Arsenal’s scary XI if James Maddison and Tammy Abraham join and three more signings made
Arsenal have endured a hectic summer transfer window so far, despite many predictions that the Covid-hit market would lead to widespread inactivity.
Boss Mikel Arteta will be desperate to build on his disappointing eighth-place finish last time out, and a squad overhaul seems to be his chosen method of doing so.
As part of that overhaul, a series of high-profile Arsenal stars have already left the club including Martin Odegaard, Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and David Luiz.
In order to sign some of their key targets, yet more dead wood would have to be trimmed.
That could spell the end for the likes of Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Sead Kolasinac who have been heavily linked with moves away, as well as Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock who have been the subjects of external interest.
With a healthy transfer kitty to work with, Arsenal could line up for the start of next season with a shiny new XI. Football audit analyses what that might look like.
Transfer chief Edu is reportedly keen to bring in a keeper to challenge Bernd Leno for the No 1 spot.
Based on recent developments, Aaron Ramsdale seems the most likely candidate, although Sheffield United are demanding a whopping £32million for his signature.
The 23-year-old could still progress to be a top keeper, but that is an awful lot to put on someone who has just suffered back-to-back relegations, as well as someone who will have a scrap on their hands getting past the incumbent eight-cap Germany international.
Defence: Celik, White, Gabriel, Tierney
Hector Bellerin looks to be on his way out of the Emirates, despite an enjoyable decade where the Spaniard perfected his London accent.
Lille’s Zeki Celik is perhaps the most likely replacement, the 24-year-old Turkish right-back who won Ligue 1 last campaign with Lille and could be available for as little as £13m.
Ben White’s prospective £50m transfer from Brighton looks virtually done and dusted, while his on-the-ball confidence should gel nicely with Gabriel at centre-back.
Tierney’s tenacity down the left side has already won Gunners fans over, while himself and Gabriel could be the only two survivors from Arteta’s defence last season.
Defensive midfield: Partey, Sambi Lokonga
Thomas Partey arrived from Atletico Madrid and brought high expectations with him. Although he showed what all the fuss was about in flashes, it was far from an ideal season for the Ghana international.
After completing the £18m signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, Arsenal are finally re-building their midfield after a series of exits in recent weeks.
The pair have plenty of talent, while the Emirates faithful will wait with bated breath as they continue to search for their ‘new Vieira’.
Attacking midfield: Pepe, Maddison, Saka
There is almost a universal belief that there is more to come from Nicolas Pepe since his £72m move from Lille in 2019.
Now into his third season, he could link up with James Maddison if the Gunners are prepared to fork out a similarly astronomical transfer fee.
Maddison is tied to a long-term deal at Leicester so he would take some prising away, but he would bring plenty of creative flair to Arteta’s attack if they could pull a deal off.
After a fantastic Euros in which every Arsenal fan cheered him on as if he was their own child, Bukayo Saka is also likely to slot back in on the wing.
Tammy Abraham was frozen out at Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel last campaign, despite bagging 15 Premier League goals the year before.
With plenty of interested parties aware that there is a serious talent rotting away on the Stamford Bridge bench, he looks highly likely to move on this summer.
Football audit understands Arsenal are prepared to step up and match his £125,000-a-week wage demands, as well as Chelsea’s £40m valuation, to bring him to north London, perhaps on a season-long loan with a view to buying the player permanently in 2022.
Arsenal’s new-look XI in full: RAMSDALE, CELIK, WHITE, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Sambi Lokonga, Pepe, MADDISON, Saka, ABRAHAM