Arsenal have been linked with a plethora of players this summer as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his squad ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
football.london understands that Arteta is looking to overhaul his squad over the coming weeks and wants to sign a midfielder to replace the departing Granit Xhaka – who has agreed personal terms with Serie A side AS Roma.
Brighton maestro Yves Bissouma is one of the names that has been touted, as well as Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who is stylistically quite similar to Xhaka.
However, it is Neves’ compatriot Renato Sanches that former Gunners‘ midfielder Michael Thomas believes would be the pick of the bunch.
“Renato Sanches I thought was excellent for Portugal. He brings real energy and breaks the lines with his driving runs,” he told CaughtOffside.
“Having him as an 8 in the Arsenal team would bring great balance, but I am aware of his injury record.”
Sanches enjoyed a stellar season with French outfit Lille, featuring 29 times as Les Dogues clinched their first Ligue 1 title in ten years.
His productive displays then earned him a place in Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad as the Selecao crashed out to Belgium in the round of 16.
Thomas has also been impressed with Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who the Gunners have also been linked to in recent weeks.
“Then there’s Locatelli, box to box, shows real energy and clearly has an eye for goal,” he added.
“Ruben Neves is a really good technical operator with great experience already in the English game. He is very comfortable on the ball and that is how Arteta likes to play so he would be a really good fit.
“For me, we need a bit more energy around the middle which is why I like Elneny in there at times, but Renato or Bissouma would be a more ideal choice.
“The project that Arteta and Edu are trying to build at Arsenal is clearly exciting for the players and that is what would be the biggest selling point.”
The north London club have already added former Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares to their ranks this summer and they also are in advanced talks for both Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and Brighton centre-half Ben White, with the club confident that both deals will be completed in the coming weeks.
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