Arsenal were much more active in the final week of the transfer window than many imagined having completed their main three pieces of business before the pre-season tour of America got properly underway.
With Declan Rice through the door as well as Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber, it looked like Edu had got his work spot on in setting up Mikel Arteta for a summer of planning and exits. As it happened there was a bit of a scramble to the finish.
The Gunners were frantically trying to move on players from the squad that have no future at the club, a case for many which had been clear since day one of the window. Add to that the injury on opening day to Timber, a player who had been used across the backline in pre-season and impressed thoroughly, and things got a bit messy.
Arsenal were linked with potential replacements for their new Dutch defender after the severity of the injury was revealed and the late impact of a Saudi offer for Gabriel Magalhaes further threw things into uncertainty just when Arteta didn’t need it. However, the club were prepared for any potential sale to their Brazilian.
Ben Jacobs has now revealed that there was a three-man shortlist drawn up, though each of the names had some concerns. “Arsenal decided against buying cover for the injured Jurrien Timber. Bringing in another defender was always only going to happen if the right fit became available,” he told CaughtOffside.
“The likes of Benfica’s Alexander Bah, Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson were all linked, but there was never a great deal of substance. Bah is a right-back and Nelsson and Guehi centre-backs, with the latter under contract until 2026 and not a player Palace wanted to lose. He would be the type of signing who would expect regular minutes.”
Guehi is also a player who has been consistently linked with Arsenal even before the injury to Timber and even as a previous alternative to the 22-year-old.
football.london says: Marc Guehi is a personal favourite and frankly would be worth the reported £60million ($75m) if someone was to come and make an offer sooner rather than later. At 23, he is young enough to develop and improve under Arteta and fits the age profile of the squad.
He’s already a full England international, knows many of the players from his time with the Three Lions and has some seriously admirable and desirable leadership traits. He can work in a back three, which makes him useful as Arteta’s build-up involves moving into a shape exposing the defence in such a way.
He’s not as versatile as Timber, though and the last thing that Arsenal want is to be left with him, Gabriel, William Saliba and Timber as well as Jakub Kiwior all competing for – ideally – centre-back slots when Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko are fit. The numbers would just be too much to fit into reasonable minutes among them.
What Arsenal have done is leave themselves slightly exposed to potential defensive injuries and reports such as this could come back to bite them if the worst was to happen.
The attack isn’t an area in which they appear to be lacking, however. The addition of Havertz, albeit a midfield experiment with him is still ongoing but so far unimpressive and unconclusive, means that the options up front are plentiful. Folarin Balogun left due to the depth and lack of pathway and even Champions League football’s strain is unlikely to be too much to handle.
However, It has been reported in the Telegraph that Arsenal once more enquired about the availability of Wolves winger Pedro Neto. The 23-year-old has started this season well for Gary O’Neil’s men despite results not going their way so far. He has three assists already in the opening four games including two last time out against Crystal Palace.
With just 11 goals in 115 games for the club, his record isn’t too remarkable and even the 16 assists don’t add to that but there have been sparks during Neto’s time, in-between the injuries, that suggest he could live up to the £50million ($61m) price tag placed on him 12 months ago.
Arsenal reportedly looked at him in 2022 but chose not to further their interest. However, they are keeping an eye on him and could make another step into the market in January if they like what they see.
football.london says: Neto is an exciting player for sure and when he’s fit there aren’t too many who can match his speed and dribbling, the issue has been end product and fitness. For a team competing on multiple fronts this isn’t the greatest thing to see and Arsenal would be well advised to wait a bit longer to see how his body holds up this season.
He has missed 60 games since 2021 with just two injuries and has a splattered record dating back to 2018 and his breakthrough at Lazio as well. It is a big worry for such a young player, especially one with so much promise.
Considering Leandro Trossard moved last January and has had an immediate impact, just where Neto would fit in at Arsenal is uncertain. Trossard himself didn’t get on the field as the Gunners pushed for a win over Manchester United on Sunday and, despite his versatility, isn’t first choice anywhere.
Reiss Nelson has already proven himself a capable deputy from the bench and has had important impacts in the past season, with these two already waiting for chances of their own and none of the other attackers up for sale, Neto is a strange one to be linked with Arsenal.
Transfer1 year ago
ALMOST DONE: Arsenal Set To Announce The Signing Of Highly-Rated Attacker
Transfer11 months ago
ALMOST DONE: Arsenal on the verge to agree big-money deal for World-Class No.7 attacker
Transfer1 year ago
GOOD NEWS! Arsenal Found A Replacement For Partey
Team News1 year ago
Arsenal news: Gunners’ finally receive £26m transfer reply as Edu’s Hale End risk shows success
Transfer1 year ago
Supercomputer predicts Premier League top 6 for 2022-23 season as Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham battle for UCL spot