The impact of Arsenal’s failure to secure the title after a promising lead, is still a bitter pill for Mikel Arteta to swallow. He stated last week, “it still hurts me deep inside.”
Coach Mikel Arteta acknowledged last week the necessity to bolster his squad for a credible shot at the Premier League title in the upcoming season.
Despite a comfortable eight-point lead at the league’s top as April began, Arsenal found themselves finishing five points behind the victorious Manchester City, who claimed the Treble. Injuries in vital positions contributed significantly to their seasonal decline.
Adding to Havertz and Rice, a £30m offer for Ajax’s defender, Jurrien Timber, is also in place.
Sport News Center examines the potential benefits this trio could offer to the Gunners this season – if all the transactions proceed – and the potential appearance of Arteta’s team.
Havertz, a £65m signing from Chelsea, adds versatility to Arsenal
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Flexible Havertz brings added depth to Gunners’ lineup
Havertz is one of several players leaving Chelsea this summer
The 24-year-old German international netted 32 goals in 139 matches for the Blues following his £71m transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020.
His versatile abilities will grant Arsenal a wider range of options across midfield and the front line.
Speculation is rife that Havertz might replace Granit Xhaka in Arsenal’s midfield. Yet, he is also likely to provide stiff competition for Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard, and possibly Reiss Nelson in the forward positions.
Havertz concluded last season as Chelsea’s joint leading scorer in all competitions, with nine goals – a testament to Chelsea’s underwhelming season.
Contrastingly, Martin Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, and Jesus all registered double figures for Arsenal, with Xhaka and Nketiah hitting nine each.
Despite being an overall low assistant with only one all season for Chelsea, Havertz outdid 12 Arsenal players.
Will Rice be the game-changer?
The Football News Show: Viral clip offers insight into the real Declan Rice, Mark Noble reveals
Rumours are rife that Arsenal may triumph over Manchester City in signing England’s midfielder, Rice.
The Gunners have proposed a deal of a record-breaking £105m, which City is not prepared to match. West Ham is yet to accept the offer.
Rice’s progress in recent years has been commendable.
Once a player for the Republic of Ireland, typically used at centre-back, he has since become a regular choice for England in the heart of midfield and has risen to the position of West Ham captain.
Last season, Rice topped the Premier League in terms of possession wins (334) and interceptions (63).
Only Brighton centre-back Lewis Dunk and Manchester City pair Rodri and Jack Grealish outpaced Rice’s 7.1km in carrying the ball. Saka of Arsenal trailed in fifth position with 6.8km.
So, how does Rice compare to his potential competitors for a place in the Arsenal team?
Last season saw Xhaka playing further upfield, leaving Thomas Partey and Jorginho, who joined from Chelsea in January, as the Gunners’ defensive midfielders.
Although Partey and Jorginho, of Ghana and Italy respectively, passed more successfully and touched the ball more, they were part of a team that outperformed West Ham by 26 games to 11.
Rice outperformed the pair in terms of ball wins, created more opportunities, and slightly surpassed them in passing accuracy.
Timber could fortify defensive options
Jurrien Timber, with a solid physique despite being 5ft 10in tall
The summer wishlist of Arsenal includes another prominent name – Jurrien Timber, a ball-playing defender from Ajax and Netherlands.
Ajax are seeking more than the £30m bid by Arsenal for the 22-year-old who emerged from their youth system, and other Premier League clubs have also shown interest.
Primarily a centre-back, Timber has also demonstrated his versatility by playing at right-back for both club and country, putting him in direct competition with Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
What’s next for Arsenal?
In addition to the players already signed or approached, Arsenal are reportedly eyeing other talent.
Arteta still has his sights set on Brighton’s midfielder Moises Caicedo, following a failed £70m bid for the Ecuadorian in January.
According to Sport News Center, Arsenal might still pursue Caicedo even if they secure Rice, despite the similar positions they occupy.
They could also secure the services of the fourth highest scorer in France’s Ligue 1 last season.
Folarin Balogun, after scoring 21 times during his loan spell at Reims last season, is set to return to the Gunners this summer. However, there are rumors that they might sell him.
Projected 2023-24 Arsenal line-up
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Arsenal’s Next Season
Who are the potential new players Arsenal is targeting for the next season?
Arsenal is targeting Kai Havertz from Chelsea, Declan Rice from West Ham, and Jurrien Timber from Ajax.
What was the result of the last season for Arsenal?
Despite leading the Premier League for a long duration, Arsenal finished five points behind Manchester City, who went on to win the Treble.
What is the proposed deal value for Declan Rice?
Arsenal has proposed a record-breaking £105m deal for Declan Rice.
How did Kai Havertz perform in his previous club, Chelsea?
While Havertz did not fully live up to the expectations at Chelsea, he scored one of the biggest goals in their history – the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final victory over Manchester City. He netted 32 goals in 139 games for Chelsea after his £71m switch from Bayer Leverkusen.
Who is Moises Caicedo and what is Arsenal’s plan regarding him?
Moises Caicedo is a midfielder from Brighton. Even though Arsenal’s £70m bid for him failed in January, Mikel Arteta is still interested in signing him.