The Gooner takes a look at Arteta’s ‘to-do list’ this week.
Swap Torreira for Partey with cash adjustment to tempt Atleti
While Granit Xhaka has impressed many through his rehabilitation after last season’s truculent nadir against Crystal Palace nearly a year ago at the Emirates, there are still concerns about his effectiveness in the heart of battle.
While Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta favours a horses for courses approach, it is clear that the Gunners need an influential defensive midfielder. There is an argument that says Xhaka is neither disciplined enough to shine in that role with Partey being a clear upgrade.
Partey’s club Atletico Madrid are keen to strengthen their squad and are looking to leverage any possible transfer funds received for the renowned defensive pivot. Arsenal do not have the ready cash to make a straight bid of the £45m required to land the player.
But what they do have is Lucas Torreira. Atleti boss Diego Simeone is keen on the diminutive Uruguayan with a player swap plus cash adjustment of around £20m sealing the deal.
While it is a fact universally acknowledged that Arsenal are not brimming with surplus cash, they have brought in £20m from selling Emi Martinez.
An FA Cup triumph, a Community Shield and two wins out of two gives optimism for Gooner everywhere. While Arsenal may still remain behind Liverpool and Manchester City the gap is undoubtedly closing. For the latest Premier League odds check out STS
In another twist which could ultimately boost Arsenal's transfer coffers, with Premier League rules stating clubs must have a maximum of 17 non home-grown players over the age of 21 (they currently have 18) something has to give.
So Arsenal could generate more cash by moving players on – such Sokratis and Callum Chambers - meaning more cash for further transfers.
Go after Houssem Aouar
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is a tough negotiator and has plenty of experience in squeezing every penny out of clubs buying his players. So, despite Aouar expressing a desire to leave the Ligue 1 side, Lyon won’t make it easy. What also isn’t easy is for Arsenal to meet their transfer demands of around £50m.
While the Gunners can attempt to lower the target, while also loading add-ons and factoring targets into the equation, the fact is the north Londoners will have to find at least £40m to make the deal happen. All of which means that given the club’s finances being as precarious as they are, getting Aouar over the line is going to be difficult. But not impossible.
Land long-term target Zaha
Zaha has consistently shone in a Palace side that haven’t always set the word alight. Arsenal supporters still remember his all-action display during the Gunners disastrous 3-2 defeat by the Eagles at Easter 2019 which precipitated then boss Unai Emery’s side’s dreadful implosion at the end of that season which saw them end the year in a damaging fifth spot.
While Palace were understandably reluctant to let their star player leave – by slapping a whopping £85m price tag on his head to deter all suitors, including Arsenal, the fact is Zaha is still keen to ply his trade at a higher level.
While Arsenal simply cannot afford to buy him during this transfer window – even if his price has halved, what could tempt the Eagles in financial terms, if not on field matters, is if Arsenal take Zaha on loan for the season with a £10m loan fee with an obligation to buy the player next summer for around £30m.
While a lot would depend on how well Arteta’s side do this season, a fourth place finish would solve plenty of problems. After all Zaha to Arsenal wouldn’t be the first time a striker in his late 20s moved from Selhurst Park to north London.