It’s always about this time and just before Easter that the first names of any potential summer signings start being bandied about. At this stage of the season, clubs have a good idea of what they have been missing for the last eight months and begin looking around to assess the different personnel that can assist with adding more balance to a side.
For the Gunners, every transfer window these days provides a chance to put real daylight between the deficiencies of Wenger’s last few teams and the one that Unai Emery is trying to build. There is an understanding between those in football – strangely, one that was spearheaded by Gary Neville – that the Spaniard should be given at least four or five transfer windows to sort Arsenal out before he is judged fairly.
That’s why Arsenal’s transfer policy is one of the most scrutinized in the Premier League at the moment as fans are given the opportunity to see whether the hierarchy at Arsenal is indeed serious about fixing the weaknesses that have plagued the Gunners. It may be unfair to criticize or even praise for that matter, the names being mentioned as none have been confirmed and a lot of the time it is all just hot air. But one name that keeps popping up and is hard to ignore is Ryan Fraser.
Ryan Fraser has created 21 Big Chances in the Premier League this season, at least eight more than any other player.
Wee man, BIG numbers. ???? pic.twitter.com/f8XyMXPTMw
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 2, 2019
The Scot broke his silence over being linked with Arsenal by saying all the things you’ve heard a million times before. Basically, the 25-year-old is extremely flattered to be linked with such a massive club. Fraser is in a tough position, as he obviously doesn’t want to alienate himself at Bournemouth, but his comments were as close to a “come and get me” as he could get, without giving Eddie Howe the opportunity to send him to train with the U-23s for the remainder of the season.
And, by all means, Arsenal should go and get him. His stocky frame and electric pace make him fleet of foot but also able to ride a robust challenge. The 25-year-old isn’t afraid to deliver a crunching challenge either, which makes a pleasant change from the abundance of non-contact wingers that have arrived at Arsenal over the last decade.
Another promising target is Ajax’s left-back Nicolas Tagliafico who currently makes up an important part of the Argentina national team. As a further indication of his class, Tagliafico will meet up with Argentina in June for the Copa America where international football betting sees them as the favourites to be crowned kings of South America, with odds that stood at 4/1 at the time of writing. This is exactly the type of player that can shore up the left side of defence – one of his main attributes is his work rate.
In Fraser and Tagliafico, you have two players that will strengthen the spine of the team and if further reports are to be believed, Samuel Umtiti may be an option too. As a World Cup and La Liga winner, Umtiti’s CV speaks for itself.
Samuel Umtiti tops Arsenal’s transfer target list this summer. The French defender has lost importance at Barça, and with the club close to de Ligt they’d need to raise funds while also lowering their wage bill.
Arsenal see the transfer as a real possibility. [Independent] pic.twitter.com/UwPYsvdNLL
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) March 29, 2019
It’s important to stress that there is no smoke without fire, that the names being linked with Arsenal are indeed just rumours at this stage. But it does seem like Emery knows exactly what is needed this summer.
A promising situation is developing at the Emirates and with players like Torreira and Guendouzi already adding a bit more muscle to the midfield, there’s reason to believe that Arsenal are only a few recruits away from resembling an unrecognizable side to that of Wenger’s in his last season.