Arsenal have been one of the most, if not the most active team in the transfer market so far this summer.
The last few weeks have been crucial for the Gunners as they have sealed the signings of three of their main targets ahead of next season. The club are also working on important contract renewals to secure the futures of some first-team players.
While Declan Rice was the main target for Arsenal, Kai Havertz was the signing they completed first. Havertz joined Chelsea from Leverkusen in 2020 for a reported fee worth £70 million, including add-ons. He was one of Chelsea’s most expensive signings, second to Kepa Arrizabalga that season.
The German International won a Champions League trophy with Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel. However, he never really showed the same potential he had when he was in Germany. While he did have his moments where he showed what he is capable of, he is yet to do it on a consistent basis in England. Mikel Arteta clearly thinks he can change that as he has a reputation for bringing out the best in players, take Granit Xhaka for as one example. Arsenal agreed a deal of £65 million for Havertz as their first summer signing.
Declan Rice is the next player who Arsenal are days away from signing with the players medical set to happen on Friday. Arsenal agreed a fee with West Ham this week for Declan Rice with the 24-year-old set to become the most expensive British player of all-time after a £105million deal was agreed at the third attempt. He will also become the Gunners’ most expensive signing ever, surpassing the £72million the club paid for Nicolas Pepe a few years ago.
Mikel Arteta made Rice his priority signing this summer and Arsenal fended off Manchester City to make sure the Spaniard got what he wanted ahead of next season. The England international is seen as a important part of the Gunners team for years to come as well as bringing must needed leadership skills at such a young age. Declan Rice is expected to be announced as an Arsenal player by Wednesday next week at the latest.
While working on the Declan Rice deal, Arsenal have also been busy with the signing of Jurrien Timber from Ajax. The two clubs have agreed a fee of £36million plus £4million in add-ons for the Dutch defender. Timber will also undergo his medical this week before been announced as an Arsenal player.
Jurrien Timber was very clear that he wanted to join Arsenal and only Arsenal after being convinced by Mikel Arteta. The player was very impressed by the project and is fully convinced that this is the best step for his career. The Arsenal boss wanted a defender to come in and replicate what Zinchenko does but on the right hand side and it appears Jurrien Timber is that player.
While Arsenal have started the summer transfer window extremely well with three out of three first choice targets signed already, they’re not there. The Gunners want to sign another midfielder before the beginning of the season but are now focused on selling players before bringing anyone else in.
Granit Xhaka is expected to leave the club within the next week as he closes in on a move back to Germany. Bayer Leverkusen have agreed a £22million deal with Arsenal to sign the Swiss midfielder. The 30-year-old is in Germany undergoing his medical today. Many other players are expected to leave North London ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
Onto contract renewals and William Saliba & Reiss Nelson have both signed their new long-term deals at Arsenal this week keeping them at the club until 2028. Both announcements are expected to happen very soon. Arsenal have also secured the future of young star, Ethan Nwaneri this week with the player signing a first-year scholarship. The Gunners fought off competition from Chelsea and Manchester City to keep the player.
Folarin Balogun is another player who is reported to leave Arsenal this summer. The US international wants more minutes on the pitch and it’s expected he will look at his options away from North London to find it. Arsenal are willing to let the player go as long as their £45million valuation is met. Many big clubs around Europe are interested in the player.
Mikel Arteta deserves huge credit for the way he has convinced new players such as Declan Rice to join the club, but also to convince the likes of William Saliba to stay despite interest from some of the biggest clubs around the world.
Edu Gaspar and director of football operations, Richard Garlick also deserve praise for the work they have done so far this summer. As well as the Kroenke’s who are now willing to spend the money in order to try and give the club the best possible chance of winning trophies next season.
Arsenal have been very busy so far and they don’t look like slowing down.