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Transfer Rumor: Is Arteta tracking Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler?

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Might Soler help Mikel transform the Arsenal midfield into a 4-3-3?

Getafe v Valencia - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

A few days ago we looked at the possibility of Mikel Arteta switching the Arsenal formation to a 4-3-3. However, as the article noted the composition and depth in the midfield would need to be addressed in the next few transfer windows. The new manager needs energetic midfielders that can cover the boundary, as well as press forward. Enter the Carlos Soler transfer rumblings.

Sky Sports News is reporting that Arteta has shown interest in bringing in the 23-year-old from Valencia. And at first glance he fits the ideal target range. He has been in the Valencia system his entire career, breaking through to the senior team in 2017. At the international level he has appeared from the Spanish U-21 side 17 times, scoring four goals, and looks likely to break into the senior Spanish side in the next year or two.

Three goals and three assists from 11 Champions League games so far in his young career and over 100 appearances in La Liga. His versatility would be a welcomed change at Arsenal which has long used the two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1. Soler most often has played as a right midfielder, but has always featured as the left mid, center mid, attacking mid, and defensive holding mid.

The biggest hurdle might be his fee. Currently valued at $55 million and under contract at Valencia until June 30th, 2023, Soler won’t come cheap. But as high wage players like Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang exit in the coming windows, Arsenal will have funds to reinvest in the squad.

Are there any current Arsenal midfielders you would put ahead of Carlos Soler in a potential depth chart next season? Do we think Arteta may try to acquire Soler and retain the services of Dani Ceballos? If so, Lucas Torreira’s days would appear numbered.

If Arsenal were to acquire Soler he would come into a side with only one midfielder older than he is (Xhaka at 26). Obviously, we are expecting a full exit this summer for 27-year-old loanee Mohamed Elneny. Carlos would be brought in as a starter, likely alongside Xhaka (at the base) for a 4-3-3 and room one other. Torreira, 23, Guendouzi, 20, Maitland-Niles, 21, Willock, 19 and the potential full signing of Ceballos, 23, result in Arsenal needing to really evaluate the future and depth of the position as part of Arteta’s rebuilding project.

Much like the current, and potential centerback depth next season, the Gunners simply have more bodies than necessary and not enough talent to get back to a Champions League spot. Carlos Soler would be a welcomed addition.