The club’s lack of Champions League football next season doesn’t seem to have deterred players from joining a team who had previously taken part in Europe’s premier competition for 19 consecutive seasons, and the arrival of Lacazette especially will indicate to other potential signings that the club means business.
What follows is a look at some of the names linked with the club in the past month, and an assessment of the players most likely to join based on the Football Whispers Index score.
Thomas Lemar – Monaco – 3.6
The Monaco winger is linked with becoming the second French arrival at the Emirates this summer, joining the recently signed Lacazette in North London.
The liking of an Instagram post is seen a a surefire sign that a player has interest in joining a club, and Lemar decided to hit the like button on a picture of Lacazette signing for the Arsenal, meaning the deal is all but done…
Thomas Lemar | AS Monaco | FWTV by FootballWhispers
In more concrete news, French outlet L’Équipe reported that Arsenal have upped their bid for the player to $45million, and though Monaco are likely to hold out for more this is a step in the right direction and is a sign of the club’s intent.
Lemar would be a natural replacement for Alexis Sanchez should the Chilean leave the club as expected, and he’d slot into the usual Arséne Wenger style as well as the more recent counter-attacking systems occasionally used by Arsenal.
Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City – 3.4
The Algerian was one of the players of the season during Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League triumph in 2016.
However, he struggled in the following campaign and is now looking for a move to revitalise his game and re-motivate him.
According to The Mirror the player is “desperate to move the the Gunners” and was upset to hear reports that they’d turned their attentions to the aforementioned Lemar.
But it’s likely that Arsenal will retain their interest in both players, and it’s entirely possible that they could sign both the Frenchman and the maverick Mahrez in the hope that between them the pair can make up for the loss of Sanchez.
Aymen Barkok – Eintracht Frankfurt – 3.2
One of the less well known names linked with a move to Arsenal this summer is Eintracht Frankfurt’s 19-year-old Aymen Barkok.
German outlet Spox reported the initial interest, and this story has been picked up by numerous British newspapers including The Express who say that a bid for the player had arrived from Arsenal last season.
Barkok, a utility player but one who prefers a central midfield position, played a bit-part for his club last season starting just six games and coming off the bench 12 times.
Frankfurt finished 11th in the Bundesliga last season, and if he stays at the club it’s likely that he’ll play a bigger part this time around. Should a move to Arsenal materialise he could find himself on the bench more often than not, but his ambition could see him willing to try his hand in the Premier League.
William Carvalho – Sporting CP – 3.0
Of all the players in this list, Carvalho is the one who would be the best fit for Arsenal, offering the side numerous strengths they currently lack.
The midfielder would bring the traits which Arsenal thought they were getting in Granit Xhaka, and though the Swiss signing hasn’t been a failure, Carvalho would take the midfield bite to the next level.
Carvalho could be the defensive midfielder the club are often said to be lacking, and the Portuguese international will be seen as a welcome addition to the club should he arrive from Sporting this summer.
Chris Smalling – Manchester United – 3.0
With the arrival of Victor Lindelöf to partner Eric Bailly in the centre of Manchester United’s defence, the future of the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones appears uncertain.
Arsenal might come to the rescue of Smalling who, standing at 6ft 4″ (193cm), could be seen as a replacement for Per Mertesacker who has announced that he’ll retire in 2018.
The Gunners’ links to Smalling were reported a month ago by the Guardian among others, and though talk of this transfer has quietened recently, the move would still make sense for both parties.
Man United may be looking to recover some cash after their second big money signing in as many windows arrives in the shape of Romelu Lukaku. Smalling could be one of the players allowed to leave the club as a result.