The Turkish trio Edu should be scouting for Arsenal in the Euro 2020 curtain raiser vs Italy


The transfer window may only be a couple of days old but Mikel Arteta and Edu’s work has already begun.

The pair have been tasked with a massive squad overhaul this summer after Arsenal failed to qualify for European competition for the first time in a quarter of a century.

football.london understands that the Gunners are on the look out for players in at least five positions as they seek to create a side capable of challenging for the Champions League places again.

As is the case every four years – or every five years in this instance – there is rarely a better chance to do some scouting ahead of potential transfers than in the European Championships.


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The delayed competition finally kicks off tonight when Italy host Turkey in Rome.

There are plenty of Italian players who Arsenal might be looking at such Manuel Locatelli of Sassuolo, but what about on the other side.

Turkey are considered dark horses going into this competition with a squad packed full of top quality players that is unbeaten in games against France, Germany and the Netherlands in recent years.

With that in mind football.london takes a look at three players the Gunners should be keeping a close eye on ahead of the match in Rome.

Mehmet Zeki Celik

With Hector Bellerin set to leave, Ainsley Maitland-Niles a candidate to follow suit, Calum Chambers having just one year on his contract and Cedric comfortably down the pecking order, the right back situation at Arsenal is in a state of flux to say the least.

One of the players the Gunners have been linked with to help improve their quality in this area is Lille’s Mehmet Zeki Celik.

The 24-year-old was sensational as he helped his side to topple the might of PSG en route to the Ligue 1 title this year.

In the modern style he is a very attack-minded defender who gets so high up the pitch at times that he is almost another winger.

While his offensive instincts may have to be curbed somewhat against the might of Roberto Mancini’s Italian side, he is certainly one to watch.



Zeki Celik of Lille
Zeki Celik of Lille

Merih Demiral

Despite the expected return of William Saliba for next season and the impressive form of Dinos Mavropanos on loan at Stuttgart, Arsenal continue to be linked with a right sided centre back.

While they may not necessarily need one Mikel Arteta seems to want to bolster his options in these areas with Edmond Tapsoba of Bayer Leverkusen and Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo among those linked.

If the Spaniard is hell bent on bringing a central defender to the Emirates Stadium this summer though he could do a lot worse than to look at Merih Demiral.

The 23-year-old has struggled a bit with injury and competition for places from Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs De Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini this season, but is still a very good player.

He’s part of a defensive solidity along with Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu that this Turkey side is built on and could be key if they are to go far at this summer’s Euros.

Hakan Calhanoglu

Perhaps the most important position for Arsenal to strengthen in this summer is the creative midfield role.

Last season the lack of a number 10 saw the Gunners struggle to form chances to the extent that only Burnley, West Brom and Sheffield United had scored fewer goals than them by Christmas.

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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Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard came into the side to fix this but after the Norwegian’s return to Real Madrid following his loan, Mikel Arteta’s side are almost totally dependent on the Hale Ender to provide creativity as things stand.

One way they could look to fix this is by bringing in Turkish attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.

The 27-year-old has yet to agree a contract extension with AC Milan and could be a shrewd piece of business to get on a free this summer.





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