Charis Michaelides: “ Any news on a potential addition in the midfield department? Such as Bissouma, Berge or anyone else? “
Chris says: “Midfield is one area the club are looking to strengthen in, but it’s clear that the priority positions are at right-back, left-back and attacking midfield. Bissouma is one possible target and we’ve reported previously that Arsenal would be his first choice destination in the Premier League, if he was to leave Brighton this summer. Berge’s transfer fee would be considerably lower with Sheffield United’s imminent relegation, but he’s not someone they’ve made an approach for to date.”
Gnabreezy: “What are the next steps for Reiss Nelson?”
Chris says: “Nelson has had a difficult time over the past few months. He made the decision to stay at Arsenal last summer, rejecting a possible loan move away from the club which in hindsight he probably should have taken up. He’s a dispensable player who is unlikely to get game time ahead of Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli or even Willian. I would argue that Nelson should be in the squad over Willian as he offers more of an attacking threat, but Mikel Arteta clearly feels that he’s not ready yet. An assessment will be made over pre-season before deciding the next steps.
Elroy.carlos: “What does Arsenal’s scouting set-up look like right now?”
Chris says: “Arsenal still have a number of ‘freelance’ scouts from what I understand. There is more importance placed upon video scouting now which can all be done in-house. Obviously COVID-19 has brought further challenges to scouting in person. As I mentioned the other day, Edu is looking to utilise his South American contacts book and bring in more young talents in the future. He’s done well in his technical director role so far and with the arrival of Richard Garlick as Head of Football Operations I believe the club are turning into a well-oiled machine where recruitment is concerned.”
Elroy.carlos: “Will we sign another striker this summer?”
Chris says: “Arsenal are well stocked in the forward areas and I wouldn’t say there’s a necessity to recruit there unless a major departure happened this summer. I’d like to see Balogun get some minutes next season and it’s my understanding that Arteta and Edu have both promised him first team football if he continues to take the chances he’s given. Martinelli has been working on his shooting in training and is also a potential option to play down the middle if Lacazette leaves.”
Kwams: “With Calum Chambers in good form, will Mikel Arteta rethink his transfer plans at right-back this summer?”
Chris says: “Arteta is a huge fan of Cedric and I don’t expect him to leave anytime soon. Chambers has surprised many – me included – as to how he’s worked his way back into the team. His desire has never been questioned but I’ve been impressed with how comfortable he looks at right-back. It would make sense to offer Chambers a contract extension because he’s a good utility player and is also homegrown. The most likely player to leave is Hector Bellerin but any departure is dependent on Arsenal getting the right transfer fee for him.”
JonB7: “What’s the latest with Lacazette and do his performances warrant a new contract?”
Chris says: “We’re seeing similarities of how Aubameyang finished last season strongly to earn himself a new contract. There are several factors Arteta and Edu have to weigh up on this one. Lacazette’s age, his market value and whether it makes sense to cash in now to avoid him letting his deal run down. From a business perspective it could make sense to offer him a one-year extension, but there is also the argument that he would be blocking the likes of Martinelli and Balogun who are waiting in the wings behind him. Arsenal could get a significant fee (£15-20m) if Lacazette finishes the campaign in fine form, and it might be a better decision to take the money and reinvest it in someone like Martin Odegaard instead.”
Kwams: “Any update on a new contract for Kido Taylor-Hart?”
Chris says: “The last update I had on Taylor-Hart was that he’s considering all of his options. Arsenal took a long time to offer him an extension which I’m sure he would have found frustrating. As one of the club’s best youngsters, it’s vital that they keep him. There is lots of interest from teams across Europe so I would expect some news on his future very soon.”
Harry: “Is Emi Buendia still an option for Arsenal if the Martin Odegaard deal fails?”
Chris says: “Arsenal like Buendia and we reported about their interest as early as last December. However, with Norwich’s imminent promotion to the Premier League I would expect him to stay unless a good offer comes in. Odegaard is certainly the priority along with the other positions I mentioned above.”
Elroy.carlo: “Do you think Dinos Mavropanos and Willian Saliba will still get a chance at the club?”
Chris says: “I’ve been talking up Mavropanos for a long time because I believe he will go on to become one of the best defenders in Europe. His performances for Stuttgart have been excellent this season and they are keen on extending for another year. From what I understand, it is more likely that he will extend his loan deal but a permanent departure can’t be ruled out either. That would mean Saliba will come back for pre-season and get another chance to impress the manager. He’s also impressed at Nice but Arteta and the coaching staff felt he was too raw and needed to improve on many aspects. It’s a case of let’s wait and see what happens with him.”
Do you want all the latest news from around Arsenal Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from the Emirates Stadium.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Chris Wheatley and Kaya Kaynak before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Arsenal box to subscribe for our Gunners newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
Antonio Car: “Do you think Mikel Arteta could be sacked if he doesn’t win the Europa League?”
Chris says: “I believe the minimum expectation is that Arsenal qualify for European competition each season. He surpassed expectations last season by winning the FA Cup (and Community Shield) and right now the club are two matches away from a European final. The Premier League campaign has seen inconsistent performances from many teams this season, including Arsenal, but there are many reasons for that. If Arsenal win the Europa League I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arteta being offered a new contract.”