Mikel Arteta is desperate to strengthen his Arsenal midfield this summer.
And the manager is well on the way to making changes already ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, with Matteo Guendouzi having already been offloaded in a loan move with an obligation to buy to Marseille.
More deals will follow too, with Roma expected to sign Granit Xhaka and Arsenal set to complete a deal for Anderlecht winger Albert Sambi Lokonga.
But Arteta and technical director Edu will not be finished there. Martin Odegaard’s return to Real Madrid following a season-long loan leaves a big attacking midfielder shaped hole in Arteta’s lineup.
Plenty of names have been linked with a move to the Emirates, with Houssem Aouar, Ruben Neves, Yves Bissouma, Manuel Locatelli and Sander Berge among them.
Locatelli is the latest to be linked, following a string of impressive performances at Euro 2020, however, reports suggest he has his heart set on a move to Juventus, with the Old Lady keen to make a move.
Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has also brought the Neves rumours back to the fore by claiming that the Wolves midfielder is the “priority” for Arteta and Arsenal this summer.
However, Arteta already knows who the best person to bring in is.
Last sumemr there was much talk of Arsenal having a choice to make between the attacking instincts of Aouar from Lyon and the defensive capabilities of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid.
As it turned out, Partey was the one they signed, but Arteta was left disappointed not to sign Aouar.
He could rectify that this summer, by going back in for Aouar and with good reason.
According to FBref.com, Aouar was 16th on the list of all players in Europe’s top five leagues for shot-creating actions per 90 minutes last season, averaging 5.1 per game.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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That is more than Mason Mount at Chelsea, who was heralded as having a superb season for the Blues.
Aouar does drop down the list a little when it comes to turning those shots into goals, although that’s through no fault of his won, with 0.71 goal-creating actions per 90 minutes – 32nd overall across Europe’s top five leagues.
Crucially though he is well ahead of any other midfielder Arsenal have been linked with signing this summer, proving that Arteta knew and still knows the player he wants at the Emirates next season.