My Transfer wishlist – Now we need experienced Premier League stars

Richarlison and more – my transfer wish list for this summer by Jimmy Grain

Despite a disappointing and bitter end, this was a promising campaign for the Arsenal. We’ve had to try and transform the youngest side in the league into a seasoned and experienced team and there’s no doubt that all of our players will be better off for the trials and tribulations of this season. The fans are enjoying football again, and if we can recruit well, we will have a special side next year.

It’s unclear what strategy we will be employing this summer but I hope that we don’t approach it in the same way that we did last time around. Last year was a successful one in that we bought some cracking young players, but I would like us to now add some experience, leadership and firepower that will turn us into a team feared by all.

We must go for players that will make an immediate impact, Premier League players who don’t need time to settle in the country or adapt to the physicality of the league. We’re now two and a half seasons into Arteta’s reign and it’s high time that we kick on, get back into the Champions League and really challenge for some trophies.

I would be putting Kalvin Philips high on my list of priority targets. His energy, passing range and ability to win the ball back proficiently would do wonders for this Arsenal side. He’s proven that he can perform at the highest level during Euro 2021 and may be available at a cut price due to his injury issues this season.

I think that he would be the perfect player to compete with Partey and Xhaka for their places, whether that be playing as a 6 or an 8. Should Man City come in for him though, Youri Tielemans would be a great backup option. He will offer more attacking guile than Philips but I do harbour concerns over the security of a Xhaka and Tielemans pivot should Partey get injured again.

John McGinn would a slightly conservative option but may not have quite as much potential as Tielemans does. There’s not much between them, but with Tielemans only having a year left on his contract, he would be the cheaper and more sensible choice.

Our attack’s lack of firepower and depth is what cost us most in our battle to finish fourth though. Being back in the Europa League means that we will certainly need a couple more quality attackers. We look like we are on the verge of signing 19-year-old Marquinhos from Sao Paulo but he will be one that’s more for the future and should probably be loaned out.

I would be offering Ivan Toney the chance to make the trip across London and become our main striker. He is a good physical player who can deliver dominating and aggressive performances like the one that Callum Wilson put in against us last week. Toney can be the focal point that our attack needs, making the ball stick, winning headers, linking play and most crucially, scoring goals.

That’s not to dismiss Eddie Nketiah, who I would like to stay as he has proven that he can put in strong performances in the Premier League, and there is a lot of value in having academy products in our squad. I think that he could learn a lot off of Toney and take bits of his game for his own, perhaps convincing him to get in the gym more for starters.

I think that we should also prioritise signing Richarlison. He is a goal scorer, a good dribbler and has great aggression and physical attributes. He and Toney are both good in the air and it would be nice to have players who can capitalise on the crossing ability of Saka, Odegaard and a fit Kieran Tierney.

Richarlison would fit in with our Brazilian contingent and although he may sometimes play on the right or up top, I predominantly imagine him competing with Martinelli for the left-wing spot. That would also mean a transition to an 8 for Smith Rowe, who can then provide his effective, goalscoring runs into the box from midfield rather than the left. Richarlison coming off the left would be prolific at capitalising on the great creative work that Saka and Odegaard do on the right.

Regarding the left back position, Tierney is a magisterial player who I believe should be our captain but we can’t afford to go into another season without adequate back up for him. I feel that this position will be the most difficult to recruit in as any incoming signings will know that they will have to play second fiddle to him whenever he’s available.

Hopefully we can shift Tavares, and the man I would be looking to replace him with is Tyrick Mitchell. He is more limited than Tierney but is an excellent, aggressive defender with decent technical ability. He could cover at LCB and would be a good rotation option should we ever want to be more defensive. It’s essential that we have good full backs to rotate like Manchester City and Liverpool do.

As for right back cover, I would try and sell Cedric Soares and convince Maitland-Niles that he has a future at Arsenal, presuming his relationship with the manager hasn’t completely broken down. Him staying would also give us cover at left back and midfield.

This business would leave us with a very strong squad capable of winning the Europa League, getting back into the top four and maybe adding a domestic trophy to our cabinet. It would give Arteta a squad that he could have no excuses for not achieving with and would be a real litmus test for him and the players who will have a huge amount of competition for places.

One thing I know for sure is that I would love to see the likes of Toney, Richarlison, Partey, Saka and Philips line up for us in a Europa League final. That would be a proper Arsenal side and one that we could develop into a title challenging team, no doubt.

Outgoings: Pepe, Cedric, Lokonga (loan), Tavares, Mari, Leno, Bellerin, Balogun (loan) (and very likely even more).

What do you think of my wishlist? Will that line up win us trophies?

Jimmy Grain

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  1. Well is this a repeat of article?

    Anyways…..I hope we make the most wise recruitment, my only concern is our fans we tend to link price tag to a good player, thereby believing an unknown player with below 30m price tag must be an average player, not minding the potential or the part of puzzle he fills in our team.

    I only hope fans will allow the club make their recruitment and give incoming players the warm welcome and afford them the posative energy required cos they are on social media too and reads everything we say about them.

    I have always said that it’s not expensive being posative, it’s very affordable cos it’s free


  3. Richarlison could be a good option and might be decent in the air, but Jesus would be more helpful as he is so used to play with Guardiola’s system. Jesus will also be cheaper, because of his contract and Man City have got to sell him after buying Haaland

      1. Arteta’s system is similar to Guardiola’s and they used to work together for several years at Man City

          1. 4-3-3 with short passes, slow tempo and a lot of crosses. We also rely on our wingers to score and our CF to drop deep

            That’s just my observation though

        1. GAI comparing Guardiola’s system with MA system is like comparing day and night. Nowhere near the same.

            1. The divine one is the only way his non system would produce the results people want … that along with Frankie de jong … and a couple from the likes of Martinez silva and Nunez … plus several decent back ups across the team …

    1. He will never be a good option. I have watched him play since his Warford days and he is level below Pepe that most here don’t want. The players I will take from Premiership are the ones that plays for either liverpool or man city when Arteta is still the coach.

      1. Or we could poach his teammate, Calvert-Lewin. Richarlison will be cheaper though, because he isn’t homegrown and his contract will expire in 2024

  4. would certainly agree with KP coming in to our squad from Leeds. would be a great first team starter.
    not sure about Richarlison. never going to get you 15 to 20 goals a season and too temperamental for me
    wouldn’t mind us trying to snatch Eddison Carnani from manure as a back up striker for us. he is hard working, clinical in front of goal and seems to be unhappy playing second fiddle to Ronaldo
    sounds controversial but a person who i would like join us not as a player but part of the back room staff is Stuart Pearce.
    just left West Ham. brings a wealth of experience. knows how to organise and has experience and always talks sense.

  5. Why add more egoistic and problematic player to the team, when we tried as much as possible to get rid of theme the last time???
    We know some of these players past record and yet someone of you will be begging for their signing. If things go south, you will quickly mentioned how they used to be a problems for their previous club.

  6. Recruit Hlozek and keep Nketia. He can even lead the line. 5 goals out of 7 last games is prolific.
    Hlozek is a young Mbappe. Recruit him and loan him out. Next year we won’t be able to compete for his signature.
    Arteta is a Rookie manager and is taking too long to make changes happen. That’s costing the club too much. Look at the immediate effect of Conte.

  7. Agree with the choice of Phillips and also think Tielemans could revive his career at Arsenal however outside of the obvious choice of Declan Rice there is not much else around. The recruiting people should be thinking outside the box and show some adventure. We need to go beyond Lakonga, Xhaka and Elneny.

  8. Contrary to mass opinion, despite missing out champions league football there are still a large number of players who would jump at the chance to join our club.

    My wishlist in order of preference

    CB-Tapsoba(possible Saliba replacement)
    Target Man-Nunez(unlikely)/Toney/DCL/Scamacca/Hlozek
    Nimble Striker-Jesus/Giouri




  9. Declan Rice would be an absolute dream signing, imagine him next to Partey now that’s a game changer right there and above all a real statement of intent but unfortunately the sort of figures West Ham are asking for puts him way out of our price range

  10. I hope not.
    I would rather see us continue going all-in on youth to build a team, which can challenge for the title in 2-3 years.
    A few experienced PL stars may help short term, but it won’t build a team to really challenge.

  11. Players like Diaz and Guimaraes didn’t need any time to settle and get used to the league.we just need to target the right players (suited to the PL).

  12. “Richarlison is a goalscorer”? Really ? I had never noticed and the reason why is that it is not true.

    Odd andunambitious list of players mostly below top class with one or two exceptions. Tielemans perhaps , plus Phillips is decent but not true top class and he’d never come to us anyway. All the rest are not for me. Not remotely!

  13. Interesting article. Very good read. I fully agree with the underlying theme: to get more seasoned, PL-proven players.

    I disagree though on Ivan Toney; he isn’t good enough. We need a more complete striker upfront.

    Being a realist, I also feel we will struggle again to off-load players deemed not good enough, simply because the market will not cooperate with us. Buying-clubs are still skint. Bellerin, ANM and Torreira could very well be on our payroll next season, affecting our transfer kitty.

    We need, ideally, at least 6 solid acquisitions, but recent history tells us we are likely to get no more than four. Not sure we will get the players we really need. Let’s hope the academy players will be ready.

  14. YES Please!

    This guy is lethal .. eager to do something and will definitly help the team .. get him and buddy Calvin!

    1. Phillips !!!!!!

      That’s who we need next to Partey

      Why reckon he would come to play with his mate Saka

      Why not !

  15. Great read… I like these sort of Articles, The idea of Premier League players only purchased is a smart move for a Top4 push.

    Missing out on the Champions League spot has hindered what top targets would come to Arsenal on the European Market like Nunez etc…

    1. Confirmed already, Saliba is back.
    2. Marquinhio & Turner are on the way.
    3. Exits;
    • Leno
    • Dino – SOLD
    • Bellerin
    • Soares
    • Matteo – SOLD
    • Pepe
    • Lacazette – FREE
    • Eddie – FREE
    • Torreira
    • Mari

    4. Possible PL Plyrs Incomings;
    • CF – ???
    • W – Jesus
    • CM – Teilimans
    • DM – Bissouma
    • LB – Cucurella

    5. Other Loanees & u21s;
    • Reiss Nelson
    • AMN
    • Cuffy
    • Patino
    • Azeez

    A busy summer no doubt but I think the striker department has to be a huge signing but I don’t feel anyone in the League could step up. That’s going to be the hardest to buy.

    Offer Brighton a nice package for Cucurella & Bissouma, few loans/player in exchange with cash. We know £25m each for Jesus & Teilimans.

    1. Already £13m & £3m from Matteo/Dino sales.
      Leno £10m, Bellerin £8m, Soares £7m.
      Pepe £25m, Lucas £15m, Mari £9m.
      AMN £10m+, Nelson £6m.

      That will cover the striker. Will have to invest £50m for Jesus & Teilimans & make a huge deal with Brighton.

  16. Phillips is most likely going to City and Mitchell is wanted by Juventus, Bayern and also Chelsea. Other than these 2, I think the others could join Arsenal and the addition of both Toni and Richarlison would be great in terms of adding real firepower upfront. Tielemans is great for creativity and I only hope lack of CL football will not be a deterrent in bringing him here. I doubt whether AMN will be ready to play as full back but if he does it will be great as it will also give us another extra player in the midfield. All in all, I hope we have a successful summer business and looking forward to a great next season.

  17. Calvin Bassey for LB , can also provide WB and CB cover . Doesn’t get bullied and pace and stamina that never quits

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