Advantage Arsenal with ideal signing now within Arteta grasp as rival suitor switch focus to intriguing alternative

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have seen their hopes of signing one of their main defensive targets increase after another suitor stepped aside to focus on someone else, according to reports.

Will Arsenal be strengthening a title-winning squad in the summer? At this rate, it looks likely to be the case. Even if not, they should have Champions League football to prepare for.

Hence, whatever happens between now and the end of the season – and it could be something amazing – Arsenal will have to add depth to their squad for the following campaign.

One of their tasks in the summer could be to increase their depth in the full-back areas. On the left-hand side, they might lose Kieran Tierney, while on the right, they have been relying on centre-half Benjamin White playing out of position.

In fairness, White has done well after adapting his game. He has become a regular starter instead of Takehiro Tomiyasu – and that will remain the case for the rest of the season due to the latter’s injury.

By the time the next transfer window comes around, Arsenal could add to their ranks at right-back. In recent months, they have been frequently linked with Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda.

The 18-year-old is only in his debut La Liga season, but has been making a name for himself. Valladolid are expected to lose him at the end of the season.

Arsenal have been battling with Juventus to offer him the next step. But according to the latest from La Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Serie A side are now more intrigued by Spezia’s Emil Holm, who would be cheaper and already has experience in the Italian top flight.

In turn, Arsenal have Fresneda in their sights. Potentially, they will have a clearer run at capturing him than they initially expected.

As for how much he will cost, there is no new information from La Gazzetta‘s report. Previous claims have suggested it will be somewhere between £15million and £26.5m – the latter sum representing the value of his release clause.

Ivan Fresneda could develop over time at Arsenal

Ivan Fresneda, Real Valladolid, January 2023

The Spain under-19 international would be an investment for the future for whoever takes him next.

Despite the promising news for Arsenal that Juventus might be moving on from their pursuit, Fresneda’s agent has recently hinted at interest from up to 30 clubs.

Hence, the Premier League leaders may have their work cut out still to win the race. That said, they could be one of Fresneda’s most attractive admirers.

Mikel Arteta has helped develop a number of young talents into key players at Arsenal. Although the presence of White would mean there would be no immediate pressure on Fresneda, he could have some confidence of earning some responsibility if he was to join the Gunners.

Hence, Arsenal will be keeping a close eye on him for the rest of the season, in which he has made 15 appearances so far.

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