Vlahovic was the man for this job after Arsenal showed interest in January. Unfortunately though the highly rated Serbian chose to join Serie A giants Juventus, meaning that a move for him is now off the table.
Fellow January targets Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton and Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak both also remain possibilities too while Canadian forward Jonathan David continues to be linked amid his scintilating form at Lille this season.
All three offer differing tactical profiles, so it will be fascinating to see who – if any of them – Arsenal end up going for.
Next up on the list of priorities will be central midfield.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are all likely to leave North London permanently this summer when their respective loan spells abroad come to an end, while Mohamed Elneny is set to depart when his contract finishes up in July.
Meanwhile football.london understands that Granit Xhaka is set to be the subject of renewed interest from Roma at the end of this season meaning that it’s possible Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey could be the only available senior midfielders from the current squad still at the Emirates come the start of next campaign.
Arsenal are blessed with several talented youngsters in this position with Miguel Azeez, Charlie Patino and Salah-Eddine Oulad M’Hand all being given first team exposure this season, but it is likely that they will look to recruit externally to solve their problems.
Bruno Guimaraes was reportedly a target, but the Brazilian ended up controversially joining Newcastle in January for a fee believed to be in the region of €50 million.
With that in mind Youri Tielemans of Leicester remains a reported target with just one year remaining on his deal at the King Power come the summer, and Ruben Neves of Wolves continues to be linked.
These are likely to be the positions where Arsenal choose to spend most of their energies recruiting in the summer having already completed a deal for Bernd Leno ‘s replacement in Matt Turner.
Arteta has previously stated that he only wants players who will “raise the level” of the current Gunners squad, so it will be fascinating to see who is brought in.