Football Features

Arsenal transfer targets: Three players to help Gunners topple Manchester City

By Will Evans

Published: 8:40, 24 May 2024 | Updated: 13:28, 12 June 2024

Arsenal racked up 89 points and only lost five games all season, but it was not enough to topple Premier League juggernauts Manchester City.

The Gunners have now finished runners-up to the Citizens in consecutive campaigns — and know that a mammoth points total will be required to claim top spot next term.

Mikel Arteta must bolster his squad in order to achieve that aim, with a handful of key positions in need of strengthening.

We consider which players the North Londoners should sign this summer.

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Striker search

Kai Havertz looks to have finally found his best position as a centre-forward, but Arsenal need to add another top-quality striker to their ranks.

Former first-choice frontman Gabriel Jesus could be set to depart the Emirates after only scoring four league goals in an injury-hit season, while Eddie Nketiah is reportedly attracting interest from a host of top-flight sides.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney has been strongly linked with a summer switch to N7, though a smarter move could be to target another London-based forward.

Crystal Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta, 26, has scored 16 goals and registered five assists in the Premier League this season, while also winning possession 30 times in the attacking third – inside the division’s top 15 players.

His arrival would help mitigate against the potential loss of Jesus, who is exemplary when it comes to pressing from the front.

Midfield matters

Declan Rice has demonstrated his ability to operate as a more advanced midfielder in recent months — contributing a goal and three assists in Arsenal’s final five games of the campaign.

That development could see the club attempt to sign an out-and-out No.6 when the transfer window re-opens, amid long-standing links to Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi.

It is not hard to see why the Gunners are interested, with the 25-year-old regaining possession an impressive 102 times in the middle third and making 37 interceptions in La Liga this season.

Zubimendi has a reported release clause of £52.6million, if Arsenal decide to splash the cash on the Spain international.

Goalkeeping addition

It has been a season to remember for on-loan goalkeeper David Raya, who won the Premier League’s Golden Glove award after amassing 16 clean sheets.

The 28-year-old is likely to make his move from Brentford permanent this summer, leaving fellow stopper Aaron Ramsdale with the prospect of another year on the substitute’s bench.

Ramsdale is unlikely to countenance such a scenario and some reports suggest that he could be set to join Newcastle in a £15million deal.

Arsenal would therefore need to sign a back-up goalkeeper, with Las Palmas’ Alvaro Valles, 26, presenting an interesting option.

He ranks eighth in La Liga for goals prevented (8.36) and — much like Raya — is adept with the ball at his feet, with no goalkeeper attempting (1,684) or completing (1,325) more passes in 2023/24.