Arsenal are set to enter stage four of Mikel Arteta’s five-stage plan this summer as the Gunners are expected to have one of their busiest transfer windows in the club’s history.
When Mikel Arteta joined Arsenal in December 2019, he presented the Kroenke with a five-stage plan on how to get the club back to the top. At the time of his appointment the Gunners were langusihing in mid-table without seeing Champions League football for three years.
It hasn’t been a quick nor easy rebuild for Mikel Arteta to undergo in his first managerial job. However everyone is now starting to see why Arsenal chose to stick by their manager when times got tough a couple of seasons ago. The Arsenal boss is one of the most exciting young managers in Europe right now with some of the best young talents in the world at his disposal. The Gunners are on an upward trajectory with the 2023/24 campaign expected to be the best yet as phase four gets underway this summer.
In March, Mikel Arteta revealed Arsenal are in phase three of the five-stage plan and admitted the club are a little bit ahead of schedule, although the manager keeps details of the precise targets close to his chest. The next step in the evolution of this young Arsenal side is to develop from challengers to winners.
Arsenal put together an impressive title challenge last season and lead the way in the Premier League for the majority of the year. However they just ended up coming up short to the treble winners, Manchester City. Despite the disappointment at the end of the campaign, there’s no doubt a significant amount of progress was made last season with the challenge for next season even greater… to win the league title, something an Arsenal side haven’t done for 20 years.
But first Arsenal must get their summer planning right as the club close in on a £65million move to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The German international is undergoing his medical in Spain this weekend ahead of a move to North London which is expected to be announced next week. Kai Havertz will be Arsenal’s first signing of the summer and Mikel Arteta’s first signing of over £50million – that’s how highly the Arsenal boss rates the 23-year-old.
The Gunners are also preparing a third and improved offer for West Ham captain, Declan Rice. Arsenal have had two bids rejected so far and despite Manchester City’s apparent interest, the club are still very confident of securing a deal for the England international very soon. Declan Rice remains Arsenal’s number one target with the third bid expected to exceed £100million. If Arsenal can get the deal over the line then the West Ham captain will become the club’s all-time record transfer, beating Nicolas Pepe’s transfer fee of £72million a few seasons ago.
Arsenal are also in advanced talks with Ajax over defender Jurrien Timber. The club have had one bid rejected so far but a new offer is being prepared as the Gunners look to make these three additions before pre-season begins in July. The Dutch international is expected to cost around £45million with the player desperate for the move after speaking to Mikel Arteta this week.
Excluding sales, splashing more than £200m would represent a club-record spend by Arsenal in a single transfer window and underlines their ambition to dethrone Manchester City off the top of the Premier League next season. Mikel Arteta has described this summer as crucial as he aims to beat his friend and former colleague in Pep Guardiola.
The key aim this summer is to add more quality in depth as the club feel that was the main reason why Arsenal couldn’t sustain their title charge until the end last season. They are targeting versatile players who will add quality and depth, but also tactical flexibility. That strategy will give Arteta more options in the way he sets up the team.
William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiasyu’s injuries in February dealt Arsenal a huge blow which they couldn’t recover from and Mikel Arteta it keen to make sure the same doesn’t happen during the next campaign.
Declan Rice can operate at the base of the midfield or further forward in the position we saw Granit Xhaka operate last season. Jurrien Timber would likely operate as a right back, tucking into midfield like Zinchenko did on the opposite side last season with so much success. He can also play as a centre-back if needed. Lastly, Kai Havertz is seen as a very versatile option who can play anywhere across the front three as well as in midfield.
Expectations have been raised, with Arteta, sporting director Edu and the Kroenkes all aligned in their desire for Arsenal to be prepared to compete in all competitions next season. Arsenal are back in the Champions League for the first time in seven years and they don’t just want to participate, the plan is to go as far as possible.
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