Arsenal are already being linked with midfield reinforcements ahead of the summer transfer window.
According to Goal, the latest name said to be on the Gunners’ radar is that of £26m-rated Real Betis ace Nabil Fekir who was poised for a move to the Premier League a couple of summers ago, only to see a transfer to Liverpool collapse at the 11th hour.
But will it be second time lucky for Fekir?
Well, as reported by football.london, Arsenal’s interest in the attacking midfielder is ‘tentative’ and unlikely to be pursued this summer as technical director Edu focuses his attentions on keeping Martin Odegaard at the club.
With that said, it may prove difficult in bringing the Norway international back to north London, so Fekir might just be the perfect alternative.
If Fekir was to join the Gunners, supporters will be looking forward to seeing the Frenchman holding the Arsenal shirt at his unveiling – but what squad number could the attacking midfielder take at the Emirates Stadium?
Well, it would appear that Fekir has two favoured options.
During his time at Lyon he usually wore No.8 and No.18, and since moving to Spain he has worn No.8. Meanwhile, he wore No.18 when France won the World Cup in 2018.
At Arsenal, the incumbent no.8 is former Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos – on loan at the Emirates from Real Madrid – while Thomas Partey currently wears the no.18.
This means Fekir could receive his dream number if he was to join Arsenal, but only if the Gunners aren’t able to sign Odegaard and Ceballos returns to Real Madrid at the end of his loan spell.
With that said, what other squad numbers would be available to the 27-year-old if he does sign for the Gunners in the summer transfer window?
Below, we take a look to see what numbers are currently free at Arsenal.
Sokratis vacated the iconic No.5 upon leaving the Gunners in the January transfer window. Although it may not be vacant for too much longer if Partey gets his way this summer.
Worn by the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Jack Wilshere, and Robin van Persie, the No.10 became vacant in January when Mesut Ozil joined Fenerbahce on a free transfer.
Shkodran Mustafi was another high-profile exit in January and that means his No.20 shirt is up for grabs.
Emiliano Martinez’s £20m move to Aston Villa last summer meant he vacated the no.26 shirt.
The summer transfer window is just around the corner.
And the rumour mill is already starting to pick up speed.
Arsenal will not have a huge amount of money to spend, but Mikel Arteta will be hoping to make a number of moves, with loanee Martin Odegaard high up the list of priorities to bring in on a permanent deal.
But who would you sign? Get involved in our transfer window debate here.
There are several more shirt numbers available at Arsenal right now, but that may not be the case in the summer when their loan stars return to the club.
With William Saliba, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi, and Sead Kolasinac all out on loan it means the No.4 , No.15 , No.27 , No.28 , No.29 , and No.31 are up for grabs for the time being.
Interestingly, Arsenal did give Lucas Torreira’s No.11 to Odegaard in January despite the fact that the midfielder is only on loan at Atletico Madrid for one season.