Premier League • England

Arteta told new Arsenal signing is huge waste of money, with deal for top Liverpool target far more effective

Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta reacts after Brighton's Julio Enciso scored his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at Emirates stadium in London, Sunday, May 14, 2023

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have been told they could have spent their money better this summer, with a pundit claiming one signing has prevented Mikel Arteta from improving a part of the team that needs work.

Arsenal began their summer transfer dealings with the surprise capture of German forward Kai Havertz from London rivals Chelsea. Havertz, who scored the winning goal for Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final, has moved to Arsenal in a £65million deal.

Declan Rice then ended up following Havertz to the Emirates. After having bids worth £80m and £90m rejected by West Ham, Arsenal eventually agreed a £105m deal for the former Irons captain.

And Arteta has bolstered his defensive ranks by snaring Jurrien Timber from Ajax for £38.5m. Timber is versatile and will be able to compete for a starting spot at both centre-half and right-back.

Arsenal are now eyeing up signing number four, with Brentford goalkeeper David Raya in their sights. On August 1, Arsenal agreed personal terms with Raya, who has refused to pen a new contract with Brentford.

While Brentford ideally want £40m for Raya, Arsenal’s opening bid was only worth £23m and was therefore rejected. It is likely the two clubs could reach a compromise at around the £30m mark.

READ MORE: ‘Brilliant’ Arsenal star urged to move on over fear of being completely frozen out in north London

However, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has expressed concern about Arsenal spending so much money on what could be a backup keeper. Instead, Agbonlahor suggested Arsenal revisit their plan to improve the midfield with a second signing in the position. This could result in the Gunners battling Liverpool for prime Jurgen Klopp target Romeo Lavia.

“It’s very strange that Arsenal are spending £30m on a goalkeeper,” Agbonlahor said in an interview with Football Insider.

Pundit worried about one Arsenal transfer

“Previously at Arsenal, they had [Aaron] Ramsdale and [Bernd] Leno, who didn’t take a while to lose his place and he wanted to leave.

“Look at Manchester City, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, they don’t have two top goalkeepers.

“You only need one top goalkeeper as keepers don’t regularly get injured either, they don’t do a lot of running during games.

“So for me, it’s very strange to even use £30m or £35m when Arsenal need another midfielder to help with Thomas Partey in the midfield.

“Let’s not forget, goalkeepers don’t need rotating like outfield players, they get the ball to play from the back, and they don’t do a lot of running.”

Agbonlahor’s concern makes sense, as Arsenal could probably get away with relying on Ramsdale again for the majority of next season. And this would allow them to spend more money on bolstering their midfield.

However, Arteta’s plan is to bring Raya in as this would provide Ramsdale with real competition for his starting spot. This will ensure Ramsdale performs to the absolute maximum of his ability, and if he makes a series of errors, then Raya will be on hand to start instead.

Arteta is clearly happy with his options in midfield following Rice’s arrival. It is likely Rice will begin the new campaign in a midfield three with Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey.

Should the latter suffer a dip in form, then Jorginho will be ready to step in, just like he did at the end of last season.

Meanwhile, an Arsenal player has decided he will head to the French top flight next, as per a report.