Premier League • England

Arsenal urged to splurge £100m fee for Premier League duo who can take Gunners to next level

Mikel Arteta has been urged to spend big to bring Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has been urged to spend big to bring Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to Arsenal

Arsenal have been told to consider a blockbuster approach for one of two Premier League strikers – with two reasons why a move for Ollie Watkins could now take centre stage for the Gunners becoming clear.

The Gunners enjoyed another season of progress under Mikel Arteta, taking the title race down to the final day, although ultimately failing to prevent Manchester City from winning a fourth successive crown. But after also reaching the Champions League quater-finals, there is a real belief around Arsenal that a few key additions this summer can help the north London side go one step better next time around.

To that end, we understand the Gunners will prioritise three new signings this summer, with a left-sided defender, a new midfielder and a more prolific No 9 right at the top of their radar.

As far as a new midfielder is concerned, an interesting take from Spain claimed the Gunners could look to bring in Brahim Diaz and launch what would be a new more attack-minded formation next season.

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However, much of the focus this summer has already centred on which striker Arteta will settle on to lead the line next season. To help generate funds and free up space in his squad, TEAMtalk were the first to break the news that Eddie Nketiah has been told he is free to leave this summer with three Premier League sides all on his trail.

And while they have looked at a range of options to come in this summer, with Victor Osimhen and Viktor Gyokeres the most costly, one potential deal was taken away from their grasp when it emerged that Benjamin Sesko has decided to stay put with RB Leipzig.

Arsenal transfers: Arteta urged to sign Isak or Watkins

That news propels the possibility of a big money bid being launched for either Osimhen or Gyokeres, each of whom would cost anything between £85m to £105m.

However, rather than spend big on overseas players who are yet to be tested at a Premier League level, former Arsenal star Theo Walcott wants Arteta to look closer to home and believes a move for either Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa or Newcastle’s Alexander Isak makes a lot more sense.

“Arsenal did great, they competed throughout the whole season and learnt a lot from previous mistakes,” Walcott told The Sun.

“I think what Mikel Arteta has done and the atmosphere at Arsenal is incredible. What we are missing is a striker, and to have that balance on the bench.

“I’d say that’s the one thing, maybe Mikel didn’t trust his bench as much.

“I’m looking at someone like an Alexander Isak or an Ollie Watkins who’s been established in the Premier League.

“We may look abroad but I’m a big believer in someone who is proven in the Premier League.”

Deals for either striker would set Arsenal back at least £80m and probably nearer the £100m mark.

But after scoring 27 goals and adding 13 assists this season, Villa star Watkins was nominated as a Player of the Year contender and he would evidentally prove a real coup for the Gunners if they could get their hands on.

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Two factors make Watkins the perfect Arsenal signing

Torquay-born Watkins has never hidden his admiration for the Gunners, admitting back in 2020, while still at Brentford: “That’s the dream, to play for Arsenal one day. But, you know, it’s a long shot.”

And with Villa’s financial situation well documented, they would be vulnerable to a sizeable offer from Arsenal for the star.

FFP rulings means Newcastle are in a similar predicament, though, unlike Watkins, Isak has made clear he is happy where he is and expects to stay at St James’ Park this summer.

“I’m enjoying myself very, very much in Newcastle,” Isak said.

“I just had the best season of my career. That should not be underestimated. I love everything really about the club, the fans, the city.”

Isak added: “I actually have no thoughts of a move or anything like that.

“I enjoy myself fantastically well and am very happy with my life.”