We are just a month away from the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season and even less until the Community Shield match against Liverpool. In similar fashion we are closing in on Arsenal’s finishing place in the table last season as we think through a transfer target from each Premier League club below us in 2019/20.
Fantasy Arsenal Series: Bournemouth | Norwich City | Aston Villa | Watford | West Ham | Brighton | Crystal Palace
Up next is 13th place Newcastle who finished the year with 44 points. Based on how the season ended for Newcastle it was a bit surprising they weren’t closer to the relegation zone after picking up just one point from their last five matches. 15 points away from the Europa League places, can they hold on to their best players ahead of the 20/21 campaign and build up? Or will there be another middling year as they wait to see what future new ownership may bring?
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Projected Value: $18 million
Argument For: Have you heard that Arsenal lack a true #10? With Ozil seemingly frozen out and Emile Smith Rowe still untested at the Premier League level, this is one of Mikel Arteta’s biggest gaps in the current squad. Premier League fans and especially those who also follow MLS will be familiar with Almiron after his explosive scoring tandem with Josef Martinez at Atlanta United. This season the 24-year-old led Newcastle with eight goals and two assists, had the most completed passes into the 18 and was second in actions that led to shots. At that price tag and age, Almiron is not only a top prospect to take from the Magpies, but someone Arsenal should consider in reality.
Projected Value: $22 million
Argument For: With just four goals (but also four assists) the 23-year-old Brazilian didn’t light the forward line on fire for Newcastle. However, they struggled offensively all season. His size, potential, and age still leave loads of time for him to improve and find the right club or system that best fit his skill set. Lacazette currently fills the hold-up play forward for Arsenal, but with his rumored exit this summer, Joelinton does offer a different type of forward that anything the Gunners have at the moment.
Projected Value: $16 million
Argument For: Does it feel like Arsenal have 82 CBs? Yes, and no. Even with Mavropanos out on loan, the club have seven senior CBs on the roster for the upcoming season and transfer rumors linking the club to numerous players. Several start the campaign injured and no one is sure what the best combination is, or if the right players are even there. So the search continues, which makes Lascelles a possibility here. At 26, he was one of Newcastle’s most accurate passers, strong in aerial duels (68.6%), and interceptions. Even as a 2nd line CB option, moving on a player like Sokratis to add someone such as Lascelles would both improve the Gunners defensive depth and improve the age profile. But is it enough to top the options here?
Position: Center Midfielder
Projected Value: $19 million
Argument For: Every club typically can use a new midfielder heading into a fresh season, especially when it’s the manager’s first (full one for Arteta). Exactly what Arsenal needs in midfield is up in the air based on the type of formation(s) Mikel wants to deploy during matches and be able to switch to on the fly, plus which center mids may be exiting this summer/fall (Guendouzi, Torreira). The elder Longstaff played defensive and central midfield for Newcastle, making 29 appearances, scoring twice and picking up two assists in his first full season in the Premier League. Longstaff might have the most potential upside still to develop from their CM group, but at the moment he’d fill in a 2nd-tier midfielder under Arteta.
Position: Left Winger
Projected Value: $31 million
Argument For: Saint-Maximin is probably the Newcastle player that first jumps to the mind of most Premier League fans when considering potential transfer targets from the club. The exciting young winger tallied four goals and five assists in his debut season in England, leading team in shots on target, actions that led to shots for Newcastle and actions that led to goals for the club. He is their most talented player and most expensive. Arsenal have played Aubameyang out wide for much of his time in North London and just signed Bukayo Saka to a long term deal. If Lacazette were to move this summer and Aubameyang were played up top, Saint-Maximin & Saka would make an ideal 1-2 depth chart for the left wing role. But would the club be willing to spend big to get him after throwing a record amount at Lille to get Pepe last summer?
Which Newcastle player would you pick?
This poll is closed
If the Gunners had to take one player from Newcastle who are you going with and why? Let us know in the comment section below.