Arsenal’s prospects of signing Youri Tielemans this summer appear to have been placed on the backburner amid claims Mikel Arteta is prioritising other areas of the pitch.
The Gunners narrowly missed out on the chance to bring Champions League football back to Emirates Stadium next season having finished fourth. Indeed, costly defeats at Newcastle, Tottenham and at home to Brighton in the closing weeks of the season saw them finish fifth. And it seems the failure to finish in the top four has also had an impact on their summer transfer budget too.
Indeed, the Gunners – like all of their rivals – are assessing their squad and looking to make key additions. Their priority remains on signing a new centre forward, with Alexandre Lacazette leaving on a free transfer.
And while Eddie Nketiah has committed to a new deal, there remains space for one more in Arsenal’s squad.
The Gunners are also in the market for a new wide player, with Raphinha seemingly on their shopping list. Any deal for the Leeds man is likely to be dependent on Arsenal moving on Nicolas Pepe. Leeds’ new asking price for the Brazilian, however, does look problematic.
Gunners cash only goes so far
As such, there appears not enough money left in their budget to land a new midfielder. Tielemans is one player they have been keeping a close eye on, with his Leicester deal expiring next summer.
And while Jack Wilshere admits he’s like to see the player at Arsenal, David Ornstein reckons their priorities lie elsewhere.
While speaking on the FIVE channel, the journalist said: “There’s no doubt that the key decision-makers at Arsenal, as I’ve reported previously, are pretty much all-in on him.
“They want to explore a deal for him, they potentially would like to sign him. But it feels a little bit more complicated, just in terms of the congestion of positions and order of signings that they seem to be going for.”
Youri Tielemans surely a must for Arsenal
Once a deal for Gabriel Jesus is finalised, the Gunners would be surely wise to add a midfielder of Tielemans’ quality to their ranks.
The Belgian is, quite rightly, rated as one of the Premier League’s best all-round midfielders outside the top six. Furthermore, with just a year left on his deal, he looks to be available for a bargain £25m fee.
It’s not often midfielders of that quality go on the market either for such a knockdown price. Rivals Tottenham were the recent beneficiaries of a similar deal for Yves Bissouma.
Arsenal open talks with Youri Tielemans
Arsenal have moved quickly and are in talks with Youri Tielemans from Leicester City
Indeed, surely Arteta must feel that signing an experienced head is more important than adding another attacker after Jesus.
Yes, a new No 9 is necessary, but Arsenal are well blessed for players who operate behind the main striker. To that end, they already have Bukary Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and now Fabio Vieira.
And there were times last season where Arsenal did look weak in the centre of the park. The absence of Thomas Partey was often badly felt. Therefore, surely signing Tielemans is a must for the Gunners this summer.