Arsenal’s transfer plans this summer will likely cost them big with at least one top-class striker wanted and that may well rely on the Gunners cashing in on Nicolas Pepe. The Gunners were the Premier League’s biggest spenders last summer with close to £150million spent on a handful of players.
Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard have all established themselves as regular first-team players since then. But more moves are expected this summer as Arsenal look to close the gap to those competing at the top of the table.
Signing a central striker is the obvious target for Arsenal this summer having allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave for free in January. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are also set to leave as free agents, meaning Folarin Balogun may be the only recognised striker at the club this summer.
The Gunners showed their intent in January by going after Dusan Vlahovic, only for Juventus to come in and pip them to the big-money signing. Now their focus moves to players such as Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Darwin Nunez.
JUST IN: Arsenal ready to take massive £47m hit on Nicolas Pepe this summer
All three players will reportedly cost in the region of £60m each and it’s been suggested that two strikers may arrive at the Emirates this summer. Injury issues to Thomas Partey this season may also push Arsenal into the market for another central midfielder.
William Saliba’s return from his loan at Marseille will give Arteta more options in the centre of defence, but a right-back has also been targeted as back-up to Tomiyasu. With at least three signings expected, Arsenal will likely need to cash in on some of their fringe players to raise funds.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi look set to leave on a permanent basis which will raise some money for Arteta to spend in the market. But raising big money will likely come with shipping club-record signing Pepe out the door.
Having joined for £72m in 2019, Pepe has failed to live up to expectations and the Gunners are now ready to cut their losses. Arsenal are reportedly willing to listen to offers in the region of £25m and the winger has already attracted interest from Ligue 1 sides.
The Ivory Coast international has started just five Premier League games this season under Arteta, scoring just once. Arteta will want a bigger return from his forward options as Arsenal hope to improve on their current position in the table.
They currently rank bottom of the top seven sides in the Premier League for goals scored with just 44 from 29 games. And cashing in on Pepe, along with others on the fringes, will likely give Arteta the money he needs to bring in a top-class striker capable of transforming their frontline.