ALMOST DONE: Arsenal can sign another Man City star with ‘perfect’ transfer for Mikel Arteta
Much is being made of the upcoming transfer window and what Arsenal can do after an impressive 2022/23 season. The Gunners are expected to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad ahead of their return to the Champions League.
That’s despite a superb season, which has seen them return to the top of English football and go the distance with Manchester City for the Premier League title.
A fine balance of new signings and departures is expected to happen over the next couple of months. Midfield is the obvious target for sporting director Edu Gaspar with West Ham star Declan Rice the top priority, football.london understands.
Rice, who has 12 months remaining on his contract at the London Stadium, will cost Arsenal close to £120million – a price tag that will make him the most expensive player in English football. The Gunners are keen to upgrade Arteta’s options in the defensive midfielder role, but there has been speculation swirling around another midfielder arriving.
There has been a serious lack of quality behind Granit Xhaka in the number eight role this season. However, the importance of upgrading the current resources, rather than replacing, cannot be stressed enough and Manchester City may be the place to go for the answer.
Ilkay Gundogan has spent the last seven years at the Etihad Stadium after joining from Borussia Dortmund for £21million. Should Pep Guardiola’s men lift the Premier League title at the end of the month, the Germany international will have won five in total – costing £3.5m per title win.
The 32-year-old has scored 58 goals in 300 appearances for City and is, in some view, one of the most under-rated midfielders in European football. However, despite playing a starring role in City’s recent wins over Leeds and Everton, his future in Manchester remains unclear.
His contract expires at the end of the season and it had been reported that the club would be open to letting him leave in the summer. It’s said that there had been no progress in talks over an extension, leaving the door open for Arteta to repeat the trick of raiding his former side.
Arsenal signed Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus from Man City in the summer and the pair have been crucial to the team’s turnaround this season.
Gundogan could be the perfect option for the Gunners to enhance their midfield options. His goalscoring ability partnered with his passing and defensive work makes him near-perfect to the model needed in north London.
FBRef has Gundogan ranking 96th percentile for non-penalty goals and the 94th percentile for total shots in comparison to players in the same position as him across the top five leagues.
On the ball, he is ranked 95th percentile in touches in the opposition penalty area and 90th for progressive passes received – which are passes that move the ball towards the opponents goal. He is an impressive all-round performer.
The experienced midfielder would be a great addition to Arteta’s midfield to supplement the current options for next season’s return to the Champions League. With his services available with no transfer fee, it could be one of the signings of the summer.
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