Transfer rumor season never really stops, but once the season officially ends the daily barrage of ‘reports’ seems to kick into overdrive. After another tough season in north London for Arsenal, new manager Unai Emery’s first full transfer summer means that the club is a prime suspect for endless transfer links.
There are - and will be - so many, in fact, that we can easily build an entirely new Arsenal starting XI from those connections. (all transfer values estimated by Transfermarkt)
- Goalkeeper - Ionut Radu - £13.5m - Radu would fill the backup role to Leno, starting Europa League group stage matches and the Cups. Could also provide much needed competition with Leno during training.
- Left Back - Kieran Tierney - £11m - Potential starter, especially in a classic four back system. If Monreal is moving on, Tierney offers a nice contrast to Sead Kolasinac.
- Center Back - William Saliba - £11m - The younger of the two options at 18, but also has played right back a handful of matches in Ligue 1.
- Center Back - Joachim Andersen - £22.5m - 24, with almost 40 appearances in Serie A, and should break into the Danish national team in the next year or two. If signed, he would be an expected starter with Shkodran Mustafi or Laurent Koscielny exiting the club.
- Right Back - Thomas Meunier - £27m - One of the more unlikely signings for Arsenal, given his price tag, desire to be the #1 and Arsenal having Hector Bellerin, even if he is returning from injury. It would be a statement to have Bellerin and Meunier splitting time at right-back, but Arsenal aren’t quite to the level of having two clear starters at each spot.
- Center Midfielder - Dominik Szoboszlai - £11m - A true out of left field signing if completed. Szoboszlai would come in as center mid number four on the depth chart and a likely exit for Mohamed Elneny. But as the cheaper of the two options, he might end up being more feasible this summer.
- Center Midfielder - Dennis Praet - £21.5m - The closest thing Arsenal have been linked with as a direct replacement for Aaron Ramsey in the squad. Praet has nearly 100 games in Serie A and has played across the entire center midfield and attacking midfield line. He’s even broken into the highly talented and deep Belgian national team. If signed it would be at minimum as a rotating starting with Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, and Mattéo Guendouzi, based on how the pairings could work out together.
- Right Winger - Ryan Fraser - £27m (Fraser typically player as a left winger. However, since Yannick Carrasco plays left wing as well, and Fraser has played on the right more often than him, I’ve placed the Bournemouth target here.) The only player on the list with Premier League experience, and with that comes the inflated valuation. If signed he’d be competing with Alex Iwobi, which given Arsenal’s budget doesn’t seem like this is a great place to spend £25-35m.
- Attacking Midfielder - Reinier Jesus - £3m - A future prospect. If signed he would go straight into competing with Emile Smith Rowe or likely out on loan.
- Left Winger - Yannick Carrasco - £18m - Like Fraser, this would be considered about the highest range Arsenal can spend this year. But with over 100 matches for Atletico Madrid and Monaco each, plus 36 Champions League appearances, Carrasco seems like the option more likely to start and more likely to offer something new to Arsenal’s attack.
- Forward - Alexis Claude Maurice - £7m - The 21-year-old would fill the Danny Welbeck backup (Europa/Cup) role.
Initial impressions for this starting eleven? The total cost of this group would be £172.5 million, just slightly over that rumored £40m budget. There’s also the small issue of the fact that estimated transfer value and actual transfer fees vary greatly.
From that eleven, who would you most want Arsenal to sign this summer? And which players not listed do you think should come into the starting lineup from the vast world of Arsenal transfer rumors?
Hopefully, the actual movement starts soon. Until then, fans will have to be satisfied with the overwhelming amount of international soccer currently taking place and the upcoming official release of the new Arsenal kits from Adidas on July 1st.