Arsenal are plotting the biggest spending spree in the club’s history, as the hierarchy have set aside £180 million for their activities in the summer transfer window.
The Gunners were woeful in the just concluded January transfer window to the chagrin of fans across the world. They let 13 players go – including three from the senior team – and brought none in, severely depleting their side ahead of the most crucial phase of the season.
The club is now ready to move past their winter failures and have set aside a remarkable sum of £180 million for several targets, according to reports.
This is a big show of faith in Mikel Arteta by Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, who is not only ready to inject these funds into the club’s transfer budget, but to do all he can to help Arteta secure his targets.
Those targets include strikers Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, Dominic Calvert-Lewin from Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves, according to The Sun. All these players – as well as a few others on their wishlist – will not come cheap, necessitating the big summer budget of the Gunners.
Last summer, Arsenal spent £150 million to secure the services of Ben White, Martin Ødegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares.
The new signings have largely impressed, which is one of the reasons Stan Kroenke is willing to support Arteta again with another lump sum for his business in the summer.
Arsenal will be looking to pay Real Sociedad the £75 million for their striker Isak, as well as shell out £60 million to Everton for Calvert-Lewin. Wolves will demand £45 million for Neves as well.
It is yet to be seen if the Gunners will go for one or the other of both strikers, or both as they look to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who signed for Barcelona on the winter window deadline day, as well as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah who are both out of a contract in the summer and are uninterested in continuing at the club.
If the Gunners choose to buy all three of their main targets, their £180 million summer budget will be exceeded. However, they also plan to make up for the rest by offloading a few more players and diverting the funds back into the market.
The reports claim that the Gunners will be hoping to raise £70 million from the sales of either or all of Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Alex Runarsson and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere has praised Arsenal’s young Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli and has said that the forward can rise to the very top.
Wilshere, who is currently without a club, is training with Arsenal in order to keep fit and be prepared for any club that shows interest. He has healed praise on Arteta’s handling of his squad, especially of Martinelli, who he says is a special talent.
“The obvious ones, who everyone knows about are Bukayo [Saka] and Emile [Smith Rowe],” the 30-year-old former Arsenal midfielder told Arsenal Media. “I think you’ve just got to look at the level that they are setting.
“The consistency that they’re putting in every week, their performances and they’ve got a manager as well who trusts them and I think if you’re a young player at Arsenal coming through the academy now, you should look at that and think, ‘Well, if I’m good enough, I’m going to get a chance, no matter how old I am.’
“I mentioned before their consistency levels which is sometimes rare for a young player, a lot of time you see a young player come in, have a good game, three or four good games, maybe one or two bad games, but with Emile and Saka, it seems to be they’re doing it week in, week out, they’re making the right decisions all the time.
“But the one who I really like and think he’s going to be top, is Martinelli. I think what the manager has done with him has been genius as well.
“When I first went there he was training, coming on, not playing much, but training really well and I was thinking, ‘He’s going to get a chance here’ and he eventually got his chance and he’s been brilliant.
“He was the Player of the Month and he’s been brilliant and he trains like that every day as well.”