Arsenal's Premier League Fixtures 2022/23
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Arsenal’s efforts in the summer transfer window have begun to pick up, with a second signing confirmed on Friday. The Gunners have agreed a deal worth £38million to sign Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira, who will join Marquinhos at the Emirates Stadium next season.
The signing sees Mikel Arteta move one step closer to his desired squad make-up. “If you ask me what I want it’s 22 outfield players and three goalkeepers,” he explained in April. “You have to come a long way in the aspects that you see on the pitch, it’s a lot of things that have to be put in place, and that takes time.”
Arsenal still have plenty of time left in the summer transfer window to add to their squad – and they seem intent on doing just that. Gabriel Jesus remains their priority, with a striker desperately needed to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
According to the Guardian, Vieira’s arrival will not affect their plans regarding Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. The Gunners are reportedly continuing to work on a deal for the 25-year-old, who has one year left on his Leicester contract.
Meanwhile, The Athletic says Arsenal are also trying to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez. The Gunners have already seen a £25million (€30m) bid rejected by Ajax for Martinez but intend to return with an improved offer soon. Those are some exciting possibilities whose arrivals would give Arteta a wealth of options for the 2022/23 season. Here Express Sport takes a look at some of the options
The arrivals of Tielemans and Vieira could revolutionise Arsenal’s midfield next season. Vieira is an attack-minded midfielder who picked up 14 assists and six goals in the Portuguese top flight last season. He has been signed to provide competition for Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe, so is most likely to play in a No10 or No8 role.
Tielemans is a capable box-to-box player, who can also dictate tempo from deep. Together they could allow Arteta to field a three-man midfield, alongside Thomas Partey, who is best utilised as a holding midfielder, sweeping up and keeping it simple in possession.
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Vieira is expected to take some time to settle in and, given Odegaard’s status and form as a No10, he might have to bide his time. However, Arteta can re-jig his midfield, with Partey – or Granit Xhaka – alongside Tielemans in a double pivot, with Vieira, Odegaard or Smith Rowe further forward. Bukayo Saka has made the right-wing position his own, while Gabriel Martinelli is hoping to do something similar on the left. Given the lack of strikers, a one-striker formation seems likely – be it Jesus, or Eddie Nketiah.
Martinez’s possible arrival in defence would give Arteta greater flexibility. The Argentina international is left-footed so could play on the left of a back-three, alongside current first-choice centre-back pairing Gabriel and White. That would allow Kieran Tierney to play at left wing-back, with Takehiro Tomiyasu or Cedric Soares on the right. Saka and Odegaard could play narrower to allow overlaps, in front of a midfield pairing.
Arteta does not feel like a 4-4-2 kind of manager, but it is another option. The only thing he would need for this formation is two decent strikes. Currently he only has Nketiah to call upon, but Jesus appears to be an attainable transfer target, given the fact he only has one year left on his contract and already knows Arteta from his time as a coach at Manchester City. Whether Nketiah and Jesus would make a good strike partnership is another question – one which perhaps suggests Arsenal need to go shopping for two forwards in this window.
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