If there are two things that have become clear so far this summer, it’s that Arsenal are looking to get business done early while showing the ambition required to take the team to the next level.
This is exactly what Mikel Arteta was aiming for after suggesting it was time to raise the bar while admitting that the earlier things could be done, the better.
The Spaniard was honest with his concerns about squad strength and depth ahead of a busy 2022/23 season that included European football. It’s no secret that the side must be bolstered in order to deal with increased demands, but there will also be the target of ensuring there’s no more falling short like last time around.
You could say that there were a lot of different factors that played a part in the failure to reach the top four, but one of them was often a lack of goal threat when it was ultimately needed and it’s something Arteta desperately wants to fix.
Speaking to the press last season, he outlined his vision for his Arsenal attack and reiterated why it was so important to improve in front of goal if his side wants to compete with the best around.
“To be with the top teams this season you need to score 90 to 100 goals at least,” Arteta said. “Somehow you need those goals in the team. Don’t ask me how, but you need them. They have to come. That contribution, how it’s done and how possible it is to happen, you have to find the right pieces to do it. But it’s a non-negotiable.
“If you look at the history of (successful) football teams, they always have that,” he added when it was put to him that most players who could match those numbers will not come cheaply. These quotes are interesting when factoring in the links to Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha.
Both players are known for their quality in front of goal, finding the back of the net a combined 112 times at their current club. They also play an important role in terms of creating goals too, with 58 assists between them. However, as expected, neither will come cheaply.
Manchester City are said to be demanding a fee in the region of £40m – £50m for Jesus, while Leeds United are reportedly hoping to receive at least £50m for Raphinha’s services. These are deals that could see the club splash out £100m, but they would be securing two players that are more than capable of matching Arteta’s vision.
Additionally, the arrival of Fabio Vieira from FC Porto can go a long way in delivering the numbers next season. The Portuguese U21 international recorded the most assists in the Primeira Liga last season while scoring seven goals in the process, highlighting just how key he will also be.