Some 13 years after their last European final, Arsenal fans will be drudging away from Baku with a perpetual cloud hanging over their heads.
While melancholy in the stands at Emirates Stadium is nothing new, there’s something about Arsenal’s implosion during their Europa League final against Chelsea – as well as the final few weeks of the domestic season – that has piled the pressure onto the club this summer.
Unai Emery won’t be given freedom to throw money at the squad, and it’s believed the Spaniard’s transfer budget will sit at £40m after their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Although it might seem all doom and gloom right now, there are actually plenty of players that could improve Arsenal this summer that fall well within their budget.
So with just £40m and assuming the club don’t sell any players (which they probably will), here’s what Emery’s side need to do in the transfer market to be back in the top four race when Premier League football rolls around again next season.
GK – Yassine Bounou
With Petr Čech calling time on his career in the wake on Arsenal’s Europa League final defeat, the Gunners will be in the market for a new cup goalkeeper this summer.
There aren’t any obvious players to make the step up from Arsenal’s youth system, so Unai Emery could look to save Girona’s Yassine Bounou from life in Spain’s second division.
Known more commonly as Bono, the Canada-born shot stopper kept more clean sheets in La Liga than what Arsenal’s first-choice Bernd Leno managed in the Premier League last season.
Despite signing a new contract in January, it’s suggested that Bono could be available for between €4m and €7m following Girona’s relegation, making him an ideal signing to plug the gap as Leno’s understudy.
RB – Enock Kwateng
Héctor Bellerín’s return from injury next season should be a major boost for Arsenal, as they’ve been forced to use either Ainsley Maitland-Niles or Shkodran Mustafi out of position throughout what feels like the entire campaign.
With no obvious replacements from the youth teams just yet, making a move for Nantes’ Enock Kwateng could prove to be a real coup for the Gunners.
Available on a free transfer this summer, the 22-year-old made 33 appearances for the French side this season, helping the club to secure a mid-table finish in Ligue 1.
Kwateng is notably being courted by Bordeaux as he prepares to become a free agent, but a move to the Premier League and most notably Arsenal would be an offer which is hard to resist for any French player of his generation.
CB – Ozan Kabak
The future of Ozan Kabak at Stuttgart is a story which so far has stayed out of the English media’s gaze, but a relegation clause will make Turkey’s generational talent one of the best value buys of the summer window.
Valued as high as €30m already, the 19-year-old centre-back will be available for just €15m after Stuttgart lost their two-legged relegation play-off match.
He only joined the club in January, but Kabak finished the campaign as Stuttgart’s fourth top goalscorer and in the eyes of a lot of fans has already surpassed Benjamin Pavard as the club’s best centre-back.
There has been a lot of suggestion that Bayern Munich could have the inside track for Kabak this summer, but having kept close relations with Stuttgart thanks to deals over the years, Arsenal could be in with a shout of landing one of European football’s biggest defensive talents.
LB – Álex Moreno
It’s still unclear if Nacho Monreal will sign a new contract with Arsenal, but the club will be looking for a new left-back just in case the Spaniard opts to end his six-year stint in north London.
It’s expected that Sead Kolašinac will retain his place in Unai Emery’s first-team, but Rayo Vallecano’s versatile Álex Moreno could still be brought in for cover this summer.
The 25-year-old is currently a subject of discussion at Barcelona, but deciding to join Arsenal instead isn’t beyond the realms of possibility as there is still a more obvious route to the first team.
It’s believed that Moreno would set the club back as much as €7m before the start of next season.
CM – Ramires
Signing an ageing midfielder on a free transfer is hardly a move which will get the fans purring in north London, but former Chelsea star Ramires could be a smart acquisition for Arsenal if they want to get back amongst football’s elite clubs.
It’s been known for some time that the 32-year-old is pushing for a move back to Europe, and Ramires looks set to have his wish come true this summer after being released from Jiangsu Suning earlier this month.
With 159 Premier League appearances and an impressive trophy cabinet under his belt already, Ramires’ experience at the highest level could prove to be a valuable asset for manager Emery heading into next season.
The lure of once again living in London could surely play a part in convincing Ramires to return to the Premier League, having previously spent six years on the books at Stamford Bridge.
Defensive talents might not be teeming out of Hale End, but the Gunners shouldn’t have a problem with promoting attacking players to have much more senior roles during the 2019/20 campaign.
Coming back of loan will be Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe, with the latter picking up just one appearance with RB Leipzig during his injury-hit second half of the season.
For Nelson, who has also been on loan in Germany with Hoffenheim, he finished the campaign with a tally of seven goals in the Bundesliga and the 19-year-old will be chomping at the bit to make a similar impact back at Arsenal.
For attackers like Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Tyreece John-Jules, they’ll be knocking at Unai Emery’s door this summer to ensure that they’re next in line to fill in next season, while midfielder Joe Willock has already shown that he’s deserving of a place in the senior squad.
Estimated transfer costs are taken from CIES Football Observatory and are accurate at the time of writing.
Source : 90min Original article: http://www.arsenal-world.co.uk/news/tmnw/arsenal_transfers_fixing_all_of_the_gunners_squad_problems_for_less_than_the_pou_932698/index.shtml